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Watch out! The Worst Estate Sale Pitfalls for Buyers &


By Jeffrey S. Apell, Esq.

After 25 years representing both buyers and sellers in commercial and residential real estate, it takes a lot to surprise me. But I have come to expect the unexpected when it comes to an Estate-owned property; no two Estate property sales are ever the same.

Not only will internal family issues sometimes surface during these sales, there are other things such as inheritance tax, New Jersey Estate taxes, and Federal Estate tax issues to consider.

The #1 Thing to Beware of as the Estate Seller

The Seller must be sure to comply with all the requirements of the Buyer’s title insurance company. Beware of not leaving yourself enough time; when done properly, this can take a good deal of time. Keep in mind that unless you lived in the house yourself, and recently, you are not aware of the physical conditions of the house and will have to investigate. Whether you are familiar with the home or not, you will be held responsible for disclosure of issues all in that regard.

The #1 Thing to Beware of as the Estate Buyer

Keep in mind that the Seller in an estate sale is unlikely to have independent knowledge of the condition of the property, and may not have taken his or her responsibility to investigate as seriously as they should. This is important for the buyer to keep in mind when you are doing your home inspection. The lack of a Seller’s Disclosure Statement should act as a potential red flag for the buyer.


You should always consult with a professional when buying or selling residential or commercial property. The article above: (1) does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship, (2) is not intended as a solicitation, (3) is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice, and (4) is not a substitute for personalized legal advice from a qualified attorney. You should not act upon any such information without first seeking qualified professional counsel about your specific matter.