Home Buying in Cape May>Question Details

Lorraine,  in Cape May County, NJ

Is a Seller Disclosure a necessary part of the selling process in NJ. Can an interested buyer pay to have an inspection done before signing an A/S?

Asked by Lorraine, Cape May County, NJ Thu Aug 18, 2011

inspection before signing an agreement of sale ?

Help the community by answering this question:


disclosure is not required by law but may be a company policy. Inspections prior to contract are up to seller. In some cases (like corp relocations there may be a provision for this) the down side is while one buyer is doing inspections (spending money) another could come in and contract to buy. Most buyers opt to have the protection of inspection clause in contract and do inspections after binding contract.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 18, 2011
As I've read some comments here, and I encourage salespersons to be careful - A few years ago in the case Nobrega v. Edison Glen Assocs., 167 N.J. 520, 529 (N.J. 2001), the court stated that "a builder-developer of residential real estate, or a broker representing it, is not only liable to a purchaser for affirmative and intentional misrepresentation; but is also liable for nondisclosure of ... physical conditions known to it, and unknown and not readily observable by the buyer; if the existence of those conditions is of sufficient materiality to affect the habitability, use, or enjoyment of the property and, therefore, render the property substantially less desirable or valuable to the objectively reasonable buyer." In other words if the seller and broker of residential real estate are aware of problems there is a a duty to disclose.
Meanwhile, to the buyer asking the question -- why pay to do an inspection prior to contract? Have it be a condition of your sale. Your attorney can add this to the contract during the three day attorney review period.
Best wishes,
Michele Peters
Web Reference: http://www.mpetersesq.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 21, 2011
I think Kenneth's answer was accurate to the question asked. He also suggested inspections as part of the contract and did not say anything about not disclosing known material defects.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 27, 2013
I failed to mention and should disclose I am an attorney practicing in New Jersey and New York. Thank you.
Michele Peters
Law Offices of Michele A. Peters, P.C.
Web Reference: http://www.mpetersesq.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 22, 2011
Michelle is absolutely correct, I should have been clearer, a written SELLERS disclosure is not required by law but we as agents /brokers must disclose what ever defects we are aware of which may not be obvious. We should also be advising our clients to disclose of any defects hidden that they know of. (good luck with that when it comes to REO and foreclosure sales :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 22, 2011
Lorraine, I think it would be helpful if you sat with someone (an agent) who could walk you through the home buying process from start to finish.

That way you will understand how the attorney review period can protect you.....and that most standard contracts agents use already have built-in contingencies for home inspections and mortgage approval time frames.

If you understand the process, you will see that you could be throwing yor money away by having an inspection prior to signing a contract.

If you are attempting to buy a for sale by owner.......without a buyer's agent...I suggest you hire a real estate attorney before proceeding.

Best wishes..........
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 21, 2011
A sellers disclosure is not a legal requirement to selling in NJ. As an agent, I like to have one when I present an offer. This way, the sellers know we are basing our offer on the information about the condition of the house.
As far as inspecting the house before signing a contract of sale, it will depend on whether or not the sellers will allow it.
Web Reference: http://www.dianeglander.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 19, 2011
Hi! We request a property disclosure when we take the listing. If one is not provided we note that but most of our owners comply. It only benefits them to fill it out. Yes, you can have an inspection done before submitting an offer.

I can answer any questions for you. I'm a full time realtor associate covering Atlantic and Cape May counties. 609839028- or email me. I look forward to hearing from you !
Web Reference: http://Www.handlehomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 18, 2011
A seller's discclosure in not mandated in NJ. If a seller client does not want to sign a seller's disclosure, I have them sign a form stating they were offered to opporunity to fill out the disclosure and declined.

An interested buyer can have a home inspection prior to signing a contract, providing the seller agrees.

Laura Giannotta
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 18, 2011
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