1. Don’t make an offer without a preapproval from a mortgage lender. A seller might not even consider your offer if you do not have a preapproval. A preapproval shows a seller you are serious, and that you are creditworthy. It also provides you with an idea of what you can truly afford to pay as a monthly mortgage payment, so you won’t waste your time looking at houses you cannot afford.

 

2. Have an attorney early on in the process. Most buyers don’t realize that in Massachusetts, the “offer” is a binding contract entered into before you sign a binding Purchase and Sale Agreement. There are important terms and dates that are contained in the offer such as the date by which you must secure financing, and the date of the closing. Generally, these cannot be changed in the Purchase and Sale Agreement. Consult a lawyer as you begin your home search to ensure s/he assists you in determining things to include in your offer.

 

3. Don’t forget to specifically inquire about the extra costs of owning the home you are interested in, such as fuel, energy, trash removal, and such. These costs can add hundreds of dollars monthly to the cost of living in your home. For example, a home with electric heat can add $300-$700 a month in the winter months if the house is in a cooler climate.

 

4. Do not assume what is included or excluded in the sale as far as appliances and fixtures. Make sure your offer specifies what you want to be included in the sale such as appliances, window treatments, and blinds, and what you want removed from the house.

 

5. Don’t assume you can just work with the realtor who listed the house. A home sale transaction can involve one or two realtors; A realtor who lists the home (listing realtor) and one who works with the Buyer. Although a listing realtor can successfully complete a sale leaving both Buyer and Seller happy, to ensure your desires are understood and your needs are satisfied, find a realtor to work directly with you.

Here at Ryan Faenza Carey, whether you are buying, selling or refinancing a property, we can help. Call Attorney Anne Marie Corraro for assistance at 508-668-9112.