Law Firm of Richard T McCarthy
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 Residential Transactions


The Law Firm Of Richard T. McCarthy provides the expertise and personal service needed to assist you in making the purchase of residential real estate simple and painless. Provided here are some basic answers to the most common questions asked during the purchase of a home.

Please feel free to call our office about your real estate needs.


Is this a private deal (no realtor involvement) or are you working through a realtor? If you are working through a realtor, New Jersey law provides that each party has three business days (weekends do not count) to have their attorney review and make changes to the Contract. It is customary for the parties to sign the contract first and then send it to their attorney for review. If this is a private deal (no realtor involvement), there is no automatic attorney review of the Contract. Check with our office prior to signing any private deal Contract.


Attorney review is the time period when your attorney may review and make changes to the Contract on your behalf. It typically runs for three business days (not including weekends and federal holidays) after the Contract has been signed by you and Seller. It is important that you get the Contract to our office during the three day period. Even the standard realtor contracts will need to have changes made for your benefit and protection. Our office is familiar with the changes which need to made to your Contract.


A Buyer typically will have a 10 to 14 day time period (depends upon the time provision in Contract) to undertake property inspections and advise the Seller of any issues. The purpose of the inspections is to verify that there are no major defects to the property which you are buying. Inspection requests are for major and not minor items. If you have issues or questions about your inspection results, it is important to call the same to our attention during the allotted time period in your Contract. We will review the same for appropriateness and then send a letter to the Seller's attorney with your repair requests. Typical property inspections, if applicable, include a house, pest, radon, pool, septic tank, well and underground fuel tank. Your home inspector should alert you if there are any environmental or other concerns which warrant additional inspection/testing. These may include issues such as asbestos, mold, suspected underground oil tanks, stucco or lead paint.


Our office orders the title search and survey on your behalf. The title search provides the prior ownership history of your property and will alert us to any liens, exceptions or other items which may impact upon the marketability of title. The title search is for a real estate lawyer's skilled evaluation in determining marketable title. Our office will make changes to title insurance coverage and obtain endorsements to title exceptions as we deem necessary. These changes will be included in the title insurance policy ultimately issued to you and your lender after the closing. The survey is a map of your property which shows the house, other property improvements and the boundary lines of the property you are purchasing. Your lender will always require a title search and a title insurance policy. They will typically requires a survey.

Depending upon the closing date and the lender you select, the title search and survey may be ordered before or after the home inspections are completed. If the Contract is cancelled for any reason, your will still responsible for any title or survey cancellation costs.

The cost of title insurance is regulated by law so that all title companies charge basically the same amount. The cost of survey will vary depending upon the size of the lot and whether there are any boundary line or other issues encountered by the surveyor.


If you are purchasing a home with a purchase price of one million dollars or more, you (the Buyer) will be paying a tax to the State of New Jersey equal to one (1%) percent of the entire purchase price. For example, if the home costs $1,500,000.00, the Mansion Tax will be $15,000.00. It is payable at the closing.


The closing of title is when you actually purchase and own your new home. The closing is held at our office. Final closing figures are typically available the day before the closing which is when we receive closing figures from your lender. Any funds you need to bring to closing will need to be via a certified, bank or cashiers check payable to "Richard McCarthy Attorney Trust Account". We also accept wire transfers. Any wire transfers should be initiated the day before the closing to insure that your funds are available at the time of closing. If you are moving from another state and do not have a local bank, you should pre-execute the wire transfer paperwork with your out of state bank so that the only thing left for you to do is call your lender with the amount of the wire.

You should arrange to do your 'walk through' inspection with your realtor prior to the closing.

The closing typically takes 1.5 hours to complete. You will arrive an hour ahead of time during which time the mortgage documents will be reviewed and signed. An hour later Seller's attorney, Seller and the realtors will arrive. We will then close title on the home you are purchasing.

You should bring your homeowners insurance, proof of identity (drivers license or passport) and several personal checks in case there are closing adjustments made at the closing table. If you are married, you must bring your spouse even if he/she will not on the loan documents.