New Jersey Real Estate Lawyers | Cosner Youngelson

Real Estate Attorneys in East Brunswick, New Jersey

Buying or selling a home is a major transaction. In fact, purchasing a home will probably be the largest investment you will ever make.

Because the transfer of property in New Jersey is very complicated, there are many serious problems that might crop up when you are buying or selling real estate.

What are some problems I might have?

  • Missing heirs, forgers, invalid divorces, irregular foreclosures and other unexpected complications can leave the legal ownership of the property up in the air, even though the deed appears to transfer full title.
  • You may not be able to determine personally beforehand whether the property has any serious physical defects like water conditions, structural problems, inadequate electrical wiring, termite infestation, or radon contamination.
  • The seller’s title to the property may be burdened with mortgages, easements, unpaid taxes or other liens.
  • The description or survey of the property may be either inadequate or incorrect. You may actually be acquiring less property than you think you are.
  • All important details of the transaction may not be included in the contract of sale. Even if you have verbally agreed upon an item, if it is left out of the contract, it is unenforceable.
  • Deed or zoning restrictions may prevent you from using the property as you would like.

What is the contract of sale?

  • A contract of sale is an agreement for the purchase and sale of real estate. This is the most important piece of paper involved in any real estate transaction because it sets the rights and responsibilities of the purchaser and seller.
  • The contract may be called a binder, a broker’s agreement, a memorandum of sale or a deposit receipt. Whatever it’s called, if the paper contains the essential parts of a contract, it is a legal contract of sale. After this is signed, no further “formal” or “legal” contract is needed to bind you. From then on, any dispute between the buyer and seller will be settled by referring to the provisions of the contract.
  • The parties to a real estate contract prepared by a licensed real estate broker have three business days to have the contract reviewed by their attorney. Under certain circumstances, the attorney can have the contract amended or even cancel the contract.
  • For your own protection, it is important to consult your attorney within three business days after signing a broker-prepared contract for the sale or purchase of real estate.

How can the purchaser’s lawyer help?

  • When you retain the services of an attorney, he or she will guide you through all aspects of the real estate transaction.
  • Preparing, reviewing and explaining the contract of sale.
  • Helping you to get answers to questions concerning termite, structural, and radon inspections, the zoning status of the property, restriction on property use and property insurance.
  • Assisting you with your mortgage commitment and explaining your prepayment rights.
  • Ordering and then reviewing the survey and all title searches that will define the description, location and legal ownership of the property.
  • Helping to settle any title problems.
  • Settling any problems regarding the transfer of occupancy, closing date, and possession.
  • Determining adjustments for taxes and other costs.
  • Preparing the final closing statement and other documents. (This information should be sent to you before the closing date. Read it carefully.)
  • Representing you and advising you at the closing and making sure that your interests are properly protected. The closing is the meeting at which such documents as the seller’s deed and affidavit of title and the note and mortgage are signed. The balance for the selling price is paid to the seller at that time.
  • Recording the deed and mortgage and cancelling any existing mortgages on liens.
  • Obtaining title insurance policies covering your ownership interest and the mortgage interest of the lending institution.
  • Delivering all important documents to you for safekeeping after closing.

How can the seller’s attorney help?

  • Preparing, reviewing and explaining the contract of sale.
  • Gathering important title information for the purchaser’s lawyer. This will help speed the search and survey process.
  • Resolving any title problems revealed by the searches.
  • Cooperating with the purchaser’s attorney in settling possession and closing date problems.
  • Helping you to determine the correct balance due on your mortgage.
  • Cooperating with the purchaser’s attorney in preparing the final closing statement.
  • Preparing the deed, affidavit of title, survey affidavit, and other necessary documents.
  • Representing you at the closing and making sure that you receive the correct proceeds from the sale.

What fees and charges are involved in buying or selling real estate?

Here are some important points to remember about real estate fees and charges:

  • Funds paid to your attorney are divided into two parts. These are (1) the attorney’s fee and (2) reimbursement for the exact cost of searches, surveys, recording costs and title insurance premiums.
  • In addition, lender’s charges, including the application fees and other charge and escrows for taxes and insurance required by the lender, must be paid by the purchaser.
  • Real estate brokers generally charge a commission to the seller based on a percentage of the sale price.
  • Homeowner’s insurance provides coverage against liability for fire, theft, and accidents and so on. You must pay a yearly premium to continue your coverage.
  • Flood insurance may be required or recommended in some areas. For this coverage you must pay a yearly premium.
  • Title insurance is insurance against title defects that didn’t show up in the public record. The premium is paid at the closing and the coverage continues as long as you own your home.
  • Realty transfer tax (generally paid by the seller).

Please contact Cosner Youngelson for your real estate needs.We will answer your questions and help you through the purchase or sale of real estate in a smooth and efficient manner.