Keller Williams Realty Cape Cod & the Islands
Homebuyer Practices ~ Eight Steps to Success
Because We Do Things Differently in Massachusetts
Homebuyer practices vary widely from state to state. In Massachusetts they vary from county to county. This is a list of what to expect when you buy a home through in Barnstable County.
- Agreements: The first agreement is the Offer to Purchase, a legal, binding contract, which states the basic terms: Price, Occupancy, Financing, and Inspection Contingencies. The second document is signed approximately 10 to 14 days after the first and is the Purchase and Sales Agreement. It repeats the terms in the Offer and enlarges upon them.
- Deposits: The minimum earnest money deposit with the Offer is typically $1,000. When the Purchase and Sales Agreement is signed, an additional deposit of 5% to 10% is expected. (Negotiable) These deposits are held in escrow by the listing broker or attorney.
- Inspection: We recommend you have a mechanical, structural and pest inspection by a qualified inspector. You are usually allowed up to 10 days after the offer has been accepted. The names of local inspectors can be found by searching the Division of Professional Licensure website at: www.state.ma.us/reg/boards/hi, or on the internet where many advertise under “Building Inspection Service.” These inspections are usually at the Buyer’s expense but may be subject to town regulations.
- Financing: It normally takes three to four weeks to obtain a mortgage loan commitment. FHA & VA loans can take up to 6 weeks. Therefore, the application should be made immediately after an offer has been accepted. Our Agents are available and can assist you in your financing arrangements. The average time from accepted Offer to closing is usually 45 to 60 days, but is negotiable. Cash purchases need bank verification of funds.
- Lawyers: Although you are not required to retain the services of an Attorney, however, we advise that you do have an attorney review your agreements, run a title exam and advise you because you are making a very large investment. If this is a cash transaction it is imperative that you have an Attorney. If this purchase has a loan the bank will have a closing Attorney and they are not necessary your Attorney.
- Bank Attorney: The closing is usually conducted by the attorney who represents the lending institution. He/She searches the title and guarantees it to the bank and also prepares the settlement statement (HUD) and notifies you of the amount that you are required to bring to the closing table. The funds are usually by bank check, made payable to you, but consult with the attorney for exact directions. The new deed will be recorded at the Barnstable Country Registry of Deeds in Barnstable Village.
- Brokers: We coordinate the entire transaction from the beginning to end, assisting you with the necessary inspections, financing, agreements, walk through and closing.
- Possession: You are entitled to a walk-thru of the property within 24 hours prior to the closing. It is customary for the buyer to take possession of the property immediately after closing.
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