People ask me and my real estate partner and husband Bob Meaux real estate questions all the time. We know many other people are probably asking the same questions. Here’s where Real Estate Uncovered comes in.
Periodically I will post Q&As we’ve discussed with someone or respond to questions we’ve heard from others. If you have a real estate question you always wanted answered, email it to me. Click here to learn more about us, what our clients think about us and our track record of sales and rentals that stands at 85 and counting.
Q1: Once I sign a contract to buy a home am I locked into the deal?
A1: No. Contracts are legal documents and, as such, you should consult a qualified real estate attorney. We can say during the normal process of a real estate transaction there are 4 main gates when a contract can be cancelled.
The main gate is right after you sign it: the attorney review period. After the buyer and seller have signed the contract and this now executed contract is given to both parties, attorney review begins for normally a minimum of 3 business days. During the attorney review period either the buyer or seller can cancel the contract for any reason or no reason at all. For example, another buyer can submit a contract to try and break your deal.
However, as stated in Opinion 26:
The contract becomes final and binding unless your lawyer cancels it within the following three business days. If you do not have a lawyer, you cannot change or cancel the contract unless the other party agrees. Neither can the real estate broker nor the title insurance company change the contract.
A real estate contract may be able to be cancelled at 3 other gates:
1) During home inspection negotiations.
2) If the second deposit due date is missed.
3) If the mortgage contingency date is missed.
However there are caveats to each one of these situations that cannot all be covered here and there are other situations that could arise. Always talk this through with your attorney and with your real estate agent.
Q2: What’s the difference between a Real Estate Agent and a REALTOR®?
A2: A Real Estate Agent in the state of New Jersey is a person who has obtained a license as an agent/salesperson by completing a minimum amount of education, passing an examination and having a sponsoring real estate broker. A Real Estate Agent can become a broker or broker-salesperson by completing added course work and providing proof she was a full time Real Estate Agent for 3 full years immediately prior to application. For more details on this, vist the New Jersey Association of REALTORS® website.
REALTORS® are Real Estate Agents (agents, salesperson, broker or broker/salespersons) who have taken the additional step to become a member of the local and state association and the National Association of REALTORS®, considered the world’s largest professional trade association, and pledge to follow the strict Code of Ethics.
Q3: What’s a listing?
A3: A ‘listing’ is a property on the market for sale or rent by a Real Estate Agent. As Real Estate Agents we do assume everyone knows what this means, but it is our lingo. When a homeowner(s) enters into some type of listing agreement with a Real Estate Agent, she has agreed to hire that real estate company and that agent(s) to list her home in order to get it sold or rented.
Generally when someone starts a real estate conversation using the word, “listing”, you know the person is a Real Estate Agent, works closely in the field or has researched listing his home. There are some homeowners who don’t even say “I listed my home”. They may say “we are selling our home”, “we decided to sell” or “we put our home on the market for sale”.
When someone is looking for a home to purchase, he may say he is looking for a “house to buy”, looking at “homes for sale”, reviewing “homes on the market”, etc.
NOTE: Answers to these questions are based on our (Robert and Beverly Meaux) research, opinions and experience only. All information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.