Buying Selling Basics in Homes for Sale

Buying Selling Basics in Homes for Sale is something to review before any serious decisions are made. Having a clear Title is just as important as a Mortgage. Buyers must be sure they can get a Mortgage. However, a Seller must be sure they can present a clear Title at settlement - with no unforeseen liens, penalties, etc.

In Southern NJ, we operate under a "Time is of the Essence" Contract.

Each County has a different contract and must be explained carefully. However, we all are obligated to perform whatever has been agreed to by certain dates. If a date passes without a requirement being performed, be aware that your Contract of Sale may be voided!

Be sure to discuss all these variables with your experienced Realtor.

Buyer Basics

Before you start looking for that new home to purchase:

  • Check your credit rating! Be sure you have no credit issues before you even start to look for your new home. If you find any negatives on the report - fix it immediately and wait till it shows up corrected.
  • Have a serious discussion with your spouse so you both understand how much money you have to actually put down on your mortgage and what type of payment you can afford. 
  • Research the Types of Mortgages available to you. Pick the best one for your situation.
  • Get Pre-Qualified once you are sure of the Type of Mortgage you want. A Pre-Qualified Buyer is a much stronger Buyer - especially if you are competing on the same house against another Buyer. It takes more effort to do this, but will certainly help you if and when needed!
  • Choose a Realtor with experience that is willing to devote attention to you.
  • Try to determine the neighborhood/area before you go "looking"
  • Decide amongst yourselves what features you "must have" and what you can live without.
  • If relatives are involved in the decision process, make sure they look at every house - not just the one you want. They need to understand just as much what is and isn't available at your price. This is very true for first time Buyers! Mom and Dad need to see the "Good, the Bad and the Ugly" houses too!

Buyer Closing Costs

The Buyer is typically obliged to be responsible for:

  • All Mortgage Costs.
  • Inspections of the possible purchase house - Physical Inspection, Radon, Lead Paint, etc.
  • Survey and anything that protects the Buyer towards the future - Deed recording, etc. Even a cash buyer should have a Survey done. Future Protection is paramount in a Real Estate transaction.
  • Escrow, Interest Fees, Insurance Pre-paids, possible future real estate taxes, possible PMI.
  • Request a Loan Officer be present at your closing to explain all the details of your Mortgage Package. They are really the only "legal" person that understands and can explain the paperwork you will be signing.
  • Title Insurance is extremely important. It guarantees the actual Title you receive on newly purchased property is a clear and unencumbered purchase. Foreclosure/HUD/Short Sales are strongly advised to seek a Title "look-up" before any deposits, etc. are made. Most foreclosure sales will have an additional tax lien, utility lien ,etc on the property that will not be known or disclosed at the Sheriff Auction Sale. We recommend contacting Premier Title Company. We know how thorough and good they are. All Title company rates are established by the state. We just know from experience how thorough, timely and personable they are!


Seller Basics

The sellers biggest obligation is to be sure they can present a "clear Title" at the settlement table. The selling price of the house must be higher than all expenses incurred to sell the house. Many people sell their home with an outstanding balance still owed on their mortgage of their house. That's perfectly normal.

Aside from the possible mortgage balance due, the next biggest expense for the seller will be the commissions due to the Brokerage Firm(s) for selling the house. This fee is usually split 50/50 with the two different Brokerage Houses that Sell and Buy your home. The actual Agent(s) of each side will get a percentage of that fee from their Brokerage House(s).

Any unpaid Taxes, HOA Assoc dues, etc. must be available from the proceeds to be paid as well. Once all these items are cleared for the sale, the Seller really just needs to sign the Deed over and get paid the excess proceeds from the sale of their house.

FHA Fees are negotiable between all parties. However, any FHA repairs become a very "gray" area during the process. Many Buyers enter a very risky area when they pay for and do FHA mandated repairs before settlement can occur. Remember, the house will not be yours until AFTER Settlement!

Title Insurance Company

The Title Insurance Company is in charge of the entire settlement process. They will first determine if there are any liens on the property and "clear the Title". They will also determine what fees are still owed on the Mortgage(s),  various Taxing Agencies, Home Owner Associations, Utilities, etc.

The Title Insurance Company will furnish a standardized form called a HUD-1. This form will illustrate every penny of the proceeds, how it is paid out and to whom. All parties will sign this and get copies as well.


Terms, Definitions & Information

Foreclosure Information. That is certainly a very unpleasant situation for a Homeowner. Even though you may be a Buyer and looking for that "perfect" foreclosure, please try to be mindful of the person living in that house and the situation that are trying to handle.

Short Sale Information. These can bring what should've been a sale of a house to an absolute stand still - very quickly!

HUD Programs. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has a variety of programs to help people buy homes.

HomePath Financing. HomePath Financing is available for homes that are Fannie Mae owned through foreclosures.

FHA Loans. The FHA Loan Program is extremely helpful for first time buyers or people with a minimal amount of money to put down.

NJ Realty Transfer Tax

The NJ Real Estate Transfer Tax is updated and changed several times during the last 10 years. As a result, we are posting a link to their site directly for all information about NJ Realty Transfer Tax.

All of these various Buying Selling Basics in Homes for Sale need to be covered. It will be difficult to complete a successful and binding Contract if these buying selling basics aren't met. Buying a Home should be a fun occasion and minimal stress. Selling a home should be just the same.


As your South Jersey Realtor, I will do my best to be sure your Real Estate Transaction is as stress free as possible!



Please Contact Us if you need assistance or have any questions.



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