Residential Real Estate in New Jersey - Hamilton - Princeton

Residential Real Estate in New Jersey: Selling Your Home

Selling your home can be a stressful event. At the advice of a licensed realtor, you will take many steps to prepare your home for sale, such as staging and making any repairs and/or changes that will make your house more marketable.

The following is an overview of the sale process once the buyer and the seller have signed the contract of sale.

Attorney Review

The attorney review period is for three business days once the seller and the buyer have signed the contract of sale. During this period, the attorneys negotiate the terms of the contract of sale and during the same time, the contract of sale can be cancelled for any reason. The three-day period is extended once one of the attorneys sends the attorney review letter, and this period can continue to be extended until the parties agree on the terms of the contract of sale.

Home Inspection

After the attorney review period, the buyer has a contractually agreed upon time period to conduct a structural inspection and provide a report. The inspection also includes radon and wood destroying insect tests. Pursuant to most contracts of sale, while generally the house is being sold “as is,” the buyer has the right to cancel the contract of sale if the seller does not agree to make repairs. Alternatively, usually the seller can cancel the contract of sale if an agreement cannot be reached as to repairs.

Certificates of Occupancy

The Certificate of Occupancy is the responsibility of the seller. Your realtor will assist you with applying for and obtaining the Certificate of Occupancy. Depending on your municipality, some inspections for the Certificate of Occupancy are more involved than others. As the seller, you will also have to obtain smoke and carbon monoxide certifications.

Mortgage Contingency

Most contracts of sale are contingent upon the buyer obtaining financing. If the buyer is unable to obtain financing, the contract of sale can be canceled by either party without any penalties. The mortgage contingency, like other contract of sale provisions, can be extended and/or amended by consent of the parties.


At closing, the seller will pay: real estate transfer tax fees, the fees associated with paying off any mortgages and/or liens, any unpaid real estate taxes, water and sewer bills up until the time of closing and a homeowner’s transfer fee if the property is part of a homeowner’s association.

Your attorney’s fee is also part of the closing cost, but is only disbursed to the attorney at the time of closing. If your contract is canceled, an attorney may charge a contract cancelation fee based on the work performed.

The closing date is subject to change based on various factors including the mortgage commitment and/or inspection issues. If you are planning on buying a new home, be sure that your new contract is contingent upon the sale of your home.

As the seller, you will review the title search performed by the title company to clear up any liens and/or judgments prior to the closing. You will sign an Affidavit of Title stating that you have good title in the property. You will also sign the Deed and associated tax forms because real estate transactions can have tax consequences.

If you are unable to attend closing, you can have your attorney prepare a Power of Attorney which provides the attorney with authority to sign documents on your behalf.

Finally, by the time of closing be sure that your property is broom clean (free of any personal items and debris) for the buyer’s walkthrough the day before or on the morning of the closing.

For more information regarding residential real estate transactions, contact the Law Office of H. Benjamin Sharlin LLC for a free consultation.

Please be advised that this blog is for informational purposes only, is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

The Law Office of H. Benjamin Sharlin LLC

is owned and operated by H. Benjamin Sharlin and serves all of Mercer County, New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Mr. Sharlin is a bilingual Spanish-speaking attorney who vigorously represents the interests of all his clients.

Call (609) 585-0606 or click the button below to schedule an appointment

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