Real Estate Attorney in Morris County NJ
Real Estate Closings  

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The realtor has advised us to sign the Contract before attorney review. Is this standard?

As long as you have been advised by the realtor (as opposed to a For Sale by Owner), it is acceptable to sign the Contract first. This is a way an offer is made in New Jersey. Nevertheless, you must see to it that the fully signed Contract is delivered or faxed to your attorney without delay. Having signed the contract, attorney review will still proceed regardless if the Contract has or has not been delivered to your attorney.


Attorney Review

I have signed the Contract on a weekend, will this affect me?

The attorney review period will not begin until the following business day, so it is acceptable to fax or deliver the Contract to your attorney over the weekend (if available) or the subsequent Monday morning.

Who arranges for home inspections? What is commonly done with the results found?

The Buyer is responsible for arranging home inspections. Frequently, assistance in finding an inspector and scheduling the inspection date will be provided by a realtor. Most contracts will recommend that inspections are completed within 10-14 days following attorney review. We will require a copy of the inspection report upon completion. Any inspection issues must be relayed to us so that we can alert an attorney regarding these issues within the appropriate amount of time.

What inspections need to be performed?

A general structural home inspection, a radon inspection, and a wood boring insect inspection are all mandatory. However, inspections that apply to asbestos, mold, stucco or overhead electrical wiring should be considered.

Although most lenders do not require inspections (with an exception to the infestation inspection) they will require an “Infestation Certificate” proving absence of infestation in the home. This certificate will need to be shown to the lender before your file will be clear for closing.

An underground oil tank sweep is wise to determine if there are any underground oil tanks on the property. Many times, sellers will represent that there are no tanks on the property, when contrary to the seller’s knowledge there is in fact, a tank present.

The inspections are intended for your protection, not the lenders’. Please keep in mind, upon closing, the home is yours, and the Seller is no longer responsible for the condition of the home hereafter.

What should be done if there is a well or a septic system on the property?

If a septic system is present on the property it will need to be inspected. The buyer is responsible for this inspection. Due to the variety of types of septic inspections available, you should most likely discuss these tests with your home inspector.

If a well is present on the property, it will need to adhere to the Private Well Testing Act, N.J.S.A. 58: 12a-26 to 37. The law requires that certain tests be performed, however does not state which party is responsible for payment of such tests. Typically, the Seller pays for the cost. The tests are a bit extensive, therefore should be ordered as soon as the contract is signed. Test results are valid for one year from sampling date, with an exception to coliform results, which are valid for six months. A signed certificate that reflects that both parties have received and reviewed the well test results will be necessary upon closing.


Title Search

What is title and who orders the title search?

Title is ordered from an independent title company, and we only charge you the amount that is charged by the title company. Title insurance is regulated by law, which means the cost of title insurance will never vary from company to company.

As soon as attorney review is completed, our law firm will order the title search in addition to the survey. It takes approximately two weeks for the title search to be completed. When title is received, it is reviewed by our office for errors, and then submitted to your lender. Your lender will need to authorize the title before clearance is granted for you to close. When you close, the insured title to the property will belong to you, however the actual title insurance policy will not be issued for months after closing.


What is the survey? Who will order the survey? Why do we need a survey?

The survey is a like a map that reflects the location of the dwelling relative to the perimeter of the property lines.

Our office will order title along with the title search, once attorney review is complete. Lenders require that a survey be illustrated and submitted to them for approval, prior to the closing. In some cases, the lender may accept an existing survey if it isn’t outdated and if the Seller is able to provide an Affidavit stating that no changes have been made to the property since the date of the survey. If you opt to use an existing survey, you need to inform us so that we do not order a new survey for you.



What do I need to know about the appraisal and how it is handled?

The appraisal will be ordered by the lender and advances the market value of the property. The lender usually charges the buyer a fee for the appraisal. We are not provided with the appraisal in advance, nor is it typically available at the closing. In order to receive a copy of the written appraisal, most lenders will require a letter within 90 days after the closing.


Closing Concerns

What will I need at the closing?

Please bring a certified check, bank check, or cashier's check. Personal checks will not be accepted at the closing. You will be provided with the exact amount of the check as soon as the numbers are available to us. Please make checks payable to: "Martin D. Eagan Attorney Trust Account".

Wire transfer funds are also accepted by our attorney trust account. If you would like to wire transfer your funds, please contact our office and we will provide you with the appropriate instructions. All transfers must be placed at least one day prior to closing date to ensure receipt.

You will also need to bring proof of homeowner's insurance (declaration page and receipt proving payment of one year). In the unlikely event that minor adjustments need to be made between parties at closing, it is wise to bring a few personal checks.

If you are married or if you purchased the home with a partner, you must both be present at the time of closing and bring photo identification.



Who attends the closing and how long will it last?

An attorney from the law firm Martin D. Eagan. will join you and your spouse or partner at the closing. Generally, a representative of the lender does not attend the closing but will send all documentation by delivery or email. The other party and their representing attorney will also be present at the closing. However, on occasion, a Seller may send an attorney as their legal representative bearing pre-signed closing documents. Frequently, realtors will also attend the closing. Typically, a closing will take approximately 1 to 2 hours.

Closing Location

Where will the closing be held?

In New Jersey, it is custom that the closing occurs at the office of the Buyer's attorney. If you are purchasing new construction, the closing occurs at the office of the Builder's attorney. Refinances can often be done at your home or office of your lender.


If you don't see the answer you are looking for please give us a call we're happy to help.



The Law Office Of Martin D. Eagan
52 Maple Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
Tel.: (973) 898-7300 | Fax: (973) 734-1903

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