I am purchasing a multi family home in New Brunswick NJ. The seller wants me to pay for fixes and obtain COO before closing. Is it legally possible?

Asked by Infosphere, New Brunswick, NJ Mon Jan 2, 2012

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Laura Feghali’s answer
Laura Feghali, Agent, Stamford, CT
Mon Jan 2, 2012
Hello Infosphere,
I don't believe that you can obtain a Certificate of Occupancy if you do not own the home. The seller would have to do this before closing.

I suggest that you inquire with a real estate attorney on how to proceed as they can advise you best.

Good luck!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
0 votes
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Sat Jan 7, 2012

It is perfectly "legal" yes. But, It is highly UNCOMMON for a seller to want you to get the COO for a property.

New Brunswick tough on its CO's. You will need a building inspection as well as a fire dept smoke cert. This could run into some $ for you to pay in order for the property to be in compliance.
Unless, of course you are buying a short sale or bank owned property, then you usually be responsible for the CO.

Otherwise, the seller is 99.999% of the time responsible for getting the CO prior to close.
1 vote
Mary Petti, Agent, Edison, NJ
Mon Jan 2, 2012

Yes it is possible and legal. Usually, if the house is listed with an agency, this stipulation is disclosed in the listing ( IE: buyer to obtain CCO/ fire certification and make repairs necessary to obtain necessary certificates) . Even if it is not listed with an agency, the seller can require you to do the fixes and obtain the CCO.

Many towns give temporary CO's as well. This is common pratice in many cases, especially in New Brunswick, and a short sale transaction.

If the house is listed, and/or you are using an agent, check with them to verify the municipalities procedure and if they issue a temporary CO. If you are purchasing this on your own, then do your due diligence and contact the township directly to see if they issue a temporary CCO (since you may not want to do the fixes until you actually close on and own the property) and speak to an attorney in both scenarios.
1 vote
Judy_annette…, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Mon Apr 10, 2017
Be careful you need a pre C of O inspection to know what your up against but keep in mind they want what they want The seller is avoiding it because they have gotten their money out of the property and don't want to deal with the C of O and the expenses it creates Be very careful if you can't comply you will be in trouble
0 votes
Rick, Home Buyer, 08901
Wed Mar 27, 2013
0 votes
Lindsay Murr…, Agent, Hillsborough, NJ
Mon Mar 5, 2012
I recommend linking up with your real estate agent and reviewing the letters that went back and forth during attorney review. It is possible that this was discussed and agreed to during this time.

If you do need to obtain it, I would schedule the appointment as quickly as possible as the price increases the closer to the closing date.

Good luck!
0 votes
Francesca Pa…, Agent, Manasquan, NJ
Fri Jan 6, 2012

This question would be best directed at your attorney and/or realtor. I would ask

(1) did the listing agreement proclaim "as is" therefore, you are resonsible for any and all "fixes"
(2) did the listing state that the buyer must obtain the COO?

Traditionally, serious issues with a home are negotiated and a seller obtains a COO, but if it is specifically stated in the listing and hopefully, your agent advised you fo same, yes this is legal . .. . but it is all about disclozure at the outset or you have an out via your attorney.

Francesca Patrizio, Broker Sales Associate,, ePro, SRES
732.606.2931 (Direct/Cell 24/7)
Web Reference:  http://www.PatrizioRE.com
0 votes
Joanne Berna…, Agent, Northfield, NJ
Thu Jan 5, 2012
Check your purchase contract carefully. Did you agree to buy the property in "as is" condition or does it state the seller must supply you with the CO? You should not be asked to pay for "fixes" that are the responsibility of the seller. To protect yourself fully, have a real estate attorney review the contract if you haven't already done so. It will be well worth the fee.
0 votes
Annette Levi…, , New York, NY
Tue Jan 3, 2012
If you are using a mortgage the CofOs must be in place before closing. You cannot get the CofOs because you have no legal interest in the property. The CofOs must be applied for by the owner.
If you are paying in cash then you can get the CofOs after closing.
0 votes
Kenneth Verb…, Agent, PRINCETON, NJ
Tue Jan 3, 2012
You may also want to contact New Brunswick dept of housing. Often the certificate of occupancy is required only if you are moving in. You may be able to purchase homes that are in horrible condition assuming all violations with the intent to demolish homes. If you have had a building inspection done under terms of your contract this may give you some insight as to what may be required. It sounds as if seller wants a clean sale with no surprises. This is legal and not uncommon, Just be sure to do your due diligence by having inspections done and contract terms that allow you to walk if conditions are worse than you are prepared to address.
0 votes
Kimberly "KI…, Agent, Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Mon Jan 2, 2012

Many of my real estate sales require the buyer to obtain the CO. I agree with Laura - you should have an attorney review your contract

It is not uncommon is this market for a buyer order and pay for the CO. In
some cases when I have the buyer side of the transaction and the seller requested the buyer to handle the CO, the buyers attorney will put a dollar cap on the CO For instance if cost to obtain a CO exceeds a certain dollar amount the buyer will have option not have to continue with the purchase.

It would also be a good idea to make sure all renovations or additions were done with permits and the permits were closed out prior to going any further

There may not be any issues, but better safe than sorry

Good Luck with you purchase
0 votes
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