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Buyer's Guide

A Step-by-Step First Time Buyer's Guide

Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by your agent will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.


Step 1: Obtain a Pre-Qualification or Pre-Approval

Often used interchangeably, these are two different options to start the loan approval process. A mortgage pre-qualification is a shorter process that requires you to honestly report your own financial information. A pre-approval requires you to submit actual documentation such as W-2s to verify your financials. The latter is best. If you don’t already have a banker/mortgage contact, we can connect you with local trusted experts who know the intricacies of the Boston real estate market.

2. Visit Properties and Open Houses With US

As your buyer agent, we provide you with access to a custom “Collection” of properties that meet your criteria on the proprietary Compass platform. You can leave comments, favorite properties & request showings. Part of the service we provide is arranging all of the property showings. Some people feel as if they should wait to contact a buyer agent until after they have spent time looking at open houses, especially when they aren’t sure how serious of a buyer they are. However, successful buyers have found it is best to have a no obligation conversation with us early on before they even start attending open houses. We understand that some buyer searches can take time and sometimes result in no actual purchase.


Step 3: We Found a Home! Now what? Making An Offer

An offer is an agreement stating the price you are initially offering for the home as well as other important due diligence items such as the home inspection, mortgage clauses, and inclusions/exclusions. Also included would be contingencies such as attorney review of the condo budget/bylaws and proposed closing date.  If your offer is below the seller’s asking price, they will likely return with a counter-offer price depending on the demand for the property. You can choose to accept, reject, or adjust the terms of your offer. We guide you and provide advice throughout the process to ultimately reach an agreement on price and terms that you are comfortable with.


Step 4: Final Walk Through

The day before (or the morning of) the closing, we will perform a final walk-through. This is to ensure the property is being delivered empty, professionally cleaned, and exists in the proper condition. At this time, we will make certain any home inspection items are properly addressed.


Step 5: The Closing

Your attorney will arrange your closing time and location with you. Once you have signed the deed and mortgage documents, your attorney will handle the recording of the deed to make it official! Upon the deed being recorded at the Registry of Deeds in the Massachusetts County where the property is located, you are officially the owner and may use the keys to access/move into your new home!

Our Goal is to Provide You With the Most Personalized Service That is Designed to Help You Buy Your Dream Home

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Step 5: Find the Right Home

This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). I will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. Take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and run the faucets in various rooms. Don’t limit your inspection to the home itself. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores.


Step 6: Make an Offer

Once you have selected the perfect home, work with your agent to craft a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or even above the asking price. I will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement. At this point, the house will go into escrow.


Step 7: Have the Home Inspected

In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. I can help you arrange this, and you can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there is, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, or you can withdraw it.


Step 8: Select Your Loan

Now is the time to go back to the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and choose your mortgage. You will be presented with various options based on your unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, 15-year, 30-year, or special programs such as VA loans or FHA loans. Work with your mortgage lender to select the option you feel the most comfortable with.


Step 9: Get a Home Appraisal

Your lender will have your new home appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.


Step 10: Finish Paperwork

No one looks forward to all the paperwork involved in buying a home, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by your lender and title company and, when you’re finished, you’ll know you are the legal owner of your new home.


After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, you are now the owner of a new house. It may take a few days for your loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams.

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As a team, we service sellers, buyers, tenants, landlords and developers of many different types of properties, including: brownstone & full-service high-rise condos, single family homes, multi-family buildings as well as development projects.