Residential Purchases and Sales - Buyer Information
Offer to Purchase
The Offer to Purchase is a legally binding agreement to purchase real estate. It contains certain deadlines and time frames for Buyer(s) of a home to conduct inspections (including radon), sign the Purchase and Sale Agreement, and apply for and be approved for a mortgage. The Offer to Purchase may also include certain conditions unique to the purchase of the home.
Purchase and Sale Agreement
It is customary for the Seller's real estate broker or attorney to prepare the Purchase and Sale Agreement. As part of our service, we will review the Purchase and Sale Agreement, ensure that any special conditions contained in the Offer to Purchase are included, and negotiate approved language in conformance with standard real estate practice. It is important to read the entire agreement thoroughly before signing it, so that you understand and approve of the terms contained in the agreement. In Massachusetts, all agreed upon repairs and/or credits, if applicable, should be included in the agreement. Please call if you have any questions.
Under the mortgage contingency paragraph of the Purchase and Sales Agreement, there is a specified date upon which you must notify the seller if you have not received your mortgage commitment or if your mortgage application has been denied. Failure to do so by the date could result in the loss of your deposit. Please note that a mortgage commitment is different from a pre-qualification letter. In most instances, your lender will only send the mortgage commitment to you. Therefore, it is important for you to track your commitment from your lender and keep us advised if you do not receive your commitment by the Mortgage Contingency date.
Most lenders require you to provide them with a Lender's Title Insurance Policy to protect their interests up to the total amount of the mortgage. However, this insurance only protects the lender and will not protect you, the Buyer. You may purchase an Owner's Title Insurance Policy at the time of closing for a one-time premium, which is based on the purchase price of your home. An Owner's Title Insurance Policy provides coverage for numerous matters which are not covered by the standard Attorney's Certification of Title and which are not discoverable by searching the land records. Such examples are forged documents, missing signatures and mistakes in recording, unknown heirs to an estate, claims to your property, etc. The new policy protection also protects matters after closing including mechanics liens, encroachments, and building permit violations. We recommend the Owner's Title Insurance which can be obtained at a reduced one time fee when obtained with the Lender's Policy at closing.
You will be required to purchase homeowner's insurance prior to the closing, so that coverage has been prepaid for the first year’s premium. The inception date must be no later than the date of the closing. Coverage must at least equal your loan amount, or 100% replacement cost must be guaranteed. Please inform your insurance agent that we will need a copy of the insurance binder sent or faxed to this office at least three days before closing. The original binder must be brought to closing. Additionally, the endorsement naming the mortgagee must read exactly as your commitment letter requires. If there is no mortgagee clause within your commitment letter, contact your lender for this information.
Scheduling of Closing
Generally, our office conducts closings Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, at our office in Marlborough. It is suggested that you have a discussion about the desired time of closing with your real estate broker, if applicable, before contacting this office to schedule your closing. It is our experience that if scheduling is handled in this way, all parties tend to be more satisfied with the result.
You should also be prepared to bring the following documents to closing unless otherwise instructed by this office:
- Bank or certified check payable to yourself for the amount quoted to you prior to closing;
- Homeowner’s insurance binder with a paid receipt for the first year's premium and the name and address of your lender as the additional insured;
- Picture identification (i.e. license).