Ocean Township Residential Real Estate Lawyer Guides Buyers and Sellers

New Jersey firm assists with home transactions across Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties

For many New Jersey individuals and families, their home is their most valuable asset. Whether you’re buying or selling residential real estate, you have a great deal invested in the result. Hiring an experienced lawyer is the best way to avoid legal complications that might trip up the deal or cause you to leave with regret after the closing. The Law Office of Edmund F. Fitterer, Jr. provides skillful legal representation to clients during contract negotiations, closings and other matters involving residential real estate. From my office in Ocean Township, I give buyers and sellers throughout Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties the assistance and confidence they need to complete their transactions. 

Purchase and sale agreements

A purchase and sale agreement (PSA) is the document that formalizes the terms of a residential real estate transaction and acts as a roadmap for the process that leads to the closing. Negotiations in buying or selling a home can be wide-ranging, but if a condition or a point of agreement is not included within the PSA, it is unlikely that you will be able to enforce that part of the deal if and when a dispute arises. A PSA is legally binding, so you should not sign it without having it thoroughly reviewed by an attorney acting in your behalf. Specific provisions contained in the PSA can include the following:

  • Closing date — Parties often seek to close a residential real estate sale between 30 and 60 days after the agreement has been completed. If you require a different timeframe, I can negotiate with the other party for a different timeframe. 
  • Purchase price — There should be no ambiguity about the price the purchaser will deliver to the seller and how that amount will be obtained. 
  • Title information —Due diligence on the part of the buyer requires making sure that the seller actually owns the property. Accordingly, the PSA should have information about how the title search will be conducted. 
  • Escrow funds — Buyers usually put a small portion of the purchase price, known as earnest money, into an escrow account to indicate that they are serious about their offer. They forfeit those funds if they break the deal without an excusable reason as set forth in the PSA. Escrow accounts can also be used to hold money for taxes or repairs. 
  • Contingencies — Many things can go wrong prior to closing, and the PSA should list every reasonable contingency that might justify rescission of the deal, such as a problematic home inspection, failure obtain a suitable mortgage, title deficiencies or a property appraisal that does not support the purchase price. 
  • Conditions — You might only agree to the transaction as long as some condition is met prior to closing. For example, the purchaser could insist on repair of a certain defective condition being made before the transaction closes. 

Once the PSA is signed, that starts the attorney review period, which typically runs for three business days. During this period, either party can walk away from the deal. As an attorney with more than two decades of experience representing parties in residential and commercial real estate transactions, I thoroughly review the terms of the PSA and negotiate important revisions to make sure my clients’ rights are protected. 

Real estate closings

Ownership of a residential real estate property does not change until the closing occurs. The buyer must sign numerous documents in this process. Sellers have the option to attend, but frequently execute their documents beforehand and have their attorney provide them during the closing. There are several facets to a New Jersey closing, such as: 

  • The buyers’ walk through of the residence prior to closing
  • Execution of loan documents
  • Affidavit of title execution 
  • Payment of the remaining purchase price from buyer to seller
  • Settlement of real estate fees, closing costs and distribution of escrow account funds
  • Delivery of the deed by the seller to the buyer

A closing effectuates the transfer of property ownership and marks the conclusion of the real estate transaction. However, a small error can halt the process that has taken so long to complete. My firm will ensure that your documents are completed correctly and are ready when the time comes. I will also go over each one with you so you have a full understanding of your rights and obligations before you sign each one. 

Contact a New Jersey residential real estate lawyer for a free consultation 

The Law Office of Edmund F. Fitterer, Jr. in Ocean Township advises clients on residential real estate matters in Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties, as well as other parts of New Jersey. You can set up a free consultation at my office by calling 732-573-7333 or contacting me online

Contact the Firm


The Law Office of Edmund F. Fitterer, Jr.


802 W. Park Avenue,
Building 2, Suite 221,
Ocean Township, New Jersey 07712