Real Estate ownership is the aspiration of nearly everyone. Our name begins with Heritage, because of the definition that states: ‘a special or individual possession; an allotted portion’. Having something so significant be all yours is an achievement to most, as not too many people are just given this in their lifetime. So, how does it all work? How do you get yours? What do I need to do to be in position to buy? We answer those questions all the time and are the right place for first time home buyers to come for answers.
If you don’t have a ton of cash, you can’t get a house without a loan. For the loan you need decent, or better, credit. You’re also going to need some savings for potential down payments and closing costs. We partner with many great lenders that can help you gain an awareness of your buying power.
Once you have that in place (a pre-approval) you are ready to go see houses in person. You absolutely want a Realtor, especially from Heritage & Main Real Estate, in your corner. We are your partners and consultants. We work hard to help keep you on the path that we would create in the beginning meetings. We watch the market with you and set up showings and give you personal guided tours. We help evaluate property and determine if it is truly a fit for what you started out looking for. We try to help steer you clear of falling for the “shiny object” – and keep you focused on your initial priorities.
You’ll find a house that you want at some point. We will walk through the offer process with you. It is really not that hard, which you’ll see when we get to that point. Just offer a dollar amount and some deposits, make the dates work for you, and write up contingencies. Contingencies are parts of the ‘deal’ that are required to happen. Remember, everything is negotiable. Expect a counter offer unless you make an offer that the seller can’t refuse. Once you reach an agreement with the seller, we move on to inspections and the creation of the Purchase and Sale (you’ll hear “P&S” mentioned often).
While a home inspection is not mandatory, you should really have one done. They are relatively inexpensive and worth every penny. You’ll have an expert with their eyes on the property and capable of seeing what most of us don’t. They do it every day, multiple times. A great inspector will let you know a lot about the home you are about to buy. You should come prepared to ask a lot of questions, and learn a lot about the house. They may find deficiencies as well. You, and your Realtor, can then go back to the seller and re-negotiate on those points. Once you get past that – you are ready to sign a Purchase and Sale.
The Purchase and Sale is a deeper dive into the parameters set forth by the offer and subsequent negotiations that follow. It really details more of the legal aspects about the property and the transaction. Again, although not required, you should absolutely have an attorney working for you on this. That attorney will work with the attorney that represents the seller to come up with a final P&S document that works for both parties. Once this is signed, the process shifts back to the lender. It is time for underwriting.
Underwriting begins after the P&S is signed because that is the point where the deal is ironed out and in effect. You now work with the lender to provide whatever documentation they ask for and should always get that to them as quickly as possible. If there are any issues, they will work through them with you. This part of the process averages about 4 weeks. Once they have everything they need and feel that the loan is going to move forward, they provide us with a Commitment. It means that, barring any unforeseen actions or events that could stop the loan at the last minute, you’ve got the loan you asked for. IMPORTANT DATE: When you offer, you list a “Commitment Date”. That date is around 10 days prior to the closing – and is also negotiable. This date begins a period of time, that lasts until closing, that your deposits are at risk of forfeiture. Why? The sellers need time to put plans into action. You want them out when you close so they have to move. When you tell them you have a commitment, they likely spend some money to move. They have also kept their house off the open/active market for you to get to closing. If that fails at the end, the seller has the right to keep those deposits. It doesn’t happen often, and having a great team in your corner helps a lot – but it has happened. (no, not to any of the agents, or clients,at Heritage & Main as of this post). We work very hard to help ensure that you get to closing.
Closing! A few days before closing you will get the magical Clear to Close. Everything is in order and you will have your final numbers for what to bring to closing (dollars and documents). You go to the closing, whether it is at your attorneys office or the registry of deeds, and sign a stack of papers — and get your keys. What an amazing feeling! We love it and that’s why we do this.
Questions? Want to sit and talk, and make your plan? On the website, click ‘Contact Us’ and one of us will be in touch as soon as possible.
Brian O’Neill – Broker Ma: 9558445