Home Buying in Eastampton>Question Details

Sarah, Home Buyer in New Jersey

What does it mean when it says buyer is responsible for township CO?

Asked by Sarah, New Jersey Thu Mar 3, 2011

Help the community by answering this question:


When you purchase a home there is to be a "certificate of occupancy" some towns require this to be done to deem the property habitable before the new buyer an move in. The “CO” can vary from town to town, some can have just a smoke alarm/fire extinguisher CO and some can have a physical home inspection by the town building inspector, or both! I have seen fee’s from $35 -150 for smoke detector inspections to $250.00 for Home “CO’s” . Each charge is usually separate.

Usually the seller is responsible the certificate of occupancy, but in short sales and "as is" sales, the buyer is usually required to obtain the CO.

Now, make sure your Realtor has all the necessary information to complete this task. You should not be "on your own" here, but by you asking the question I am feeling that you have not be advised of what to do. If you do get involved in a property where the buyer (you) are responsible for the CO.. turn to your Realtor immediately and say, You will take care of this for me yes? since you are helping me and I will need your guidance with obtaining the correct information and scheduling.

John Sacktig
Orange Key Realty
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 3, 2011

You are very welcome. It's always nice to know, and have acknowledged, when our answers help someone. Doing your homework is always a good thing but as Realtors it's also OUR job to explain the process when you actively decide to start looking at homes, so there are (relatively) no surprises along the say.

If you are thinking about the Middlesex county area, northern Monmouth County or Somerset county, when you are ready to start your home search, and have not already chosen a Realtor, feel free to call me and I will be happy to explain the basics from the start.
Best of luck,

Mary Petti
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 3, 2011
Just to put my two cents in...in SOME cases a specific township MAY allow a temporary CO be issued in order to close (however sometimes the bank will not allow a temp CO), BUT if a temp is issued, they give very specific timelines to get the repairs completed, come back and inspect, and there are fines if they are not done correctly and within the time frame.

That being said, you really need to speak to your Realtor who can advise and guide you. This type of information should have been explained the minute you went to see any house where the listings says "as is" and/or buyer responsible for...."ANYTHING" ...that the sellers would normally be required to do.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 3, 2011

The Co is the Certificate of Occupancy which is issued after the Township's inspection. Usually the Seller obtains the CO, but in short sales and "as is" sales, the Buyer is usually required to obtain the CO.

Hope that helps!
Good Luck to you!
Gina Fagnani
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 3, 2011
It means that you will have to provide the certificate of occupancy. In most sales, the owners are responsible for obtaining the inspection and approval for a c/o to be issued. However, that's not the case for all sales, and it's not just limited to short sales. Sometimes it's an estate, and sometimes it's just an "as is" sale because the homeowners do not want to do any work that might be necessary or incur any costs to obtain the c/o.
A c/o inspection may be as easy as a state fire inspection, showing that you have the correct fire extinguisher and carbon monoxide/smoke detectors. However, some towns are very strict in issuing c/o's and will have a more thorough inspection. Those are the ones as a buyer that can cost you a lot of money.
If you ever run across a property you want to buy that is "buyer to obtain c/o" just go to the municipality and see what is involved before you sign on the dotted line. They can usually give you a pre-inspection checklist so that you know what to expect.
Good luck!
Web Reference: http://www.dianeglander.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 3, 2011
Thank you all so much! I am actually trying to learn the basics so that when we do get serious with our Realtor I will have a good understanding of what he's talking about!! I like to be prepared as much as possible! The information you all provided was great! Thanks again!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 3, 2011
The answers below are right on the money.

If you have a real estate agent, it is there job and duty to explain this to you in advance of you ever seeing a home.

Good luck!
Web Reference: http://fglick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 3, 2011
To add to Gina's answer, if there are any issues that come up during the CO inspection, the buyer will be responsible for the repairs necessary to ultimately pass. You cannot close without a CO.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 3, 2011
Sarah, also be aware that what ever repairs the Township requires it will be your responsibility.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 3, 2011
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