What you need to know legally before closing on a home

Home buying tips from our professional real estate lawyers

Buying your first home is a hugely important and exciting time. Our New Jersey real estate lawyers have helped many first-time homebuyers close on their homes, so we’ve put together this helpful home closing checklist with legal action points you must be aware of. We recommend being fully prepared because closing on a home is stressful, sometimes frustrating, and when you’re organized and thorough, it protects yourself and your investment.

About to close on your first home? Here’s our checklist

  1. Get your paperwork organized. Buying a home usually results in a mountain of paperwork, so get a binder and organize all of your important documents. This includes proof of homeowners insurance, government-issued photo ID, a copy of your contract with the sellers, all inspection reports, and your mortgage forms.
  2. Take care of all contingencies. Contingencies are things the buyer agrees they’ll do before the purchase is complete. Common contingencies include home inspections, appraisals, and financing. This means as the buyer you can have the home professionally inspected, have it appraised by a third party, and if you’re unable to obtain a mortgage you can legally back out of the deal. 
  3. Get final mortgage approval. While a financing contingency protects you in case your mortgage isn’t approved, you don’t want it to come to that. Once you make your down payment, your loan will go through the underwriting process before it’s finalized. 
  4. Clear the title. Legally owning the home means the title is in your name, and in order for the title to be in your name, your lender requires a title check to be run and ensure no one else has any legal claims to the house.

Legal representation when buying a house in NJ 

Buying a house, especially when it’s your first home, is rarely a straightforward process. New buyers can also be at a slight disadvantage because they aren’t aware of common pitfalls, which is why we recommend working with experienced real estate lawyers. Partnering with a NJ based attorney will make the journey smoother and can protect you and your future home from any unforeseen blips. 

If you’d like more information about the many legalities involved in buying a home, or if you have any questions, please contact our team at SCC Legal today. Discover why so many New Jersey homeowners trust us as their real estate lawyers.

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