If you’re buying a home in New Jersey, it’s important to understand how pre-closing inspections fit into the process. The inspections occur:
- AFTER the contract of sale is presented to you (or your attorney), and
- AFTER the Attorney Review period has concluded.
The Attorney Review period is a critical part of every New Jersey real estate transaction. For real estate contracts prepared by a licensed realtor, New Jersey has an automatic review period of three business days from the contract’s complete execution by all parties. During this review period, the buyer’s attorney makes important modifications to the contract, addressing any concerns that could be problematic or unnecessarily costly for the buyer, especially regarding inspections to be conducted. An experienced real estate attorney should always review your real estate contracts.
After the attorney review
Once the attorney review period is complete, the buyer begins preparations for the closing process. As noted by the real estate attorneys of Mariano & Coiro, P.C., preparing for the closing process means the buyer will:
- Make all contractually stipulated deposit payments;
- Submit the complete mortgage application and supporting documentation to the lender; and
- Schedule and complete the home inspection and all other related inspections.
The singular prominent moment in most real estate transactions is the conclusion of the home and related inspections, as the results will usually determine whether the home purchase will go forward.
Types of inspections
Although New Jersey home inspections generally have a similar blueprint, no two homes are exactly the same, and the matters to be inspected may differ, depending on a variety of factors.
In general, the principal types of inspections are:
- Structural & Mechanical Systems (e.g., foundation, roof, electrical, plumbing, etc.)
- Environmental (e.g., radon, asbestos, mold, lead based paint, etc.)
- Wood Destroying Insects (WDI — e.g., termites, carpenter ants, etc.)
- Septic System (if applicable)
- Well Water Analysis (if applicable)
When should inspections happen?
As noted by the real estate attorneys at Mariano & Coiro, P.C., a New Jersey home inspection must typically occur within two weeks of the conclusion of the attorney review period.
What a home inspection is — and is not
An in-depth article on New Jersey home inspections points out that many buyers think of the inspection report as a kind of insurance policy. But the inspection report is not that. Rather, an inspection report is a tool that highlights structural and other matters relevant to a home, and the inspection report should be seen as a way of educating yourself about a particular piece of property. Typically, the inspection report includes the inspector’s recommendations for repairs or replacements.
In a simple nutshell, a home inspection is an examination “of the structural and mechanical systems in a home, including the heating and air-conditioning systems, plumbing, walls, ceiling and foundation.”
And yet the inspection can encompass so much more than that, depending on the property itself. An inspection can involve radon testing, as well as checking for mold, lead paint, asbestos, chimney concerns and termites or other destructive insects. All these things and more may be key focal points in an inspection. One thing is certain. The importance of conducting inspections cannot be overstated. More importantly, however, having an experienced real estate attorney to advise and guide you regarding the inspection results is even more critical.
The real estate attorneys at the New Jersey law firm of Mariano & Coiro, P.C., have guided thousands of clients through residential real estate transactions throughout New Jersey. We have represented a valued and diverse clientele for more than 36 years, and we welcome contacts to our offices from individuals and families with any questions or concerns regarding real estate in New Jersey. We offer a FREE & CONFIDENTIAL consultation and can be reached by phone at 800-800-9933 or the firm’s contact page.