___ Should you rent or buy?
___ How much house can you afford?
___ What about taxes and insurance?
___ Assessment vs. Appriasal
___ Read books on Home Buying.
___ Determine your wants and needs.
___ Look on your own or with an agent?
___ Know your agency choices.
___ Want a consultant or a sales person?
___ Determine which towns and why.
___ Obtain town and tax information.
___ Research school information.
___ Find average sale price in the area.
___ Know difference between an Offer and P&S.
___ Lender Pre-Qual or Pre-Approval?
___ Other relocation assistance needed?
___ Know the rules in Massachusetts.
___ Assemble your buying team.
SEARCHING FOR A HOME
___ Where to find houses for sale?
___ Access to the Multiple Listing Service.
___ Checking for Expired Listings.
___ For Sale By Owner.
___ Auction & Foreclosure Properties.
___ Discount Listings not in the MLS.
___ Homes not currently on the market.
___ What "Exclusive" listing means.
___ MLS rules and "pocket listings".
___ Use of Drive-By lists.
___ While viewing homes.
___ Do you want properties previewed?
___ Open House etiquette.
___ When the seller is home.
___ Take notes to compare houses.
___ Second showings.
___ Ask questions of the Listing Agent.
___ Organize the Showing Sheets.
___ Get a Seller's Statement.
___ When and how to make an Offer.
BEFORE MAKING AN OFFER
___ Why this particular property?
___ What is your 2nd and 3rd choice?
___ What are current market conditions?
___ Determine Fair Market Value.
___ Is the property overpriced?
___ Sweat Equity
___ Understanding Emotional Equity.
___ What are Comparable sales in the area?
___ Look at sales on the same street.
___ Compare tax assessed values.
___ Do a square footage analysis.
___ Compare List to Sale prices.
___ Use computerized Price Evaluators.
___ Determine your negotiation strategy.
___ Make yourself attractive to the seller.
___ Rapport with seller and listing agent.
___ What are the seller's wants and needs?
___ Consider seller financing.
MAKING AN OFFER
___ Determine your offering price.
___ Know your bottom line.
___ Determine contingencies if any.
___ Get Professional & Legal help.
___ Fill out the offer form.
___ Use buyer protective language.
___ Negotiate price, terms, and conditions.
___ Use back door clauses.
___ Include initial deposit check.
___ Who holds escrow deposits?
___ Understand the Statute of Frauds.
___ How will the offer be presented?
___ Counter Offers and Time Expediency.
___ Contingency dates are important!
___ Know when to walk.
___ Protect your deposit money.
___ Obvious issues with the house.
___ What all would you like included?
___ Determine your absolutes and maybes.
___ Think about "What if?" and have another plan.
___ Use your flexibility to your advantage.
___ What about Home Warranty coverage?
___ How about window dressings?
___ Play set in the yard?
___ Negotiate again, after the Home Inspection.
HOMEWORK AT THE TOWN HALL
___ Who is the owner of record?
___ What is the actual square footage?
___ What is the age of the structure?
___ Was it built or moved to this location?
___ What are the taxes?
___ When is the next tax assessment?
___ Public or Private sewer?
___ Future development plans.
___ Building and set back requirements.
___ Are there environmental issues?
___ Current or planned betterment issues?
___ Location of well and/or septic.
___ Any permit issues?
___ What town issues should I know about?
QUESTIONS TO ASK THE SELLER
___ How did you arrive at your asking price?
___ Why are you moving?
___ What's under the snow?
___ It's winter, are any of these tree dead?
___ What are the quirks with this property?
___ How do you get along with the neighbors?
___ May I have a completed a seller's statement?
OTHER DUE DILIGENCE HOMEWORK
___ What is the history of this property?
___ Are there any encroachments or easements?
___ What does the deed tell us?
___ Subdivision covenants or restrictions?
___ Stigmas of any kind?
___ Visit at night.
___ Check for noise pollution.
___ Any high voltage lines?
___ Talk to the neighbors.
___ Any builder or development issues?
___ Are there neighborhood concerns?
___ Child molester registry?
___ Crime report for the area.
THE HOME INSPECTION
___ How to choose a Home Inspector.
___ Deal Killer or In their Pockets?
___ ASHI or NIBI inspectors.
___ Prepare for the home inspection.
___ Attend or be represented.
___ Have the inspection video taped.
___ Determine additional inspections wanted.
___ How to interpret the Inspection Report.
___ Renegotiating after the home inspection.
___ Bring inspector back for final Walk Thru.
___ Using the home inspection to walk.
WORKING WITH LENDERS
___ How to choose the right lender.
___ Mortgage bankers or brokers?
___ Shop for the best rate and service.
___ Know you options.
___ What are ARMs?
___ VA, FHA, or other Government loans?
___ Are there any special state or town gifts / loans?
___ How to compare loan programs.
___ What are portfolio loans?
___ Get a free pre-approval early on.
___ How to avoid costly PMI.
___ Ask your lender to match other rates offered.
___ When to move your loan to another lender.
___ Understand the appraisal process.
___ Ask lender for a copy of the appraisal.
___ Watch you rate lock very carefully.
___ Use a reasonable date for a bank commitment.
___ Make your lender meet the commitment date.
___ Beware of contingencies in the commitment letter.
___ Don't go forward without the commitment letter.
___ Get an amortization schedule.
___ How to pay off your loan in half the time.
___ Consider Seller Financing.
PURCHASE AND SALE AGREEMENT
___ Have it reviewed by an attorney.
___ Expect to ad protective clauses and riders.
___ Relationship between agent & attorney?
___ Can close on the Offer if can't agree on P&S?
___ Watch the financing and home inspection deadlines.
___ Is it ever appropriate to record the P&S?
___ Realize the risk in asking for extensions.
___ What's the risk if you can't get an extension?
___ Determine how to Take Title.
___ Be sure the P&S is properly delivered.
___ Make sure your have a P&S signed by the seller.
BEFORE THE CLOSING
___ Meet all the lender's requirements.
___ Get insurance binder for closing.
___ Decide on Owner's Title Insurance
___ Consider filing Homestead.
___ Review the HUD Settlement Statement.
___ Review closing documents with your attorney.
___ Confirm amount you bring to closing.
___ Have a bank check made out to yourself.
___ Have the utilities switched over.
___ Notify the Post Office of your address change.
___ Prepare for the Final Walk Thru.
___ Know where and when the closing is.
___ Bring photo ID and Insurance Binder to the closing.
THE FINAL WALK-THRU
___ Make sure the sellers are moved out.
___ Review potential concerns.
___ Verify fuel reading.
___ Approve Punch List items.
___ Test Heating system.
___ Check water pressure & plumbing.
___ Run the dishwasher.
___ Test all appliances.
___ Is property free of debris?
___ Is everything the same as before?
___ Is the property broom clean?
___ What are the unresolved issues?
AT THE CLOSING
___ Discuss any issues from Walk Thru.
___ Effect any seller escrow necessary.
___ Set the tone for a pleasant closing.
___ Show your photo ID.
___ Present you Insurance Binder.
___ Expect to do a lot of signing.
___ Endorse check to conveyance office.
___ Ask conveyance officer to record Homestead.
___ Confirm that all your obligations are met.
___ Make sure your have a copy of everything you signed.
___ Ask for copies of anything else you would like to have.
___ Get additional items and information from seller.
___ Ask how to contact the seller after closing.
___ Pick up the keys from the seller at the table.
AFTER THE CLOSING
___ Organize and file your closing documents.
___ Go for a tax abatement if appropriate.
___ Make mortgage payment on time.
___ Know who to contact with problems.
___ Thank Your Buyer Broker for the good job.