Choosing your metro Boston real estate agent is one of the most important decisions you will make in the home buying process. Your agent is your guide as you navigate the many steps from being a prospective home buyer to become a metro Boston homeowner. A good agent has your best interests at heart and strives to make the purchase of your new home a positive experience. Most of the time a agents’ services are free to buyers. The local knowledge, contacts, negotiation abilities, and experience your agent provides will be invaluable to you.
The Steps to Home Ownership
- MAKE A HOME WISH LIST—Divide your wish list into 3 columns. One column for the items you need, one for items you would like, and one for items you can really live without but would like to have. Included on this wish list should be some of the neighborhoods that you are considering.
- CONSULT WITH YOUR UNIT REALTY GROUP REAL ESTATE AGENT REGARDING NEIGHBORHOODS, HOMES, AND FINANCING OPTIONS—Sit down with your agent and go over your wish list to determine which neighborhood you would like to live in. Determining the neighborhood will help you with price vs. perks. As your agents, we can recommend a mortgage person for you to meet in order to start the mortgage process and obtain a mortgage pre-approval. You will want a pre-approval at this point for a couple of reasons: you'll want to know your maximum price range so you don't waste a lot of time looking at properties that you cannot afford to buy and you'll want to proof of your ability to perform if your bid is to be chosen by the seller.
- SEARCH FOR YOUR NEW HOME—Now you are ready to venture out into the world of homes! With your permission, we'll set you up to search for properties online on UnitBoston.com. You'll be able to monitor new properties as they come on the market and track if something that you are interested in has had a price reduction. Next, we will go out and start to physically look at the properties together and narrow down the search by working together to find the perfect home for you.
- MAKE AN OFFER ON THE HOME YOU CHOOSE—Once you find the home that is right for you, we will make an offer on it. Together with the offer letter, we will also submit an earnest money deposit (typically $1,000). At this point the seller will either accept or counter the offer, negotiating back and forth with you, until hopefully the price and terms are mutually agreeable.
- HOME INSPECTION/ MORTGAGE/ ATTORNEY—Once the offer has been accepted on both sides you'll schedule a home inspection, contact your mortgage lender to start the next step of the mortgage process, and contact an attorney.
- PURCHASE AND SALE AGREEMENT (P&S)—Your home inspection has been completed to your satisfaction so your deal moves ahead to the next hurdle, the purchase and sale agreement (P&S). This is the contract that states all the terms of the purchase and it is something that your attorney and the seller's attorney will write together. When both attorneys approve the P&S, it is time for you, the buyer, to sign the contract and write a check for the balance of the 5% of the purchase price minus the earnest money already submitted.
- LENDER WILL HAVE AN APPRAISAL DONE; MORTGAGE IS APPROVED—Next, the deal is in the hands of the mortgage lender to get all the financing in order and have an appraisal done on the property. Once the mortgage has been approved, a closing date is set.
- CONTACT THE UTILITIES—A this stage of the process you'll want to contact the utility companies and start the process to set appointments for after the established closing date.
- FINAL WALK-THROUGH AND INSPECTION—You're all most done, but before you pass papers you'll want to conduct a final walk-through inspection before the closing to make sure all is still well with the property.
- CLOSING AND MOVING DAY—Finally, you attend the closing, sign the closing documents, and get your keys. Now you can move into your new home!