Real Estate Department

    In addition to our three attorneys, our Real Estate department consists of three paralegals, two of whom have experience as realtors.  Our firm handles commercial and residential real estate transactions, as well as the purchase and sale of co-operative apartments and condominiums throughout the State of New Jersey.  We provide prompt, responsive and personalized service to our real estate clients, many of whom become lifelong clients.

 

FAQs About Real Estate Transactions

 

Buying a Home 

    Buying a Co-Operative Apartment

    Buying New Construction

 

Selling 

        

Refinancing

 

If you desire further information, please fill out our contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.  Thank you for your interest in our firm.

 

Other languages spoken by our firm:  Spanish, Hindi and Tagalog

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buying

 

When do I send my contract to my attorney?

 

Have your realtor fax the signed Contract to your attorney immediately.  It is also important to call your attorney to retain them and provide details regarding your transaction.  The Attorney Review period expires 3 business days after the Realtor Contracts have been signed.  During this time, changes can be made to the Contract.  Once both parties sign off on the changes, Attorney Review ends and the Contract is finalized.

 

There are still three (3) contingency provisions in the Contract that protect the buyer and his/her deposit.  These are the Home Inspection, Mortgage Commitment and Title contingencies.  If these contingencies are not satisfied, the Buyer can cancel the Contract and have the deposit returned. 

 

What are the costs associated with buying a home?

 

Aside from the attorney fee and mortgage costs, you will also incur Inspection, Title Search and Insurance, Survey, and Recording Costs.

 

Inspection of the home to be purchased should be scheduled right after the attorney review period ends.  We suggest that you speak with 2 or 3 inspectors (we can provide a few recommendations), choose one and have the inspection done within the time frame allowed in the Contract.  This cost will be paid directly by you to the inspector.

 

The costs of the inspection will depend on what kind of inspections are required.  Usually the minimum will be a Structural, Radon and Termite inspection.  If applicable, you may also need to have the Well/Septic and Oil Tank inspected.

 

You should have a copy of the Inspection Report sent to your attorney's office and then call to discuss the issues raised therein.  Our office can go through your inspection report with you step-by-step over the phone.  We will then generate a letter to the Seller's side to rectify the inspection issues.

 

Once the Inspection issues are resolved and you have obtained a mortgage commitment, our office will order the Title Search and Survey.

 

Title Search and Insurance will insure that you have clear legal title to the property (no liens attached).  It takes our office approximately two weeks to obtain the title search.  We will review the title search and then submit it to your mortgage company.  The Title Search and Insurance Policy cost is regulated by the State of New Jersey, and is based upon the purchase price of the home.  This cost will be paid at closing.

 

A Survey is required by mortgage companies and draws out the legal boundaries of the property being purchased.  If the Seller provides you an older survey and an Affidavit of No Changes to the property, the lender may accept it in lieu of a new survey, and we will not have to order a new one.  This cost will also be paid at closing

 

Recording Costs are mandated by the State of New Jersey, depending on the length of the documents, and are incurred for recording your Deed, Mortgage and second mortgage if applicable.  These costs are also paid at closing.

 

What do I need to know about the Closing?

 

The closing usually takes place at the office of the buyer's attorney.  If you are purchasing a co-op or new construction, the closing will take place at the office of the  the co-op attorney or the builder's attorney.  

 

All parties whose name will be on the Title and Mortgage need to be present.  An attorney from our office will be there to represent you.  Sometimes the Seller will attend in person or they may often have their Attorney attend on their behalf.  The closing will take approximately 1 1/2 hours.

 

You will need to bring photo I.D. for all parties and a certified, bank or cashier's check.  We will provide you with the exact amount you need to bring the day before the closing.  The check should be made payable to our Attorney Trust Account.

 

Go to Top  

 

Buying a Co-Operative Apartment

 

What is a Co-Op?

 

It is a hybrid between real and personal property.   It is not considered real estate and the documents and process are therefore different.  For example, instead of a Deed, you receive a Stock Certificate and Proprietary Lease.  When you purchase a Co-Op, you are buying shares of stock in a corporation that owns real estate.

 

Do Banks Finance Co-Ops?

 

Yes, but the loan documentation and collateral differ from a real estate loan.

 

Where does the closing take place?

 

Usually the closing takes place in the Co-Op attorney's office.

 

Go to Top  

 

 

What do I need to know about Buying New Construction?

 

In the case of new construction, it is a good idea not to lock into a mortgage commitment until the construction nears completion and the builder provides us with a closing date within the next 2-3 months.  This is because new construction closings never occur on time.  If you get a mortgage commitment too early on, you will have to get extensions.  Our office will not order title until we are 2-3 months from closing either.  The closing cannot take place unless the builder obtains a Certificate of Occupancy.   You cannot occupy the property or store any belongings in the property prior to the closing.

 

Once the Certificate of Occupancy is issued, the Closing takes place within 14 days.  The Closing is usually held at the office of the attorney for the builder.

 

Even though the Certificate of Occupancy is issued, there may still be some minor work for the builder to complete.  Before the Closing, a Punch List will be prepared between the parties for the builder to complete the work within 30-45 days after the closing.  A new construction buyer cannot usually hold an escrow for the punch list items.  If the builder does not comply, you will have to start suit against the builder.

 

The builder must also provide a 10 year new homeowner's warranty.  As with any  warranty, please read this one carefully to see what is covered. 

 

Go to Top  

 

 

Selling

 

When do I send my contract to my attorney?

 

Have your realtor fax the signed Contract to your attorney immediately.  It is also important to call your attorney to retain them and provide details regarding your transaction.  The Attorney Review period expires 3 business days after the Realtor Contracts have been signed.  During this time, changes can be made to the Contract.  Once both parties sign off on the changes, Attorney Review ends and the Contract is finalized.

 

Who holds the deposit monies?

 

The selling realtor typically collects the initial deposit upon the signing of the Contract.  Our office then requests that this be forwarded to us upon completion of attorney review and we hold it in our Attorney Trust Account, along with the second deposit as required by the Contract.

 

What are my responsibilities as a Seller?

 

You will need to make your home accessible for the Buyer to have the Inspection and Appraisal done.

 

You are also responsible to obtain a Smoke Detector Certificate and Carbon Monoxide Certificate and proof of one fire extinguisher as required for sellers per your municipality.  You can contact your municipality or your realtor for assistance regarding the requirements specific for your town, since many towns also require a Certificate of Occupancy.  Make sure you call at least 3-4 weeks before your closing and have the required number of working smoke detectors and a carbon monoxide detector before your scheduled inspection.  It is imperative that you obtain these certificates, as you cannot close on your home without them.

 

It is helpful if you provide our office a copy of your title policy and survey.  This helps speed up the Title process and if your survey is recent, may help the Buyer avoid the expense of a new survey.  The Buyer may ask that you sign an Affidavit of No Change to the property to be submitted with the old survey to his or her Lender.

 

As it gets closer to the closing, it is also your responsibility to order a final water reading, oil tank dipping (if applicable) and have your Gas and Cable companies switched to the buyer's name as of the date of closing.

 

Other expenses which you have paid through a date beyond the closing, such as taxes and sewer, will be pro-rated to you at closing.  If you are not current on your taxes and sewer charges, these will be adjusted at closing.

 

Do I need to attend the closing when I am the seller?

 

If it is not convenient for you to attend, since you may be busy moving, you can come to our office at an earlier date to sign the necessary documents so that one of our attorneys can appear on your behalf at the closing.

 

You will need to move out before the closing and the home must be broom-swept clean and emptied of all your possessions.  If you need to stay in the home for any days beyond the closing, our office can help you with a Use and Occupancy Agreement, if the Buyer is willing.

 

Do I need to pay my mortgage for the month of the closing?  

 

Not if your closing is scheduled prior to the 10th of the month.  If your closing is scheduled after the 10th of the month, we recommend you pay your mortgage that month to avoid the assessment of a late fee.

 

What about my Home Equity Line of Credit?

 

Your obligation is to pay off  any liens against your home, including your line of credit,  at or before closing, in order to provide the buyer clear title.  You should not make any new draws against this line of credit once you signed your Contract of Sale.  However, if you are using your HELOC towards the purchase price of a new home, it is important that you discuss this with our office.

 

When can I cancel my homeowner's insurance?

 

You can do this after the closing takes place.  You will be rebated by your insurance company back to the date of the sale of your home.

 

Go to Top  

 

 

Refinancing

 

What is a Refinance?

 

Basically, it is taking a new mortgage to pay off and replace your current mortgage(s).  Usually this is done when the owner of the property can get a better rate of interest on the loan.  The rule of thumb is to refinance if you are going to reduce your interest rate by at least one percent, but there are other factors to consider, such as the costs of a refinance.  To help you decide: 

Click here to find out:  Should you refinance your mortgage?

 

 

Why do I need an attorney for my refinance?

 

Our office will order and review the title search.  We will also make sure that the payoff amount is correct for your old mortgage and review your loan commitment for your new mortgage with you.  We will make sure that the taxes are pro-rated correctly and prepare a HUD settlement statement for closing.  If a new survey is needed, we will order the same or prepare an Affidavit of No Change to your Survey if the Lender accepts it.  We will also attend the closing, disburse the funds correctly and record the applicable documents after the closing takes place.  We will make sure that the old mortgage is paid off and discharged. 

 

What are the costs associated with a refinance? 

 

Besides the Lender's costs and attorney fees, the Lender requires a Title Search, Title Insurance, Homeowner's Insurance and a Survey, just as was done when you first purchased your home.  However, your costs can be minimized if you provide us with back title and your last survey.  

 

What do I need to know about the closing?

 

Just as when you purchased your home, all parties whose name will be on the Title and Mortgage need to be present at the closing, which usually takes place in our office.  An attorney from our office will be there to represent you.  Sometimes the Lender may have their Attorney attend on their behalf.  A refinance closing takes approximately 1 hour.

 

You will need to bring proof of photo I.D. for all parties and a certified, bank or cashier's check if you are not receiving cash from the refinance.  We will provide you with the exact amount you need to bring the day before the closing if necessary.  The check should be made payable to our Attorney Trust Account.

 

If you desire further information, please fill out our contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.  Thank you for your interest in our firm.

 

Go to Top