HOME BUYER'S GUIDE AND TOOLS

We want to buy a home in Boston, but where do we start?

We recommend attending a buyer orientation meeting with a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Warren Residential buyer specialist. This meeting is crucial to ensure a smooth transaction. During the meeting, we will discuss the following:

  • Your new home requirements
  • How you will be represented
  • Pre-qualification for a mortgage/home loan
  • Your area and neighborhood preferences
  • Any other questions you may have about buying your new home

Should I get pre-qualified with a mortgage company?

Getting pre-qualified for your new home loan is essential and serves two main purposes. First, it lets you know what your loan limits are so we can target visiting properties that are inside of your means. Second, by having a letter of pre-qualification from the lender when we submit an offer, the seller knows that you are serious and will be able to close the transaction. This can cause the seller to find your offer to be stronger than those that are not accompanied by a letter.

With so many homes available in Boston, how do I find the right one for my family?

After the buyer orientation meeting, we will have a good idea of what you are looking for, and we can look at places that best meet your needs. If you are relocating to Boston and need to find a new home quickly, we can search the Multiple Listing Service during the interview and set an appointment to introduce you to the homes and neighborhoods in Boston that meet your criteria. If you have a little more time, we can enroll you in our email Listings Program, where we will send you a daily email of new listings that meet your needs as they become available. If you find a home that you want to see in our emails, we can then set an appointment to view it.

We found the right home, now what?

After identifying the right home for your family, as a Buyers Representative, your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Warren Residential agent will advise and assist you in making an educated, informed, and competitive offer. When we have prepared the offer that you are comfortable making, your agent will then present it to the seller, in most cases through the listing agent.

What is a contingent contract — and what should I be doing during that period of time?

After the offer to buy/sell has been negotiated and is executed by all parties, the offer becomes a binding contract. At this point, the clock starts ticking and the Contingency Period begins for the buyer. This is usually a 7-14 day period when the buyer makes sure the home meets his or her needs and is free of any defects. The first thing that you need to do as a home buyer is set up a professional inspection during the option period. Our agents can help you to choose an experienced home inspector. Once the inspection is completed, the buyer receives a written report, and repairs, if any, are again negotiable in the contract. Once the option period ends, both parties are bound by the contract.

I hear a lot about all-cash offers in today’s market, how is this process different?

For in-demand properties, some buyers will offer to pay the total value of a home in cash, rather than securing a mortgage. This is very common with real estate investors and international buyers who may have difficulty securing a mortgage from a bank. Typically sellers prefer all-cash offers because of the certainty of payment that comes with this type of offer. But, if you do not have the hundreds of thousands of dollars necessary to make an all-cash offer, don’t despair. Sellers often take many other factors into consideration, and it is not uncommon for them to choose a pre-qualified buyer over an all-cash buyer.

What is necessary to get a loan for my home?

Once you have a contract, we need to decide on the best home lender to work with and make a loan application. Click here to read our guide to getting a mortgage in Massachusetts. Your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Warren Residential agent can also refer you to some of our preferred lenders. Below, you will see what goes on behind the scenes to ensure that you are able to close on the house that you chose.

What is being done while we wait to close?

Attorney

  • Reviews contract for complete instruction of transaction and hold earnest monies
  • Runs title searches to ensure a free and clear title.
  • Sends title commitment and deed restrictions to buyer for review
  • Orders survey for lender
  • Orders documents for transfer of title and file a new deed with Suffolk County
  • Prepares the settlement statement
  • Coordinates the closing date and execute closing for both parties
  • Disperses funds to the appropriate parties

Mortgage Company

  • During the loan application, the loan officer reviews the credit report and advises on the best financing program
  • Loan officer reviews documentation and prepares a list of additional documents
  • Loan officer will “lock” in an interest rate, depending on the mortgage type
  • Loan processor will order appraisal and title work from the title company
  • Loan processor verifies employment information and documentation and prepares file for submission to underwriter for final approval
  • After approval, the closing package is prepared by an attorney and lender, who deliver to the title company for closing
  • When closing is complete, lender will review and provide funding for purchase

How do I prepare to move?

While the mortgage and title company are preparing for closing, as a buyer you need to complete the following:

  • Set up and transfer utilities from your previous home to your new home, if applicable
  • Give notices as necessary to current landlords
  • Register for schools and daycare
  • Set up new home insurance
  • Schedule movers (we can assist you in finding a reputable, insured moving company in Boston)
  • Submit a change of address request to post office and creditors
  • Start packing!

Is there anything to do before closing?

Your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Warren Residential agent will set up a “walk-through” appointment for the day before or the morning of your closing. This gives you the opportunity to walk back through the home just to make sure the home is in the same condition as the time of contract and verify that any repairs that we contractually stipulated were properly completed.

What happens on the day of closing?

This is the day you have been waiting for. Congratulations! Both parties sign all closing documents, sometimes at different times. At the closing, do not forget to bring certified funds, a driver’s license, and any other documents requested by the lender. After closing, the lender usually funds the loan and possession of the home transfers to you, the new buyer.

Buyer's Resources

Search Homes Right Now: Use the search tool to browse the wide variety of single-family homes, duplexes, and condominiums on the local real estate market.

  • Register for the Home Finder and let your dream home come to you. Members can also create saved searches, collect their favorites and sign up for instant email alerts when new homes that fit their criteria come on the market.

  • First-Time Buyer? Read about some things you need to be aware of if you're new to this process.

  • Learn About the Community and homes in the surrounding area before you invest. Refer to the Featured Areas section for community information.

  • Buy Your Home with a REALTOR®: Read our buyer's guarantee and find out why working with a REALTOR® takes the guesswork out of buying a home.

  • Use the Mortgage Calculator to figure out what your mortgage payments will be on the home you want.

  • Connect to a Professional: Contact us anytime you need to know more about the area or any property that interests you. When you're ready to take the next step toward purchasing a home, we're here to help.

  • Out-of-Country Purchases: We can help you buy property here, even if you're in another country.

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