ven 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
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.)
CONTINGENCIES OF THE PURCHASE
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
THE CLOSING OR PASSING
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.