Massachusetts Real Estate - Real Estate FAQ's

Massachusetts Real Estate Area Map

Click an area on the map of the state of Massachusetts to view more information about the Real Estate in that area.

Some typical Real Estate procedures in Massachusetts

OFFERS: All offers to purchase real estate must be in writing.

The offer to purchase is a form which describes the basic terms and price to be considered by both buyer and seller. This offer includes reference to the Purchase and Sale Agreement to be executed later.
An initial deposit of $500-$1000 is usually required to be presented by the buyer to the seller when a written offer to purchase property is made.

Commonly used addenda to the offer afford buyers the opportunity to have the property inspected at their own expense, commonly within 3-5 business days, by a qualified home inspector and to agree that the inspection is satisfactory. The State also requires a mandatory inspection for lead paint on any property built prior to 1968. Buyers are also given an agreed upon time during which to apply for and receive financing from the lending institution of their choice (commonly within 28 working days from offer).

PURCHASE AND SALE AGREEMENT:

The Purchase and Sale Agreement defines in detail all rights and responsibilities of both buyer and seller. It states the intended date of conveyance and the terms of the sale. It's usually signed within 7-10 days by both buyer and seller after a mutually agreed upon offer to purchase has been signed. It is accompanied by a deposit usually equal to approximately 5-10% of the total agreed upon purchase price. The contingency clauses included in the Purchase and Sale Agreement provide opportunity for the buyer to withdraw from the transaction if he/she is unable to meet the contingencies within the specified times and conditions. The documents involved in the purchase and transfer of Real Estate are legal and binding contracts. It is recommended that buyers obtain legal representations. In the State of Massachusetts it is common practice for the attorney who represents the buyer’s lending institution to conduct the title search and to certify title to the lender and the buyer. This practice may vary in the city of Worcester and adjacent communities where the seller will often provide a Certificate of Title from a local title company. The lender’s attorney represents the lender. However, the legal fees are paid by the buyer as part of the total closing costs. The financing procedure can take from 21-40 days depending on the lender and the market conditions. The actual conveyance may take place at the Registry of Deeds, at the offices of the attorney representing the lender, or as may otherwise agreed upon by the parties. Buyers should plan to be present at the conveyance.
Prior to closing, you will be receiving a disclosure sheet from the bank specifying charges connected with financing. The following is a list, not all of which apply to you. The bank attorney who conducts the closing will compute these and inform you of the grand total which is payable to the bank.

FEES

Bank attorney fees, which vary from 1/2% to 1% of the selling price.
Recording fees for the new deed and mortgage; approximately $50.00.
Points (each point is 1% of the mortgage amount). This check should be written separately for income tax records.
Appraisal fee: approximately $300 (subject to change).
Credit report: approximately $50-$75.
Mortgage insurance: varies with amount of the mortgage.
Title insurance: varies with amount of the mortgage - approximately $7 per thousand.
Survey/Plot plan: approximately $100.
Advance interest: this is the interest portion of the mortgage payment, and is due at closings taking place from the 2nd day of the month through the last day of the month.
Real Estate tax adjustments: approximately 3-4 months’ taxes in advance.
Municipal Lien Certificate: $15-$25.

BRING TO THE CLOSING

A certified check or bank check payable to yourself for the purchase price less deposits and the mortgage amount.
Your checkbook to pay for any adjustments for fuel or taxes to seller.
Your checkbook to pay for Section 1 above.
An insurance policy or binder on the property, written for at least the amount of the mortgage and accurately naming the lending institution as first mortgagee.