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Real Estate FAQS

Frequently Asked Questions

I am buying a home. Do I need to hire an attorney?

Technically no, but certainly something that I would not advise for any home buyer. A majority of the time when you decide to purchase a new home, it is likely that you will choose a real estate brokerage firm to assist you with finding the right home, taking you to open houses, and helping you negotiate a preliminary contract. It is important to understand however that a real estate agent is NOT a real estate lawyer. They cannot legally advise you on real estate law. Real estate law and real estate transactions can be very complex and involve buyers to be financially obligated to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars. Allowing a professional and experienced firm such as JSD Legal, LLC to represent and negotiate on your behalf gives you the advantage to ensure a seamless and stress-free transaction. Furthermore, having an experienced attorney on your side is critical to ensure your financial interests are always protected.

What are some things I need to know as a first-time home buyer?

The most important thing that a first-time home buyer would need to know is that they will be able to pay for the real estate they are seeking to purchase. It is important to ensure that you speak to a mortgage lender about your financial obligations and obtaining a pre-qualified letter. Typically, a lender will preliminarily review your assets, income, credit report, etc. and be best able to assess the type of mortgage and amount that would best suit your financial position. This should be done by a buyer before they dive in and begin their house hunting, especially because you would not want to run into a situation where you find a house you love, but don’t have the necessary paperwork or financial position to put in an offer. Mr. Scotto D’Aniello represents new first-time home buyers on a weekly basis. Contact Us for a free consultation or for any additional questions you may have before beginning the home buying process.

What does Attorney Review Mean and What Happens During Attorney Review?

Once the initial contract is signed, the parties will enter into a period of the closing that is known as the Attorney Review. Many of times, a Realtor presents you with a standard contract known as the “Statewide New Jersey Realtors Standard Form of Real Estate Sales Contract”. During this pivotal part of the Closing, Mr. Scotto D’Aniello will not only review the contract to ensure that all of your interests are protected, but will attach and include a Rider or Addendum to the contract which contain specific or additional provisions that may have been discussed between the parties, but may not have been included at the time the contract was signed. Attorney Review generally takes about three days, however it can be shorter or longer as long as all parties are in agreement. What is most important to know as a Buyer or Seller is that during Attorney Review, either party has the opportunity to cancel the Contract without issue at any time! So, if you are a buyer and are having second thoughts, or are a Seller who may have a more enticing offer, either party may cancel the Contract during Attorney Review. This is why it is so important to choose an attorney like Mr. Scotto D’Aniello to ensure that Attorney Review runs as quickly and efficiently as possible. Once the parties are able to agree upon all additional provisions of the Contract, the Attorney Review portion of the Closing is completed, the parties are now “under contract,” and you are one-step closer to selling your property!

Can I be held responsible if there is a Problem with the Title?

A Seller is responsible to convey a clear and marketable title to the Buyers of a Property. Without an experienced real estate attorney, a property lien, judgment, title problem, or other transaction related issue could negative affect the deal. Mr. Scotto D’Aniello has assisted sellers negotiate issues related to Title saving the deal from going under. Moreover, Mr. Scotto D’Aniello ensures to pair each of his clients with a reputable Title Agency to provide Title insurance to avoid any issues that may arise post closing.

What are Closing Costs and which am I responsible for as a Buyer or Seller?

Closing Costs generally refer to any and all fees associated with obtaining a mortgage, securing title, and as the Seller, could be realtor brokerage fees, recording fees, and real estate transfer taxes. Since the Buyer is the individual who takes out the mortgage, they are typically responsible for paying the costs associated with obtaining the mortgage. Closing costs can include, but are not limited to: credit report fee, loan origination and underwriting fees, appraisal and survey fees, title search fees and title insurance fees as well as any escrow required to be placed for the purchase of the home. A typical closing cost package runs anywhere from two to five percent of the price of the real estate purchase to put into prospective. Your lender will give you a good faith fair estimate prior to closing, but that is only an estimate.

As the Buyer, can I request Seller to pay for some or all of the Closing Costs?

Absolutely! However, there is no certainty or obligation that a Seller has to provide any assistance. Mr. Scotto D’Aniello regularly assists his clients in negotiating these fees. Typically, the parties may be able to work out a Seller Concession, whereby Seller agrees to cover some of the Closing costs. Typically, seller concessions can happen when parties agree to raise the overall purchase price of the home, and allow Buyers to obtain additional funds to cover their costs to be paid later by way of mortgage. This way, Sellers don’t lose any money on the sale, and Buyers don’t have to bring as much money to the table at time of closing. However, it is important to discuss this option not only with your attorney, but with your lender as well, as it may affect the overall financial obligation of your mortgage.

As a Seller, can I be obligated to Pay for or remediate any of the Repairs as detailed in the Inspection Report?

Of course not. It is very important to remember that as a Seller, you can control the overall outcome as to what, if any, repair obligation you wish to undertake. This can be covered not only in the contract, but during Attorney Review as well. Typically, Sellers will only be asked to cover issues or deficiencies related to the mechanical, structural, or environmental integrity of the property. If a Buyer requests Seller to repair or provide a credit to remediate a covered issue found on inspection and the Seller rejects to, typically, a Buyer has the opportunity to cancel the Contract. However, be mindful that in certain contracts, a Buyer cannot simply walk away after an inspection is performed. Contracts or Riders may contain language indicating that a Buyer must give the Seller the opportunity to remediate an issue prior to the Buyer canceling a Contract. This is why it is so critical to ensure you have an attorney who will carefully review and read all contracts and riders to ensure you are not only protected but fully understand all of your obligations.

Can I Keep Showing My Home or Review Offers During Attorney Review?

Yes. During Attorney Review, either party has the right to cancel the contract at any time. As a Seller, you have the right to cancel your current contract and accept a better offer. However, bear in mind that the same right applies to the Buyer as well. A Buyer may find a more suitable home, and they may want to cancel this contract and put in an offer for a different property. However, it is more likely that once a home is under attorney review, showings and open houses typically stop.

What I Decide that I No Longer Wish to Sell My Home.

If you get “cold feet” or decide to cancel the contract, you may be sued for damages by the prospective Buyers. Unfortunately, this is a possible risk, and depending on what stage of the Closing the parties are, a Judge could force you to sell the home. If you have any reservations about selling your home, Mr. Scotto D’Aniello can speak with you about your rights regarding the sale of your home.

Can I Sell my Home and Purchase a Home at the Same Time? What Happens if I Sell My Home But Cannot Find a Home to Buy? Will I Be Forced to Move Out?

This is another critical reason to speak to an experienced real estate attorney prior to deciding to either buy or sell a home. There are a lot of different provisions that Mr. Scotto D’Aniello can implement in the contracts to ensure that the client is protected. For example, a provision can be included in the Contract to say that the Sale of the Property is contingent upon the Seller finding and closing on the purchase of a new home. The same could be true if a Seller finds a Buyer that has a contingency to sell their current home to purchase your home. Although this may be off putting to some parties, the most important thing to remember is that Mr. Scotto D’Aniello will ensure that your interests are his primary concern.

What Sort of Information Do I Need to Disclose as a Seller About My Home?

Typically Sellers are asked to fill out a form known as a “Seller’s Property Condition Disclosure Statement”. The purpose of the Seller’s Disclosure is for the Seller to disclose, to the best of the Seller’s ability and knowledge, the condition of the Property as of the date the form is filled out. As the Seller, you are obligated to disclose any known material defect, even if it may not be covered on the form. The key form in that statement is “known”. However, bear in mind that it is still the responsibility of the Buyer to conduct their due diligence to carefully inspect the Property and to carefully inspect the surrounding area for any off-site conditions, such as whether the Property is in a Flood Zone, that may adversely affect the Property. Please Contact Us today should you have any questions regarding filling out this form.

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