Residential Purchases and Sales - Seller 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 the Buyers of your home to conduct their inspections (including radon), sign the Purchase and Sale Agreement, and apply for and be approved for their mortgage. The Offer to Purchase may also include certain conditions unique to the sale of your 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 repair 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 Sale Agreement, there is a specified date by which the Buyer(s) of your home must notify you, the Seller(s), as to whether or not they have received a mortgage commitment from their lender or if their mortgage application has been denied. Failure to do so by the required date could result in your Buyer(s) forfeiting their entire deposit if they fail to notify you or us of their inability to obtain a mortgage commitment or of the denial of their mortgage application. Please note that a mortgage commitment is different from a pre-qualification letter. Only the mortgage commitment is the final outcome of the lender's decision to extend a mortgage loan to the Buyer(s).
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 buyer and/or your real estate broker 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.
Required Documents At Closing
- Deed: A new deed must be prepared and executed by all the persons holding title to your property. If you are not represented by an attorney, we can prepare it for you. If you have an attorney prepare a new deed, we require that a copy be sent to us for review prior to the closing.
- Power of Attorney: If anyone named in the deed will not be present at the closing, any representative must have a valid, notarized Power of Attorney.
- Final Water/Sewer Bill: If you have municipal (town) water and/or sewer, you must arrange for final reading and bill. The bill should be paid in advance of closing and the receipt brought to closing.
- Smoke Detector/Carbon Monoxide Detector Certificate: Massachusetts law requires a certificate be presented at closing indicating that proper smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors exist at the property. You need to contact your local fire department to conduct this inspection and to issue the certificate to you. The ORIGINAL Smoke Detector/Carbon Monoxide Detector Certificate must be brought to closing.
- Light Lien Letter: In some cities and towns, electric service is provided by the city or town. If your municipality provides electric services to your home, you will need to arrange for a final reading and a bill. The bill should be paid in advance of closing, and the receipt and lien release must be brought to closing.
- Title V Certificate: If your home is serviced by a private septic disposal system, Title V of the Massachusetts Environmental Code requires that your system be inspected and certified as in compliance with Title V. Please be sure that you make yourself aware of Title V and its requirements.
- Certificate of Insurance: If you are selling a condominium unit, your unit is insured as part of the entire condominium through the master insurance policy. You will have to provide to this office, in advance of closing, a copy of a new Certificate of Insurance naming the new owners and their mortgage lender in said certificate. Please arrange to have the exact legal names of the buyers and of their lender for the certificate of insurance. The certificate itself is usually obtained through your condominium association who will contact the insurance agent involved with the Master Policy. The ORIGINAL certificate must be brought to the closing.
- Common Expenses: You must also provide at closing a notarized certificate certifying that all monthly common expenses and charges of the condominium association are paid to date. This certificate is commonly referred to as a "6(d) Certificate.”
You should be aware that your net sales proceeds will be available to you after recording the deed to your buyers at the registry of deeds in your county. Typically, your check will be available the morning after your closing unless time allows us to make necessary arrangements to get all papers recorded on the day of your closing. If obtaining your check the same day of your closing is important to you, be sure to call to discuss this issue specifically. We will make every reasonable effort to accommodate you and arrange courier service.
Please remember to bring your drivers license or other photo identification to the closing. Our lenders and title insurance companies require that we check the identification of the Buyers and Sellers to all transactions.