Due diligence in buying and selling a home in Bergen County makes or breaks you.
Let’s be honest. Not all real estate agents do their job correctly and not all homeowners give their agent correct information. Owners forget and agents are at times sloppy. It’s easy to make a mistake but it’s never acceptable.
If you are selling or buying a home, undisclosed problems can be devastating. When found after Attorney Review and home inspections, such omissions can cancel a transaction leaving both buyer and seller emotionally upset and financially hurt.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The New Jersey MLS has fabulous information available and there are town officials to call upon. The information you get can avoid trouble.
When showing or listing homes, I go to the NJMLS tax map, flood zone map, tax data sheet and listing activity report. While this is not a perfect system, errors are uncommon. Tax maps show property dimensions and easements (a survey will rarely show more). Tax data usually has property taxes, year built, assessment, property class, etc. Flood maps are important; FEMA updated flood zones in 2005.
The town Building Department will tell me if there’s an open permit (many owners simply forget to take care of this or think the contractor has). The Tax Assessor verifies tax information and whether or not a reassessment is scheduled. I can’t do this for showings because it’s too abusive of a town official’s time. I do do this for listing homes and when a customer is making an offer.
Taking the best care possible does not mean it’s a perfect world – no system is without errors. But if your agent does the above, there should be no surprises. Due diligence in buying and selling a home in Bergen County definitely makes or breaks you.