Buying a Home in Westford MA

If you're considering buying a home ChinattiRealty.com is the best online resource to guide you through the process.  Our search tool is connected to the same MLS database used by realtors.  It provides the most up to date and accurate information about properties currently available, under contract, and recently sold.  Many of the popular national real estate portal sites are not connected directly to MLS and often contain inaccurate data.

Below you will find some useful information for navigating the home buying process.

Searching for a Home

The vast majority of buyers begin searching for homes online. The internet is a valuable resource. It will help you understand the market and narrow your search. It will help you focus on the most important features in your price point.  It's also fun to look at houses online!  Our web site allows you to customize your search parameters, and get frequent updates by email with new listings and status changes as they happen.  Our agents also monitor MLS throughout the day to identify any new listings for our clients.  The Advanced Search feature is a great place to start, and if you need any help with setting up your search parameters, please contact us and we'll be happy to help.

Mortgage Pre-Approval

If you're like most home buyers, you will be financing some portion of your home purchase.  A mortgage pre-approval is an important step early in the home buying process. The pre-approval is completed by a mortgage professional. The loan officer will verify your income and check your credit history. Going through the pre-approval process will also help you understand what the closing costs will be and how much your monthly payment would be.  A pre-approval is critical to have in hand prior to submitting an offer.

We work with a team of highly qualified lenders. We would be happy to connect you with someone who can help you either obtain a pre-approval or help you to better understand what is involve with the financing process.

Home Shopping

Once you've set a budget and are ready to get serious about buying, it's time to start looking at homes!  Our agents can help you refine your search and identify properties that might be a good fit.  Once you've found a property that interests you, we will schedule an appointment to look at it in person. Online listings are great, but pictures can be deceiving. Seeing a home in person is a completely different experience. 

Submitting And Negotiating The Offer

Once you've found the right property, the next step is to submit an offer.  Prior to submitting an offer, we can provide an analysis of similar properties in the area, either active or sold. We're happy to discuss these comparable properties with you.  Based on that information, we will provide you with some suggestions about a strategy for your offer.  There are many parts to an offer. It's not always the highest priced offer that is the "strongest" offer for a seller.

We have years of experience writing and evaluating offers. This expertise enables you to present a strong offer while not paying "too much".  In a particularly hot market you may not have a lot of time to decide on a home, so it's important to have an agent who is very responsive and available.  We use the latest technology for creating documents and obtaining e-Signatures. 

After your offer is submitted, our agents will work with the seller's agent and guide you through the negotiation process. Negotiations don't always center around the price of the offer alone.  We will provide you with our expert opinions on what is reasonable, and do our best to help you to get your offer accepted.

Home Inspection

Once your offer is accepted, the next step in the process is typically a home inspection.  The home inspection is paid for by the buyer. The price can range from $400 to $1,000 depending upon what is being inspected (building, pests, water quality, radon, etc...). A typical inspection will last anywhere from 2-4 hours depending upon the size and age of the home. The inspector will go through each area of the house and perform a non-invasive inspection to identify significant defects and safety issues that may not have been obvious when you viewed the property. You will also gain valuable information about the systems in the house and get useful tips for suggested regular maintenance. The inspector will provide you with a formal report within a day.  We have worked with many licensed home inspectors over the years. We are happy to provide you with names and contact information for inspectors that past clients have been happy with.

In many cases, especially with newer homes, there are no significant issues identified in the report.  Sometimes there are things identified which need to be repaired. In this case, we will work with you to determine how to best proceed; we can ask that the seller repair the defect prior to closing or provide a credit so that you can have the item repaired after closing.  Occasionally the issues are significant enough that either the negotiations fail, or the buyer decides that they are no longer interested in purchasing the property.  Your agent will help you understand the report, and assist you in understanding your options.

Purchase And Sale Agreement

The next step is normally to execute a Purchase and Sale agreement (P&S).  This is done in conjunction with a real estate attorney who works to negotiate the terms of the P&S with the seller's attorney.  The attorney is normally compensated by the mortgage company; so you typically do not have to pay an additional fee for their services. 

Closing

Prior to closing, you will receive a settlement statement that lists all the financial details for the property transaction. This document shows you where all the credits and debits are going; you will also know how much money you need to bring with you to the closing. On the day of closing, the buyer will meet with the attorney and sign all the necessary documents for the mortgage and the purchase of the property.  Once the documents have been signed by both parties, the attorney's office will take care of recording the transaction at the Registry of Deeds (in the county where the property is located). Ownership and the keys are then officially transferred to the new owners.  

Summary

The home buying process is an interesting and exciting adventure. There are plenty of details to understand along the way in order to make sure that you proceed in the best way possible to optimize value and minimize your risk.  We invite you to start your home search on our top rated web site now, and contact us with any questions.  

We are ready to help you in any way that we can.  Take a deep breath, jump in, and most importantly Have Fun!