How To Buy Real Estate In Massachusetts

Even an experienced Home buyer may be unfamiliar with the particular procedures generally followed when purchasing Real Estate in Massachusetts. This brief outline may help prepare you somewhat for our unique "two step" procedure and some of the financial requirements associated with it.


When you locate a home you want to own, you are generally asked to endorse two documents.

First, you will be asked to negotiate an Offer to Purchase. Your signature and the Seller's signature on the agreement allows time for the Buyer to complete pre-purchase arrangements, (i.e. building and pest inspections, among others). An earnest money deposit (usually $1,000 to $5,000) accompanies the Offer to Purchase.

The second document is known as the PURCHASE and SALE AGREEMENT. This instrument details the obligations of the parties and is usually endorsed a few days after the Offer to Purchase. Please be advised that an attorney is of great benefit and assistance to you when drafting and reviewing the Purchase and Sale Agreement. Your signature and approval of the document along with a second earnest money deposit binds the agreement between you and the Seller. (The total deposit held in an escrow account at this juncture often represents 10% of the purchase price.)


Your Offer to Purchase specified the price you agree to pay for the property and the date you plan to close (pass papers). You may also have specified YOUR RIGHT TO HAVE THE PROPERTY INSPECTED for a number of conditions including structural, pest latent or other defects that allow for revoking of the Offer to Purchase in writing within a specified period.

Another common condition of your purchase may be a Mortgage Contingency. This contingency specifies the amount of money you intend to borrow, the dead line by which you must make application for the loan; the deadline by which a bank can be expected to issue a commitment. The Mortgage Contingency appears on both the Offer to Purchase and the Purchase and Sale Agreement.


A. The passing takes place at a location convenient to all parties (generally the mortgaging bank, the County Registry of Deeds, or an attorney's office).

B. The buyer brings a certified check for the balance of the total down payment on the house. The deposit check will be used toward the down payment.

C. The buyer is also responsible for certain closing costs i.e. advance payments on taxes, payment for oil left in tank, legal fees, etc. These charges can usually be covered by personal check at the time of closing. You should verify this with the conveyance attorney prior to the closing date.

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