REAL ESTATE LAW FIRM IN RIDGEWOOD, NJ
BUYING A HOME IN NEW JERSEY REQUIRES
REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY REVIEW
Congratulations, on the decision to buy your dream home in the Garden State! Once you have selected your home, you will need to make an offer to purchase your dream home.
Making the Offer
A licensed real estate agent will usually assist you in making the initial purchase offer. An offer to purchase is a written preliminary proposal that states that the buyer is willing to pay for the home, the estimated closing date and certain principal terms that the buyer and the seller need to agree upon. It is typical in New Jersey that your real estate agent will incorporate the offer to purchase in a preprinted form contract. At the time of signing, an initial deposit, which is called an earnest money deposit, is provided by the buyer. An earnest money deposit is a nominal amount to show that a buyer is serious about the purchase. This deposit will become part of your down payment (i.e. the total amount of cash for the home purchase that is not financed.) This deposit is usually placed in either the escrow account, which is a monetary trust maintained by a third party.
The contract is presented to the seller for consideration. The seller may accept your offer to purchase, reject it, or make a counteroffer. If a seller wants to change any part of your offer, you may receive a counteroffer specifying those changes. You, as the buyer, have the option to accept the counteroffer or you may respond by presenting a counteroffer of your own. When the seller has accepted your offer and/or counteroffer and both parties have signed and executed the contract, this is when the attorney review period commences.
Attorney Review Period
At this juncture, you will need to retain a real estate attorney. Why? In New Jersey, there is an attorney review clause in the preprinted form contracts. The attorney review clause provides that the buyer and seller have three (3) days from the date that the executed contracts are delivered, to consult a real estate attorney. During the attorney review period, the buyer can have an attorney review the contract and disapprove of the terms within the contract. At this stage, either buyer or seller can disapprove of the contract and render the contract null and void. If the contract is not disapproved within the attorney review period, the buyer will be bound by the contract as written.
This is the reason why it is crucial to contact and retain a real estate attorney. Only a real estate attorney can advise you of your rights as a buyer and recommend certain modifications that may be appropriate given the circumstances of your situation. A real estate attorney will protect you in both contract negotiations and navigate any disputes that may arise before or at the real estate closing or settlement. If there are certain modifications that need to be made to the contract, then the contract will be disapproved and modifications will be proposed for the other side to consider. Once all the modifications have been considered and agreed upon by both sides, then the contract is binding.
Purchasing a home is a big investment and you should consult an experienced real estate attorney to protect your rights. The expense of an attorney is minimal in comparison to the purchase of your home, bank charges, moving expenses, and other fees.
The Law Office of Carolina T. Curbelo, LLC
Please contact us if you have any questions concerning the purchase of residential real estate at (201) 379-4040.