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Residential Real Estate – South Jersey

Are You Selling or Buying a Home?

Unlike most law offices, an experienced, licensed attorney will actually read your contract before commenting on it, not a secretary or paralegal. ?AND a licensed attorney from our office will discuss our comments with you before sending the comments out to the other parties to the transaction. ?This may seem like common sense, but it is anything but common with real estate legal firms.

Consider this: ?we all know your home is most likely the biggest investment you will ever make, so do you really have to ask, “Do I really need a real estate lawyer?” ?An experienced attorney is the only person that can look out for your legal rights and give you legal advice in this transaction. ?Our fees our minimal when compared to the financial damage you could suffer by making a mistake. ?If you buy and sell houses all the time, you probably don’t need an attorney to represent you. ?But curiously, the ones with the most experience are the ones most likely to hire an attorney? ?Why do you think that is? ?Because they know the fees they will pay an attorney are a drop in the bucket compared to what a mistake in the purchase or sale of a several hundred thousand dollar home would cost. ?Check out our fees by clicking on this LINK.

So what could go wrong? ?As a seller, you need to avoid getting locked into paying unnecessary fees, or making repairs that really are not needed, especially if you want to sell your house “as-is.” ?As a buyer, you will need advice on home inspection issues, potential title issues with the property, which party is supposed to pay which expenses, ?how to take title to your new home, etc.

This is likely the most significant financial event you will undertake in your lifetime. ?Whether or not there are Realtors involved in your purchase or sale, you still need an experienced attorney, whose sole allegiance it to YOU and you alone. ?If a real estate agent prepared the contract, only a licensed attorney can review the contract during the three day attorney review period, prepare the deed, explain and/or avoid the “Exit Tax,” and give you the legal advice you need to protect your real estate interests. ?As experienced real estate lawyers, we will assist you with the following:

  • guide you through presale process
  • advise about various contingencies, e.g., mortgage contingency, inspection contingency, Resale Contingency
  • prepare the contracts, or
  • review contracts prepared by a real estate agent ***See Note Below***
  • discuss potential issues with you
  • create an addendum to the contract, which is almost always necessary for the “standard” realtor contract
  • review and comment on inspection reports
  • respond to or make requests for repairs
  • order title insurance
  • review the title report and address title issues
  • Explain the Realty Transfer fee and possible exemptions
  • review the property survey
  • review and explain the mortgage documents
  • prepare the deed
  • Explain or avoid the Exit Tax
  • review the settlement sheet with you
  • help resolve post-closing issues.
  • attend closing when needed. ?Note: attending a physical, in-person closing is becoming less and less necessary due to email, electronic signature software, etc.

Should you list your home with a real estate agent, or try to sell on your own?

This is a great question and comes up over and over again. ?On the sale of a $500,000 home, a typical real estate commission will be 6% or $30,000! ?Our typical fee for legal representation is ONLY $2,500 or less, start to finish. ?That’s not 6%, nor 5%… it’s only one half of one percent! ?So, it is mighty tempting to try to sell your house on your own in order to save on commissions, and I am quite happy to help you. ?We call this a For Sale by Owner?transaction or a FSBO. ?Some people just refer to it as a “private sale.” ?However, you definitely should consider retaining the services of?an experienced real estate agent , especially in a slow real estate market. ?He or she will make sure you get top dollar in this market, and steer away the “tire kickers” so you don’t waste your time and emotional energy. ?If you are buying or looking to buy, there is no reason not to use a real estate agent since the seller pays the commission, not the buyer. ?The right real estate agent will save you lots of time by prescreening properties.

Tools for Buyers.

If you are in the market to buy, you want to do your homework. If you know the block and lot of the property you are interested in, or the address, or the name of the property owner, you can easily find out how much the current owner pays in real estate taxes, the size of the lot, when the owner bought the property, how much they paid for it, who they bought it from, and lots of other great information. ?Follow the link below for the best website to obtain this information:

For general market information, or to get an overview of multiple properties, use the multiple listing site at New Jersey Multiple Listing Services.

How do I find out what other properties like mine are worth?

Any good real estate agent will be happy to provide you a complimentary, and professionally prepared comparative market analysis or CMA. They have at their disposal computer software specifically designed for this purpose, and you should take advantage of the opportunity. Whether you are thinking about selling on your own or listing through an agency, you should familiarize yourself with your local market. There are many free tools available. Feel free to use any of the links below for that purpose.

Comparing properties:
New Jersey Homes for Sale
New Jersey Multiple Listing Services

Market trends.

You should also familiarize yourself with local market trends. The market may not be as bad as you think, but?might?take a bit longer to sell your home than it has in the past. ?Follow the links below for market statistics in your area:

New Jersey Association for Realtors

Real Estate Industry Trends

*Real Estate Agencies are regulated by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Finance. View the Official State site.

We are a law firm in Medford, NJ but cover all 21 counties.??

For valuable information on specific real estate topics, please follow the links below to other pages on our site: