Residential Home Purchases

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Buying a home is a major financial decision for most individuals and families. For many people, the purchase involves a long and thorough search to find the perfect property. Once you find it, you may realize that the buying process is a complicated one. At Pulgini & Norton, we have substantial experience representing buyers in residential home purchases throughout the Boston area. Our knowledgeable real estate lawyers can advise you at every stage of the process. Contact us today if you are purchasing a home.

Residential Home Purchases

Residential home purchases in Massachusetts are transactions that involve various steps and documents. Among these are the offer to purchase the home, the opening of an escrow account, the purchase and sale agreement, the home inspection, and the securement of a mortgage. The entire process culminates in the closing, which is when the paperwork is signed to effectuate the actual sale and purchase of the property.

Once a property is identified and the purchase price is agreed upon, the buyer and seller will execute an Offer to Purchase. The document identifies the property, purchase price and deposit, language regarding clear and marketable title, and other provisions. As the buyer, certain provisions can affect whether you proceed with the purchase. For example, you should be aware of language regarding the home inspection, such as how much time you have after an inspection to terminate the offer.

Purchase and Sale Agreement

After you execute the Offer to Purchase, the Purchase and Sale Agreement will govern your and the seller’s obligations from the time the home is taken off the market to closing. Most Massachusetts residential sale transactions use a standard form Purchase and Sale Agreement. The document sets out the basic terms of the transaction, including a legal description of the property, purchase price, and closing date. The form agreement is slanted toward the seller, which means that buyers will need to take cautionary measures before signing the document. Riders are added to the form to modify its standard terms and add contingencies that protect a buyer’s interests. For example, you may want your lender’s own appraiser to value the home to determine if the appraisal at least meets the purchase price.

Some important provisions to consider in the Purchase and Sale Agreement include the mortgage contingency, which gives the buyer the option to terminate the agreement if he or she is unable to secure mortgage financing. You may also need to add a home inspection or repair contingency if the seller agreed to make some home repairs prior to closing.

Title Concerns

Before the closing, a title search and report will list information about the property, including any liens or judgments against the seller. These items may delay the closing or possibly jeopardize the sale if they are not handled promptly and properly. For example, the title report may show delinquent property taxes, which a buyer would want the seller to pay prior to or at the closing. Massachusetts law requires that an attorney certify that the title to the home is clear and marketable. Otherwise, any outstanding liens or encumbrances on the property will become the buyer’s problem.

Mortgage Documents

Most buyers will put a down payment on the home and finance the rest of the purchase price with a mortgage. There are three documents that are crucial to the buyer-borrower’s ownership and financing: the deed, the note, and the mortgage. The deed conveys ownership interest in the home from the seller to the buyer. The note is the contract between the buyer and the lender for the loan. The mortgage is the lender’s interest in the property and its right to enforce the loan by foreclosing on the property for non-payment. We can negotiate the terms of your financing with lenders and review these documents with you to help you understand their legal implications.

Discuss Your Property Purchase with a Boston Lawyer

The firm of Pulgini & Norton provides capable legal counseling in residential home purchases. Our property attorneys have represented numerous Boston residents in real estate transactions, including the purchase of residential homes. We can guide you through the purchase process, review and negotiate critical documents, and facilitate the closing. We serve clients in Quincy, Newton, and Waltham, among other surrounding communities. For a confidential consultation, please call us at 781-843-2200. You can also complete our online form.