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Real Estate Law FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:

What is real estate law?

A:

The issues relating to the buying selling and owning real property.

Q:

What are some key issues for me to consider when reviewing a contract to purchase a home?

A:

All of the time limits in the contract, how long do you have to get your mortgage and the closing date. What items are included in the sale? Are there any oil tanks on the property or have any been removed? For what reasons may you cancel the contract? Is there a seller's disclosure?

Q:

What is title insurance, and why is it needed?

A:

Title insurance ensures that there are no liens on the property except your mortgage. That there are no issues in the survey or boundary lines and that there are no issues with people who were previous owners. If any of these things arise while you own the property the title company will either fix the issue or pay you the loose in value up to the insured amount. The bank will require title insurance up to the amount of the mortgage but you should insure up to the purchase price.

Q:

What is the difference between a General Warranty Deed, Special (Limited) Warranty Deed, and Quit Claim Deed?

A:

In New Jersey, the acceptable deed is a bargain and sale deed with covenants against grantors. Warranty deeds have not been used for 50 years. Title companies insure the bargain and sale deeds. A quit claim deed is not insurable because the seller says they are conveying only whatever ownership interest they may have. This interest may be defective.

Q:

What is an easement?

A:

An easement is an interest that someone other than the property owner has to use some portion of the property like a neighbor with a common driveway or a utility company to run their lines over or under the property.

Q:

If I have purchased a home where the seller agreed to certain repairs and those repairs are not made, what should I do?

A:

You should always verify the repairs prior to the closing date and if the repairs are not made or done correctly we go back to the seller and require them to complete or fix the repairs. If you wait till after the closing you probably will not be able to get them fixed because you have accepted the property in that condition at the closing.

Q:

What is the difference between residential and commercial property?

A:

Residential property is lived in and commercial property is used for business.

Q:

Do I really need to order a survey?

A:

Yes. The bank will require it and you need it for the title company to insure it and you need to know exactly what you are buying and make sure everything is where you think it is.

Q:

What is a 1031 Exchange?

A:

Is where you sell a piece of property and buy another piece at the same time you can pass any capital gains from the one you sell to the one you buy to defer paying the capital gains tax until you finally sell the new property.

Q:

What is an escrow and an escrow agent?

A:

Escrow is when money is held to make sure someone does something they agree to do such as a repair. An escrow agent is a person who holds the money until the task is completed.

Q:

If I have purchased a home and found that something inside the home was faulty when I purchased it, is there anything I can do about it?

A:

It depends. If the seller hides it from the buyer you can. But if you didn't look properly them you can't that is why we recommend the buyer have a home inspection by a professional inspector to check for defects.