Home Buying in Woodbridge>Question Details

Guest, Both Buyer and Seller in New Jersey

whens the best time to get an inspection done, before or after attorney review

Asked by Guest, New Jersey Tue Dec 20, 2011

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Depending on which state you are in things are done differently. It is best to consult with an experienced buyers agent to guide you throught the process. Good luck!
5 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 24, 2012
In Mass, I hired Team Stevens & Manley to help me through the process! It went amazingly smooth.
Flag Sun Feb 24, 2013
Thanks for the tips. Great Blog.
Flag Sat Oct 20, 2012
I was advised to get a home inspection right away to make sure there were no major structual, safety issues with the house I was buying.
Flag Thu Oct 11, 2012
I agree. Thanks for the infomation. Very helful
Flag Tue Oct 9, 2012
In NJ, the home insepction is done immediately after attorney review as you have 15 days pursuant to most contracts to contest an unforseen issues and ask the seloler for credits or to share in the expense. And keep in ind that those 15 days include (1) time to inspect and (2) negatoations b/t buyer and seller's attorneys . ... alhtough as long as the inspection is done immediately upon conclucion of review trhe negotiation pro cess these days can take foever!

Francesca Patrizio, Broker Sales Associate,, ePro, SRES
Jersey Shore
732.606.2931 (Direct/Cell 24/7)
Web Reference: http://www.PatrizioRE.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 6, 2012
Great answer Fracesca! How is your market?
Flag Mon Sep 24, 2012
You're correct, Alan - the answer does (as in a lot of cases when answering questions online) depend on where you are located..... which is why I am always puzzled when an agent from another state gives a consumer specific advice, that very often is absolutely wrong.

Quick question - in Chicago, are both parties bound to the contract during your attorney review? What could cause the deal to die during that time period? (I had one die basically because the attorneys didn't get along!)

Here, as was mentioned below, either party can cancel the sale during the att. review without the need for a specific reason - hence, for a normal sale, most buyers wouldn't want to pay for an inspection if the other side could kill the deal.
Here, they usually have 10 days following the review to complete their inspections. Any negotiations for inspection items happen at that time.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 31, 2011
Always interesting to see how it's done cross-country.

In the Chicago area, we too, start with signed contracts... but our signed contracts have a built-in 5-day period for attorney review and inspection which run concurrently. So the inspection is done in that initial 5-days, and at the end, the attorney weighs in and raises any issues that were uncovered during inspection.

So for Chicago area buyers, the answer would be "before attorney review is complete" or "during attorney review". Clearly in New Jersey, that answer wouldn't be correct.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 31, 2011
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
Michael Liew - to clarify - we start off with "signed contracts" here in NJ .
In NY, where you are, it is done differently, so your "advice" might be confusing to a consumer from NJ who is reading this .

Guest, one of the main reasons for not doing the inspection during attorney review is, as Jeanne mentioned, ....is..... why spend so much money on an inspection if the sellers have the ability (as do you) to cancel the deal during the review? Either party can potentially walk away during that time period..

One other correction to what was said here - if "anything detrimental" is discovered (contract verbiage references "structural" issues), generally the seller is given the opportunity to make the repairs or offer a credit at closing for those repair items
Unless your contract specifically states it, you may not just be able to "walk away" without first offering that option to the sellers.

It's always the best advice to...........Read your contract, along with any changes your attorney made during the review, and discuss any questions you might have with your attorney!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 28, 2011
HI there - your contract will specify the time you have to complete the inspection and report any requests to the seller. Generally, inspections are done after attorney review is concluded - so that you are not spending money until you have an agreement on terms and are under contract.

Good luck to you,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 28, 2011
Since you are looking in New Jersey, the typical process and my advice is to perform inspections after attorney review...There is no point in spending the money prior to having the contract firmed up. Attorney's can have a way of "killing deals" so, wait until AR is complete! Best of Luck!
Don't foget Radon, Well and Septic tests if the property has them. ~ Tara
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 31, 2011
"Technically", no... since the reason for disapproval of the contract cannot be about price. But as we both know, it's easy to generate some other reason... (for example, the other offer closes sooner, or they're offering more security in the loan by putting down more money, or they're willing to offer a rent-back, or allow you to leave the crawl space full of junk)...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 31, 2011
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
so, to continue the hijacking :)

what if the seller receives a higher offer during the attorney review? can they kill the deal and accept the higher offer just because they want to? (here they can )
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 31, 2011
Not to hijack "Guest's" question... but hey, what the heck.

Illinois law allows for cancellation, during attorney review, by either side, for any reasonable reason other than price. But the interesting part is that we don't have to divulge what that 'reasonable reason' is.

Yes, the deal could blow-up based on attorney review, but it's fairly rare. And since Inspection runs concurrently, at least you know once A/I (Attorney Review/Inspection) is over, that the only obstacle remaining is mortgage commitment. It's rare, although not unheard of, for cancellation based on attorney review, without some real issue that the parties can't agree upon.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 31, 2011
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
The best time to get an inspection depends upon the people and house involved. While most inspections are done after attorney review is completed, there are times when I have been asked to inspect the house during attorney review and even before an offer is made. Your attorney should guide you along with your own preferences. A brief summary of pros and cons is as follows:

Performing the inspection after attorney review (as is most common in NJ) means the seller can no longer cancel the agreement without cause. As such your money is not wasted. On the flip side, should a material defect be discovered during the inspection and the seller remedies the situation, you can't cancel the contract (generally). While this makes sense, you may no longer be as pleased buying the house.

If the inspection is done prior to the completion of attorney review, you have the right to cancel the contract for the slightest issue without giving the seller the opportunity to remedy. That is why many attorneys will not allow their sellers to allow for inspections prior to the completion of attorney review. The only negative to performing the inspection early is the waste of your inspection fee if the seller cancels the contract during attorney review.

Some examples of reasons to perform the inspection early include:
Short sale that may take months for review and acceptance, tying you up in a property that may have issues.
Good verbal/written understanding with the seller looking for a very quick closing.
There are 2 or 3 properties that you are interested in buying and inspection may aid in that decision.

These are just some examples that I have been involved with and there may be more. Feel free to contact me for more information. I don't make money for referrals, just my inspections.

Rafi Footerman
Mid Jersey Inspections
NJ Home Inspector Lic. #076900
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 30, 2011
most sellers will not permit home inspections to be done before attorney review is concluded. also, a buyer has no reason to conduct a home inspection before attorney review is concluded. if the home inspection reveals anything detrimental about the home, you can back out of the deal anyway
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 20, 2011
Your agent, and or attorney should be advising you regarding the timing of the inspection; therefore if you are not working with a professional consider the idea.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 20, 2011
Usually after the contract is signed. If any major issues come up during the inspection, be sure to let your realtor and attorney know. They might be able to negotiate with the seller for new terms.
Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 20, 2011
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