Buying a House
Your first step is to talk to a Bank or Mortgage Broker to make sure you can get a mortgage, and how much they will finance for you. This is how you calculate the price range you will look in. Your credit, income ,savings and down payment will dictate your mortgagability. Make sure that you have chosen your financing package before you start looking, because a seller will ask for a pre-approval letter with any offer. Make sure you get a pre-approval letter, not a pre-qualified letter. Pre-approval is a more detailed process and a better guaranty that you will get a mortgage. Pre-qualified is not as formal or important to a seller. In Real Estate, time is of the essence, and a pre-approval letter shows a seller that you are a serious and able buyer.Sellers do not want to take their property off the market without assurance that the sale will go through.
MAKING AN OFFER
When you find the property that works for you, you present an offer with a pre-approval letter through your broker to the seller. The seller may accept or negotiations may begin. Counter offers are common so be prepared to go up a little on your offer. An offer is binding but there are contingencies that must be met before you are bound to buy. You should have an inspection of the property to insure the condition is what you want it to be. You should make the offer contingent on being able to obtain financing, and examination of condo-documents and reserve funds for condo association.Also expressly state in the offer any appliances or fixtures you expect to get or have been told you will get. The silliest things can come up later if not expressed, but don't worry, you will have an attorney to do the detailed contract in the Purchase and Sale Agreement.
There are many certified inspectors you can hire to do your inspection. The charge is based on the size of the property, more for multi families than singles,more for single families than condos. The idea of an inspection is to look for serious problems that a buyer may not see and that a seller may not be aware of. The major concerns are structural problems or roof problems, things like that. It is important to go on the inspection so you can see and hear first hand what the inspector is referring to. You will get a written inspection report within a day or two. You should schedule your inspection the day your offer is accepted, so lining up an inspector ahead of time is a good idea. Again, time is of the essence in Real Estate, so plan to have your inspection done within a few days of your offer being accepted.
The Purchase and Sale
Once the inspection is done and the sale is proceeding, you will do a Purchase and sale. It is the hammering out of the details of the sale. There is a standard form used in Massachusetts but it is best to have a lawyer prepare this document for and look out for your interests.If you are getting a mortgage, the bank has an attorney to look out for their interest which is similar to your interests.The bank's attorney will make sure the title is clear and protect the bank's investment, but you should have your own attorney to review the P&S so you get what you agreed to in writing.