If you're about to buy a condo or home in Boston, it pays to remember that price and timeline are not the only things to be mindful of. There are contingencies that your sale that are in place for your protection, and you'll need to pay attention to them.Most of the contingencies are to be completed prior to your signing the "Purchase and Sale" contract (also called the "P & S").First on your list is the inspection contingency. You'll set up an inspection for the first few days after having had your offer accepted and put under agreement. If there are inspection issues of concern, this gives time to resolve them before you move on to the P & S. As stated in the Greater Boston Real Estate Board's addendum form, the contingency exists to protect you from "serious mechanical, structural, or other defects." A threshold dollar figure is inserted in the form (usually $1,000 for repairs), above which the buyer can opt out of the transaction. Typically, buyer and seller come to some sort of negotiated agreement on repairs. I generally encourage my buyers to get a credit rather than have the seller do the repairs because youll want to make sure such repairs are done to your satisfaction. Again, these issues should be agreed to prior to signing your P & S.Next, have your attorney (always use an attorney!) look over the condo documents and the association financials to ensure that the association was properly set up and in sound legal standing. Make sure you know policies on pets, insurance, rentals, and any other policies. Your attorney will know what is important to know. You should also review the financials and, if you can, it's often helpful to talk with the association trustee(s) or management to learn the association's financial footing. Ask if there are reserves. Ask if there is work coming up on the building, and who will pay for it. Ask if there are other issues within the association you should know about. Your attorney and your agent will help you gather the necessary information.Your last contingency, assuming you are financing your purchase, is your ability to obtain a mortgage. You'll need to have made a full mortgage application by a certain specified date, and you should get the ball rolling on that as soon as your offer is accepted. The date should be the day after the signing of the P & S, because lenders will need the P & S to make an application.There's a second important date, and I can't overstate the importance of this. It's the mortgage commitment date; the date by which your mortgage contingency expires. If this date should pass and you've failed to get a mortgage and can't buy the property, you're in danger of losing your deposit.Here's my more detailed transaction guide.If youhavequestions about buying or selling Boston real estate, please call me at617-584-9790, or send me an email via the link below.
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