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Avoiding Real Estate Disputes

Hudson Law Firm Feb. 15, 2023

scaffoldCommon causes of action in real estate litigation in New Jersey include suits for eviction, disputes between buyers and sellers, disputes among neighboring landowners, disputes between debtors and creditors, and common law conversion. These disputes may arise from problems regarding financing, the condition of the property or the closing date. If a complaint seeking to force the sale of real estate is filed in New Jersey, it must be filed in the Superior Court in the county in which the real estate is located.

In New Jersey, a real estate dispute must be filed within six years of the action that caused the damage to or destruction of the property owner's real estate. Also, according to N.J.S.A. 2A:14-1, any contract that is in writing, including real estate disputes, must be filed within six years. Oral contracts must be filed within six years as well. It is important to note that in rare instances, an exemption may apply and allow the lawsuit to go forward after the six-year period. Therefore, it is always recommended to contact an attorney as soon as possible to make sure that your case is properly filed within the statute of limitations.

Or better yet, consider these steps to avoid such disputes in the first place:

Realtor Disputes

  1. Research real estate agents in your local area, by reading reviews and interviewing potential candidates.

  2. Ask the agent to provide a current list of properties they are managing and request a list of references.

  3. Ask the agent to provide a copy of their license and make sure they are legally allowed to practice in your state.

  4. Ask the agent any questions you have about buying or selling a home in your area.

  5. Discuss any specialties or certifications the agent may have that are relevant to your needs.

  6. Create a list of your expectations for the agent and discuss any potential fees.

  7. Ask for a timeline of the process and the estimated duration of the real estate transaction.

  8. Discuss any available services the agent may provide, such as guidance with financing or home inspection.

  9. Negotiate an agreement that outlines the realtor’s responsibilities and fees.

  10. Ask for a copy of the contract, review it carefully, and sign it.

Inspector Disputes

  1. Verify the home inspector's license and credentials. Check their references and ensure that the inspector is qualified and experienced in the field.

  2. Ask for a detailed inspection report of the property. Make sure that the report includes an estimated repair cost and an analysis of any possible issues.

  3. Discuss the inspector's fees, payment terms, and any additional costs.

  4. Make sure the inspector has adequate insurance coverage in case of any problems.

  5. Set up a site visit and determine a timeline for the inspection.

  6. Verify that the inspector knows applicable building codes and safety regulations.

  7. Request a copy of the inspector's detailed report when the inspection is complete.

  8. Ask the inspector to provide recommendations for repairs and maintenance.

  9. Ask the inspector if they will be available to answer questions or provide guidance after the inspection is finished.

  10. Make sure to read the inspection report carefully and ask any questions or raise concerns before signing any documents.

Mortgage Disputes

  1. Identify your financial goals: Before taking out a home loan, identify your financial goals, such as how long you plan to stay in the home and what kind of payment you can handle.

  2. Consider your budget: Take a careful look at your budget and determine if you can afford the payments for a loan. If not, it may be better to look for a less expensive house.

  3. Shop around for lenders: Shop around for lenders, comparing interest rates and fees. Consider lenders that have a good reputation and a good track record.

  4. Get pre-approved: A pre-approval letter from a lender will show how much you can borrow and give you an advantage when negotiating the purchase of a house.

  5. Compare loan types: There are different types of home loans, such as fixed rate, adjustable rate, and VA loans. Compare the rates and terms to find the best loan that meets your needs.

  6. Get an appraisal: Before getting a loan, an appraiser must inspect the property to determine its market value.

  7. Review the closing documents: Before committing to a loan, review the closing documents carefully and make sure that all the information is correct.

  8. Understand the tax implications: Understand the tax implications of taking out a home loan, as homeowners may be eligible for certain tax deductions.

Contractor Disputes

  1. Get referrals from friends, family, and colleagues.

  2. Research the contractor’s past work and customer reviews.

  3. Check to see if the contractor is licensed and insured.

  4. Ask for a detailed estimate that outlines the scope of the project.

  5. Review the payment terms and schedule of the contractor.

  6. Meet with the contractor to discuss the scope of the project.

  7. Ask the contractor for references and contact them.

  8. Inquire about the materials and methods to be used.

  9. Make sure the contractor is aware of local building codes.

  10. Make sure the contractor is willing to sign a contract.

Landlord Disputes

  1. Research the local area: Consider the crime rate, the cost of living, public transport connections, and the opportunity for leisure activities in the area.

  2. Assess the rental agreement: Check out the rental agreement carefully and make sure you understand the terms, conditions, and fees.

  3. Get a property inspection: Have a professional inspection done on the property to ensure there are no hidden damages or issues.

  4. Set up renter’s insurance: Get an insurance policy to cover any damages or accidents that may happen in the property.

  5. Make sure you’re able to pay rent: Make sure you’ll be able to afford the rent, both now and in the future.

  6. Meet the landlord: It’s important to meet the landlord and get a good feel for the property.

  7. Know the policies: Make sure you know the policies on things like pets, visitors, and repairs.

  8. Make sure utilities are included: Make sure the rental agreement includes utilities like water, electricity, internet, and gas.

  9. Check out the neighborhood: Ask the neighbors about the area, any noise or safety concerns, or any other important information.

  10. Sign the lease: Once everything is in order, sign the lease and start enjoying your new home.

Neighbor Disputes

  1. Try to remain calm and courteous when addressing the situation.

  2. Listen to their point of view, and try to find common ground.

  3. Make sure both parties understand the issue and how it affects them.

  4. Consider the potential solutions and make sure they are realistic and fair.

  5. If you are unable to reach an agreement, seek professional help or get an outside opinion.

  6. If needed, contact the local authorities or social services.

  7. Keep records of the dispute and any steps taken to resolve it.

  8. Take the appropriate legal action if the dispute is too serious to resolve on your own.