THE HOME IS YOURS: ALMOST
The road to moving into your dream home begins when your purchase offer is accepted by the seller(s). It ends weeks or months later when you become the new registered owner of the property. In New Jersey, real estate agents write the contract for home purchases, then a real estate attorney becomes part of the buying team to complete the home buying process.
6.1 Attorney Review
The three-day minimum, attorney review period begins the next business day after all buyers and sellers have signed the contract and received a copy of the contract. Attorney review can last for weeks. Until attorney review is completed you or the seller can decide to cancel the contract for any reason or no reason at all.
You will need to select a real estate attorney to represent you through the buying process. Choose carefully. We can recommend attorneys to you. You can also research and receive recommendations from friends and family.
Just make sure the attorney you select covers the following:
- Has practiced in the area/county you are purchasing in.
- Is not scheduled to be in court or on major vacation during the time you need her/him.
- Is an actual practicing New Jersey real estate attorney.
- Is not going to hand you off to a paralegal you have not interviewed.
- Is going to communicate with you in the manner and type you are comfortable with throughout the process.
- Is going to charge you at the end of the transaction, not beforehand.
Once you are out of attorney review, you are in a binding contract and cannot just cancel the contract on a whim. It’s time to complete your mortgage application, conduct your home inspections, and deliver your second deposit. You will then review your professional inspection report with your REALTOR and attorney to determine your next steps. Other inspections, such as a chimney or pool inspections, may be recommended to you. You will close out your inspection contingency and continue the buying process. If the home inspection can not be resolved, the contract may be canceled.
6.3 Appraisal and Lending
Keep in close communication with your lender to insure you will receive your mortgage commitment within the contractually agreed upon time. She will let you know when additional documents are needed to approve your loan application and fund your loan. The lender will send an appraiser to the property. Appraisers are specialists in determining the value of properties, based primarily on a combination of square footage measurements, building costs, and recent sales of comparable properties. When you are within one to two weeks of closing, double check with your lender to be sure everything is set and ready to close on time. Be prepared for the lender to ask you to provide more information. Once the mortgage commitment is received you continue the buying process. If the mortgage commitment can not be obtained or if the commitment is not received by the agreed upon date, the contract may be canceled. We will guide you through this process to make it as smooth as possible.
6.4 Utilities and Services
Right before your closing date — when all the paperwork is signed and you become the owner of the home — you will need to schedule to change the utilities and services of your new home over to your name. This is also a good time to change your address for your mail, driver’s license, and voter registration. It can take a couple of weeks for your mail to actually begin coming to your new address.
6.5 Final Inspection
Immediately prior to closing, you will complete a walk-thru inspection to make sure everything is in order. You will then meet at your attorney’s office for the closing to review and complete an array of paperwork to transfer the ownership of the home to you. Before this day, your attorney will provide you with all the final numbers and review which checks you must arrive to the closing with to complete the transaction. All checks should be certified or you may can use money orders.
You’ve signed all the papers, given over all the monies and now have the keys.
The home is yours!!! Move in and enjoy.