BlogBuying & SellingCentury 21 PreferredNew Jersey Real EstateNew Jersey Realty February 15, 2024

Steps in Buying a New Home in New Jersey

Buying a home in any state can be overwhelming, especially without any guidance from a
professional realtor. To provide some guidance and make the process easier, provided below
are 10 systematic steps to purchasing a home in New Jersey.
Step 1: The Decision to Buy

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or entering the marketplace as a repeat buyer, you
need to ask why you want to buy. Are you planning to move to a new community due to a
lifestyle change or is buying an option and not a requirement? What would you like in terms of
real estate that you do not now have? Do you have a purchasing timeframe? Whatever your
answers, the more you know about the real estate marketplace, the more likely you are to
effectively define your goals.
Step 2: The Mortgage Pre-Approval

In New Jersey the demand for housing is high. It is highly recommended that buyers be “Pre-
Approved” by Qualified Mortgage Agency/Broker prior to starting the home search process.
Although the pre-approval is not a final loan commitment, the pre-approval letter is needed
when bidding on a home. It demonstrates your financial strength and shows that you have the
ability to proceed with a purchase.

Buying a Home in NJ

Step 3: Preview Homes for Sale

Your Realtor can provide detailed information on any property currently listed for sale,
whether it is listed by a Weichert Realtors or any another real estate company. If you see a “For
Sale” sign or an ad in the newspaper on a property that interests you, contact me immediately
so I can provide you with all the details including the price, description, special features, and
the financing terms. Remember, I am already familiar with your housing and financial needs, so
there is no reason to go through the process again with someone else. This will save you time
and take the hassle out of house hunting… and, it won’t cost you a penny more!
Step 4: Home Selected – Plan The Approach

Negotiating the purchase agreement is part of every transaction. Preparation lets you
negotiate the best price and terms obtainable. I will help you in developing negotiating
strategies and techniques to plan the approach to be taken.
Step 5: Make The Offer

You have found one that meets your needs and you are ready to make an offer!
The process varies around the country. In a typical situation in New Jersey, you
will complete an official contract of sale that your Realtor Sales Associate will
prepare, have you review and sign then present to the owner and /or owner’s
representative. You will be expected to submit a good faith deposit, usually
$1,000 as earnest money at this time. The owner, in turn, may accept, reject, or
make a counter-offer. Because counter-offers are common (any change in an
offer can be considered a counter-offer) it is important for buyers to remain in
close contact with your Realtors Sales Associate during the negotiation process
so that any proposed changes can be reviewed quickly. Your purchase offer
should be carefully prepared and presented by your Realtors Buyer’s Agent.
Step 6: Offer Acceptance – Attorney Review Commences

In New Jersey, although not mandatory, it is a prudent, typical practice to hire an
attorney for the closing of real estate. An accepted buyer offer leads to a legally
binding purchase contract. The contract is a signed agreement between the
seller and the buyer. Attorney review in the state of New Jersey is considered
three business days, but can be extended. During the three-day attorney review,
either party can cancel the contract. A list of Attorneys will be provided to you so
you can call and make your selection.
STEP 7: Home Inspections Ordered – Performed

As a buyer in New Jersey, you are responsible for hiring and paying for a home
inspector. The home inspection should be ordered within 10 days of the contract
being signed. A number of inspections are common in New Jersey residential
realty transactions. They include inspection for termites, wood-boring insects, a
radon inspection, mechanical and structural inspection. Attorneys order the title
insurance, survey and record the deed. During these examinations, an inspector
comes to the property to determine if there are material physical defects and
whether expensive repairs and replacements are likely to be required in the next
few years. Such inspections for a single-family home often require two or three
hours, and buyers should attend. This is an opportunity to examine the property’s
mechanics and structure, ask questions and learn far more about the property
than is possible with an informal walk-through. Any home inspection issues should
be addressed immediately after inspection results are received.
Step 8: Have The Home Appraised

Lenders will arrange for an appraiser to provide an independent estimate of the
value of the house you are buying. The appraiser is a member of a third party
company and is not directly associated with the lender. The appraisal will let all
the parties involved know that you are paying a fair price for the home.
Step 9: Mortgage Commitment Second Deposit Attorney Orders, Title Work, Survey, Etc.

At this time in the process, you as a buyer have already been pre-approved for a
loan and the final mortgage commitment is being awaited. Typically, this process
can take up to 30 to 45 days before a final written mortgage commitment is
received. Whatever time frame is specified in the contract of sale, normally after
10 business days, the balance of usual 10% deposit is due. Your attorney will also
start the process of ordering the survey, and title work.
Step 10: The Walk Through The Closing

Coordinated through your Agent, the walk-through inspection is performed the
day of the closing. The walk-through of the home you’re about to close on lets
you re-confirm the condition of the home before the closing takes place. What to
expect: Settlement is a brief process where the necessary paperwork needed to
complete the transaction is signed. Closing in New Jersey is typically held at the
buyer’s attorney’s office, sometimes with both buyer and seller at the same table,
sometimes with each party completing their paperwork separately. The buyer
traditionally arrives 45 minutes earlier to handle the mortgage paperwork. Title to
the property is transferred from seller to buyer. The buyer receives the keys and
the seller receives payment for the home. From the amount credited to the seller,
the closing agent subtracts money to pay off the existing mortgage and other
transaction costs. Deeds, loan papers, and other documents are prepared,
signed and filed with local property record offices.

I look forward to finding you the home of your dreams!