Garden State Profits: A Guide to Efficient Land Sales in New Jersey

The New Jersey real estate market continues to be a seller’s market. Despite a statewide housing inventory shortage, there are several types of property available for sale, including land. Whether you want to buy or sell property in a new development, an existing subdivision, or a private farm or garden, experienced real estate attorneys can assist you with the process.

The first step in any Efficient Land Sales in New Jersey is a title search. This examines public records to identify the legal owner, the history of deed transfers, and any liens, code violations, or open court cases. The search reveals information to assist the buyers, sellers, their attorneys, and lenders make informed decisions about the purchase and sale of the property. A title company also typically issues a title insurance policy based on the results of the title search.

Buyers, through their attorneys and title companies, often request documents that must be fulfilled before the parties can enter a fully binding contract of sale. Some of these are required before closing, others are a condition of financing or the issuance of a title insurance policy, and some may be a requirement of the municipality where the property is located.

Among the most common requests are permits for installing mechanical systems central air conditioning, furnaces and hot water heaters), making additions/conversions new rooms or decks, alterations to the property’s appearance remodeling or demolition, and environmental concerns such as asbestos, mold, radon, underground tanks and soil contamination. Some municipalities require permits for the installation of swimming pools, tennis courts and other recreational uses. Lenders and inspectors also routinely demand inspection reports for loans and appraisals.

All property sales must be conducted in accordance with the New Jersey Subdivision Control Act. Developers must register their project with the Bureau of Subdivided Land Sales Control and provide proof of financial ability to complete promised improvements and amenities before selling lots in the subdivision. Developers must also post bonds, letters of credit or other acceptable assurances to cover construction costs and expenses in the event they default on their contractual obligations.

The final steps in land transactions include the attorneys’ review of settlement statements showing all disbursements and adjustments, the signing of closing documents and the transfer of keys and utility connections to the new owner. Closing procedures are complicated and time consuming, but an experienced attorney helps the client understand and expedite the process. Sellers must also prepare a 1099-S and GIT/REP forms to report sale proceeds to taxing authorities. The real estate attorneys ensure that the settlement statement correctly reflects net sale proceeds, agent fees, prorations, and pay-offs, and that the closing documents properly record the transfer of ownership interest. After closing, the attorneys file the recorded deeds and other instruments with the county clerk to give full effect to the transaction. A successful real estate transaction requires the participation of many parties, each relying on the experience and expertise of the other to perform their tasks.