Buying & Selling

A simple, straightforward guide outlining the steps of selling and buying a home.

Recently Sold

Price: $200,000

219 Cornell Ave, Rahway

Price: $415,000

1661 Essex St, Rahway NJ

Price: $335,000

184 E Albert St, Rahway

1 Buyer Consultation

The first step in the process is to meet with Hannah so she can get a better feel for what your real estate wants and needs are in the buying process. You will discuss the areas you’re looking in as well as your budget, timeline, and must-haves for your home purchase.

2 Mortgage Pre-Approval

Before or shortly after meeting with Hannah is the time to get pre-approved for a mortgage from a lender of your choosing. The only way to truly know your spending power is to complete this step. This is also a great time to discuss closing costs with your lender to make sure there are no surprises down the road. During this time, Hannah will also discuss with you the special services you are entitled to as a client of her’s and Weichert Realtors.

3 Viewing Homes

Now is the fun part, visiting properties! Hannah will send you listings based on your budget and criteria and at a convenient time for you. We will visit the listings to see if one of them is a good match for you and your family. Hannah strives to find the perfect home for you, and whether that’s the first home you visit or the twentieth, Hannah is committed to finding the home that best fits your needs.

4 Making an Offer

After finding your ideal property now is the time to write up an offer! Hannah will do a comparative market analysis of the property to make sure your offer is fair and competitive. It’s a strong market, so it’s good to have someone like Hannah on your side to negotiate on your behalf. She will explain the contract to you in detail, have you sign, and present the offer to the listing agent promptly.

5 Reach an Agreement and Attorney Review

With Hannah negotiating on your behalf, reaching an agreement on price and terms of the offer is usually a quick process. After an agreement is reached, and the contract is signed by both parties, attorney review starts. Your first deposit (good faith deposit) is due five days after the contract is signed by the seller. Attorney review is usually a short period where both your attorney and the seller’s attorney review the terms of the contract and revise them. It’s always wise to have an attorney because, although Hannah is very knowledgeable about provisions in the contract, only an attorney can provide you with legal advice and fully protect your legal interests during this transaction. Your second deposit will be due 10 days after the conclusion of attorney review and will be held in an escrow account until closing.

6 Scheduling Inspections

This is the period in the transaction where you will schedule your home, termite and radon inspection (most home inspectors offer all of these services as a package). Additional inspections, such as an underground oil tank sweep or structural inspection may also be necessary in some cases. After the home inspection, with the guidance of Hannah and your attorney, you will decide what (if anything) you will ask the seller to address, fix, or give a credit for. Keep in mind you are purchasing a previously owned home (unless it’s new construction of course!). There will be slight imperfections with the home, and it’s up to you to decide what is important enough for the sellers to address. This is also the point in the transaction where Hannah will file on your behalf an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request. This shows the permit history of the property you are looking to purchase and insures that you are informed of any open permits on the property and the permit history.

7 Appraisal

Sometimes happening before or after the home inspection, an appraisal will take place if you are financing your purchase by the bank to confirm that the bank feels the home is worth what you are paying for it. You do not need to be present for the appraisal, Hannah will facilitate it. Once the appraisal comes back, you are one step closer to the clear to close.

8 Mortgage Commitment

After going under contract, your lender will ask you for several documents to support your financial capability to own a home, such as tax returns, pay stubs, etc. Once the lender has all the necessary documentation and the appraisal has been completed, they will issue a mortgage commitment. This usually take about 30 days from the signing of the contract. Please provide those documents to your lender promptly to avoid any delays in closing.

9 Insurance and Title

Your attorney will run the title to the home and also provide you with title Insurance, which protects you from any issues with the title to the home. This also ensures that no defects are attached to the title of the home, such as liens and encumbrances on the property. Before you close, if you are financing your purchase, you will also need to acquire a homeowner’s insurance policy. Some companies allow you to pay this at closing, and some will ask you to pay the cost upfront.

10 Initial Walkthrough

7-10 days prior to closing, Hannah will take you back to the property for an initial walkthrough to confirm that any and all repairs requested during home inspection have been completed and that the property is still in the same condition as when you had the home inspection. This ensures a smooth closing process.

11 Closing Confirmations

At this point, title should have cleared and your lender should have issued a mortgage commitment. The lender will finalize closing, confirm your closing costs, and you will be given the clear to close! Plan on taking most of the day off for closing, it will take a few hours and you will need to be present for it.

12 Switching Utilities

Consult with Hannah to find out which utility companies service the town you are purchasing in. A week or so before closing, call to switch the services in to your name so there is no lapse in service starting the day you close. Depending on the companies, final readings may need to be taken and appointments may need to be scheduled to take those readings or they may be done electronically, so it is best to call in advance of closing.

13 Final Walkthrough

Before closing, Hannah will meet you at the property to do a final walkthrough to make sure that everything is in acceptable condition.

14 Closing

Finally, it’s closing time! You will be advised by your lender and your attorney what you need to bring to closing. As a courtesy to her clients, Hannah attends all of her closings to make sure that everything goes smoothly and that any concerns are addressed. At closing, you will be given a copy of any keys, garage door openers, etc (make sure to change your locks after closing!)

Congratulations! Best wishes for a new chapter!

1 Initial Visit

Hannah will set up an appointment to meet you and view your home. During this time, she will ask important questions about your home, take photos, and get to know you and your wants and needs in the selling process better.

2 Marketing Plan and Price Evaluation

After the initial visit, Hannah will create a comprehensive marketing plan for your home, customized to fit your needs as a seller. She will also do a comparative market analysis of your property using several different industry leading tools available to arrive at a suggested listing price for your home.

3 Second Appointment

During this appointment, Hannah will present her marketing plan to you as well as her price evaluation. At this time, you will discuss in more detail with Hannah how she markets homes differently than other realtors in the area and what services she and Weichert will offer you as your agent. She will also discuss any recommendations she has to make your home more attractive to potential buyers so that your home sells quickly for the highest possible price.

4 Listing Agreement

At this time, you will sign listing paperwork, which Hannah will explain thoroughly to you and provide you a copy of. Hannah will then input the listing into the MLS. Within 24 hours, your home will be featured on Zillow, Trulia,, and all major websites that buyers frequently use to search for homes. Hannah will also, with your permission, file an Open Public Acts Request (OPRA) with your city or town hall to ensure there are no open permits on your home so that there are no surprises when we go to have the city inspections completed.

5 Sign and Marketing

After the listing agreement is signed, Hannah will schedule her photographer to photograph your home. This is a complimentary service that Hannah provides all of her client's with. With your permission, Hannah will place a sign on your property so that it easily visible to potential buyers. Also with your permission, she will send out “Just Listed” cards to the neighborhood to gain maximum exposure for your home.

6 Open Houses

If you choose, Hannah or her assistant will host frequent open houses to attract possible buyers. Our enhanced open house program brings proven results, with 1 of every 3 Weichert Open Houses leading to a sale. At the open house, we will have a finance sheet available for buyers with the current interest rate, calculating what the estimated monthly payment would be for your home as well as flyers about the property. This helps potential buyers to see if purchasing your home fits into their monthly budget. Hannah will follow up with all of the visitors to your house to get feedback and will promptly provide you with those comments.

7 Showings

Hannah will call you directly to schedule all showings, giving you one less thing to worry about in the selling process. Hannah will follow up with all of the agents that show your home to gather feedback and interest.

8 Weichert’s Partners

Weichert’s has it's own relocation program, Workforce Mobility, that can help clients relocating to your area to find your home. We partner with many Fortune 500 companies to find their employees' new housing. We also have franchised and branch offices across the country that we frequently receive referrals from for clients looking to relocate. This means that your property will be readily featured to more clients looking to relocate.

9 Periodic Review

The market constantly changes in real estate. Hannah will provide you with continued and updated analysis of any changes in the market that are relevant to the sale of your home.

10 Receiving an Offer

Once an offer is received, Hannah will review all aspects of the offer with you and guide you in either accepting the offer or making a counteroffer. If you choose to accept, this is the time to review the contract with your attorney.

11 Attorney Review

During this period, your attorney and the buyer’s attorney will review the terms of the contract and make sure they are acceptable to all parties. Typically, attorney review lasts a couple of days to a week.

12 Under Contract

After attorney review concludes, you are now under contract. At this time, the buyer will schedule a home inspection and any other inspections that may be necessary. At this time, the buyer’s bank will also order an appraisal of your home. Hannah or her assistant will be present for all inspections and the appraisal to ensure that everything goes smoothly. This is also the time when the buyer’s attorney will run a title search on your home and the buyer’s bank will gather necessary documents to issue a mortgage commitment and ultimately, obtain a clear to close.

13 Certificate of Occupancy and Fire Certification

When a property changes hands, in most towns and cities in New Jersey, the homeowner needs to obtain what is called a Certificate of Occupancy from the town and, sometimes, additionally, a Fire Certification. The town inspector will come out and make sure that your home is up to code and abides by all town regulations. Don’t worry, Hannah will help facilitate this, cover the cost of the inspection fee, and schedule the inspection and any follow-up inspections. She or her assistant will be present for all inspections.

14 Clear to Close

Once all parties receive the clear to close, the buyer will do their first walkthrough. Weichert recommends doing two walkthroughs to ensure a smooth closing. The first walkthrough will be 7-10 days prior to closing, and the final walkthrough will be the day of closing. Hannah or her assistant will be present for both walkthroughs.

15 Closing

With today’s advances in technology, a seller usually receives a packet from their attorney a few days in advance of closing and settlement, so likely, you will not need to be at closing unless you would like to be present. Hannah attends all of her closings to ensure everything goes according to plan, and so she can hand over any necessary documents, manuals, and keys to the buyers.

Congratulations! Best wishes for a new chapter!

Interested in Buying or Selling? Get in touch here!