This is one of our more helpful pieces. Take a moment to review the selling process.
Showing the property – We work with a professional appointment setting company, SHOWING TIME (visit their website) to schedule all of the showing requests. This company ensures that someone is always available to accept inquires to show your home. Their only job is to handle these inquires, thus reducing any delays in responding to a buyer’s interest. We highly recommend that you work as closely with those time requests as possible—sometimes, we don’t get a second chance for these showings! The Seller’s responsibility is to make the home as “accessible” and as “presentable” as possible for these showings. Nice touches are to turn the lights on, freshen the air and tidy your home! Showings generally take 30 – 40 minutes and this is not a time for the Seller or Seller’s pets to be in the property.
Receiving an Offer – This is done in writing and requires a deposit from the buyer. This is known as a “Good Faith Deposit” and will be held in an Escrow Account. The offer may be subject to a satisfactory Home Inspection and a Mortgage Commitment. The Offer states a time period for you to respond in writing. Prior to expiration of this time period, this is your opportunity to Accept, Reject or Counteroffer the Buyer’s offer.
The Home Inspection – This should be scheduled immediately after the Offer has been accepted, and typically takes place within the next 10 days. The Buyer is responsible for hiring and paying the home inspector. The inspector, the buyer(s) and the Agent the buyer(s) is working with attend the inspection. The seller should never attend. It typically runs between 2-4 hours. After the inspection is completed, the Inspector should provide the buyer(s) with a written report. If the buyer has any concerns, it will be brought to our attention through the buyer’s agent.
The Purchase and Sales Agreement – This is signed by all parties after the acceptance of the “Offer” and generally after the home inspection has been completed. All the parties involved have the option of having an attorney advise prior to signing this document. Also, an additional deposit is required from the buyer, which will be held in an escrow account.
The Appraisal – The mortgage company will assign an appraiser to research the property and provide an opinion of value. This is done after the Purchase and Sales Agreement has been signed by all parties. This is done because the bank holds the property as collateral and this is a cost to the buyer.
The Mortgage Commitment – This a written letter issued by the bank after a satisfactory Appraisal has been completed and the lender is satisfied with its lending requirements.
The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Certificate – This is an inspection to ensure that the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in compliance with local code. This is conducted by the Fire Department and is the responsibility of the seller to provide this documentation prior to closing. This is a time-sensitive document.
6D Certificate – This is a document provided by the Seller (of a condo) prior to closing. This document signifies that all condo fees have been paid satisfactorily.
Final Adjustments – Prior to closing there are several municipal and private adjustments that need to be made. Some of these are final water readings, fuel adjustments, sewer, trash, rentals (such as hot water tanks), all of which need to be forwarded by the Seller to the closing attorney.
Title V – Under Massachusetts State Law, every septic system must undergo (and pass) the Title V certification. This is the Seller’s responsibility. It is highly advisable that the Seller conduct this test at the earliest possible time to marketing the property. A Title V certification is valid for 2 years with an unpumped system and 3 years with a pumped system.
The Final Walk Through – This is a final inspection that the buyer conducts on the property. The property needs to be in the same condition as stated in the executed Purchase and Sales Agreement. This usually takes place the day before or the day of the closing.
The Transfer of Utilities – Prior to closing and prior to vacating the property, the seller will contact the utility companies servicing their property. This is the time for the seller to indicate a stop or transfer of those utilitiesThe Closing – The closing is transferring the ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer and is the final step. You will learn the time of day and the location that this will take place a few days prior to the scheduled date. The Signing Process is followed by the “recording process” at the Registry of Deeds. This completes the legal process.