The Real Estate Sales Process in New Jersey
As a Seller of Real Estate in New Jersey, the first step is to assess the value of your home in the current market. You can do this by going onto a Web Site like Realtor.com to see what similar houses in your area are listed for and you can look in the Newspaper each week to see what houses have sold for. That can be time consuming. A better solution is to find a good local Realtor who knows your neighborhood and can easily provide you with comps and guide you on a Selling Price.
Once the Contract is entered into and signed, the Buyer and Seller have 3 days to give the Contract to an attorney who will then review it and recommend some changes. If changes are proposed, the attorney review period carries on until the Buyer and Seller have agreed to all changes. If the changes are agreed to, there is a binding contract. If the changes are not agreed to, the Contract will be cancelled at this point.
Once the Contract is binding, the Buyer will provide a deposit as per the terms of the Contract. The Buyer will have a certain time period to perform home inspections, septic inspections (if necessary), termite inspections (if necessary), water tests (if necessary) and radon tests (if necessary).
Once the inspections reports are provided, the Buyer then notifies the Seller in writing of any problems and asks the Seller to either make repairs, provide monetary credits based on repair estimates, or reduce the sale price. The Seller and Buyer enter into a new negotiation phase and if an agreement is reached, the Contract continues on. If agreement cannot be reached regarding repair issues, the Buyer typically has the right to cancel the contract and ask for the return of all deposit monies.
If the Buyer is purchasing for cash (no mortgage company), at this point a closing date can be finalized.
If the Buyer is utilizing a mortgage company, the Buyer will provide a mortgage commitment and a closing date will be set based on the mortgage company informing the parties when it should be ready to close. The mortgage company process can be tough because the underwriter takes over the file at this point and goes through the Buyer's financial information very carefully. Sometimes the underwriters will make several requests for additional documents and delays can be caused by the underwriting process which could force to the closing date to be pushed back.
Sometimes a Buyer will ultimately be denied a mortgage after going through all of the above and in that event, the Buyer or Seller may agree for the Buyer to try to obtain alternate financing or either party may cancel the Contract and the deposit monies will be returned to the Buyer.
As a Seller in NJ, you will be responsible for paying the Realtor commission which is generally 5%-6%. You will also have to pay a New Jersey Transfer Tax which is based on the sale price and can differ is you are staying in the State or moving out of state, if you are a senior citizen, or for a few other reasons. You will also have to pay some legal fees for Preparation of seller's documents including 1) a new Deed, 2) a 1099, 3) A Sellers Residency Certification, 4) an Affidavit of Consideration and a few other documents.
If you need legal assistance or guidance with the sale of your property in New Jersey, please contact me at (908) 537-7975 or firstname.lastname@example.org