Where To Start?
As a new buyer, meandering your way through the world of real estate is easy - at first. After all, searching for homes is fun! How hard can it be? But then you peel the proverbial onion and all of a sudden it becomes more complex. You are faced with the offer, downpayment, home inspection, mortgage, appraisal, purchase and sale contract, and insurance to name a few. Don't worry - here's what to do.
First, decide what you want in a house and the area that you'd like to target. Document your requirements as a wish list then divide them into a "Must Have" list and a "Nice to Have" list.
Second, determine what you can afford. Talk to a mortgage professional. A good mortgage consultant will educate you on the process, determine how much house you can afford and help to get you pre-qualified. Our First Team Mortgage professionals can get you started. The mortgage process requires you to gather documents and information that will be supplied to a lender. The mortgage consultant will help out with all this. Check out this link for more information.
Third, talk to a real estate agent. Armed with a pre-qualification letter and your requirements, the agent can introduce you to homes that match your criteria and set up appointment for showings.
Massachusetts uses a two document purchase process - an Offer to Purchase and a Purchase and Sales contract.
When you finally find the house that you fall in love with, the next step is to make an offer. The real estate agent can help you during the negotiation process. You will most certainly be advised to consider a home inspection. The names of local inspectors can be found by searching the Division of Professional Licensure website at www.mass.gov/dpl/boards/hi, or in the Yellow Pages where many advertise under "Building Inspection Service" or "Home Inspection Service."
Purchase and Sales Contract
The Purchase and Sales contract outlines the terms of the sale including the final purchase price, downpayment, closing date, and finance or other contingencies or terms. This document typically precedes financing commitment. During the financing process, you will be asked to secure a home insurance provider.
The closing, also referred to as "passing papers", completes the purchase process. The participants often include attorneys for the lender, buyer (often the same as the lender's attorney) and the seller, the mortgage consultant, seller's real estate agent, buyer's real estate agent and the buyer and seller. You will show proof of identification, sign a lot of papers and, finally, get the keys for your new home. The process typically lasts about an hour. Then the fun begins with the move.
Let our professionals work with you to facilitate the process and make it a seamless move to your new home.
Don't forget to check out our Preferred Partners page for a list of professionals in the insurance, legal, financial and moving industries.