Buying or selling a home is a major transaction. In fact, purchasing a home will probably be the largest single investment you’ll ever make. Because the transfer of property in New Jersey is very complicated, there are many serious problems that might crop up when you are buying or selling real estate.
• Missing heirs, forgers, invalid divorces, irregular foreclosures and other unexpected complications can leave the legal ownership of the property up in the air, even though the deed appears to transfer full title.
• You may not be able to determine personally beforehand whether the property has any serious physical defects like water conditions, structural problems, inadequate electrical wiring, termite infestation or radon contamination.
• The seller’s title to the property may be burdened with mortgages, easements, unpaid taxes or other liens.
• The description or survey of the property may be either inadequate or incorrect. You may actually be acquiring less property than you think you are.
• All important details of the transaction may not be included in the contract of sale. Even if you have verbally agreed upon an item, if it’s left out of the contract, it’s unenforceable.
• Deed or zoning restrictions may prevent you from using the property as you’d like.
In New Jersey, real estate brokers and salespeople may prepare a contract for the sale of certain residential property. However, the agreement must allow you to consult with an attorney within three days, so that you have an opportunity to receive legal advice from someone authorized to provide it. When you retain the services of a real estate attorney, he or she will guide you through all aspects of the real estate transaction and address the common issues that may arise.