Do I Need a Buyer’s Attorney?
Your realtor has been with you through the house hunt and you trust their instincts, right? Great. Please understand that while your real estate agent is likely the best at his or her job, they are not a real estate lawyer. By law, they can’t advise you on real estate law. For legal advice, you need a lawyer. Real estate law is very complex and it’s possible for unscrupulous home sellers to take advantage of people who don’t know real estate law. Having an attorney to review your contract and negotiate on your behalf gives you the best chance at a seamless transaction.
What Happens During Attorney Review?
Once the preliminary real estate contract is signed by the buyer and seller, the document is reviewed by attorneys for both parties. Generally the attorney review takes three days, however it can be shorter or longer as long as both attorneys agree to sign off on the contracts.
During the attorney review, negotiations take place between the two parties – guided by the attorneys. Perhaps, as the buyer, you want the seller to leave the washer and dryer or you want them to replace a cracked toilet. Your attorney will make the request on your behalf. The seller has the option of agreeing to your request, declining it or making a counter offer. This process goes on during the review period until both sides are ready to be officially “under contract.”
I’m a First Time Buyer! What Do I Need to Know?
Obviously, one of the most important things you need to know as a buyer is that you will be able to pay for the real estate you are hoping to purchase. Most realtors will make sure you are pre-qualified for a loan before they even take you house hunting. Further, you will need to be able to qualify for a mortgage.
We have guided many first-time homebuyers through the process. We understand that you may be as nervous as you are excited. Lessack &McGlade will make sure you are well-informed and will protect your rights. We will demand full disclosure from the sellers about any issues with the deed or title as well as the property itself. If any repairs are needed, he will negotiate on your behalf to save you money.
What Happens if there is a Problem with the Title?
Without an experienced real estate lawyer, a property lien, a title problem or any other transaction-related paperwork could spell disaster for the entire deal. We have saved many deals from going under because we have the foresight to look ahead and tend to any issues before they before major challenges. You can rely on our experienced and knowledge to review all your paperwork and make sure you are protected throughout the transaction.
Can the Seller Be Made to Pay for any Needed Repairs Noted in the Inspections?
As a buyer, you will want to review the seller’s disclosure to learn about any issues that have taken place in the house. Old termite problems, basement floods, etc. must be reported to would-be buyers in good faith. Further, buyers should conduct inspections of the property and building to uncover any other costly maintenance issues.
When you hire an experienced real estate inspector, they will go over the home in detail and will note any repairs that need to be done. Buyers can then request the seller to make the repairs or contribute financially toward the repairs. These negotiations will be handled by us and the seller’s real estate lawyer.
Which Closing Costs are Associated with Buying a Home in New Jersey?
Closing costs generally refer to the fees for getting a mortgage. Since it’s the buyer who takes out the home loan, it’s the buyer who pays the fees. Closing costs can include: credit report fee, loan origination and underwriting fees, charges for any inspections that weren’t paid privately, any “points” (discount on the mortgage rate), appraisal and survey fees, title search and insurance, money put into escrow to cover private mortgage insurance (PMI) and property taxes. Your real estate attorney’s fee is also considered a cost to be paid at the closing table.
A typical closing cost package runs about two to five percent of the price of the real estate. You will receive a good faith estimate prior to closing from your lender. However, be advised this is only an estimate.
When Can the Buyer Ask the Seller to Pay Some or All of the Closing Costs?
The answer is: all the time. The buyer can ask for anything from the seller. The seller doesn’t have to agree to paying any of the costs, however. Negotiations over closing costs take place during the attorney review. Talk to us about the best way to approach the seller about covering some or all of the closing costs.
What Happens at the Closing Table?
Before the closing begins, the buyers and their real estate agent will do a walk-through of the property to make sure the items specified to be left remain in the home and that there is no damage to the walls, floors, etc.
The actual transaction, which takes place at one of the attorney’s offices or at the title company’s location (details to be determined by the lawyers) involves a litany of paperwork requiring many signatures. It’s a complicated process behind the scenes and we will tend to all the details. At the end of the meeting, however, after you exchange checks and keys, you will be the happy owner of a new piece of property.