Boston, MA (PressExposure) November 30, 2009 -- Now that the Home Buyer Tax Credit legislation, which provides a maximum $8,000 tax credit to first time home buyers, has been extended through April 30, 2010, a growing number of first time home buyers are taking the home ownership plunge.
But, according to the Massachusetts Association of Buyer Agents (MABA) buyers shouldnât be hasty. MABA advises buyers not make an offer for or purchase a property without performing due diligence. Although buyers may want to move things along quickly in order to take advantage of the tax credit before the deadline, buying a home is a major purchase that requires careful consideration and research.
With the buyersâ best interests in mind, the buyer agents at MABA offer the following tips when considering buying a home:
If you find a property that you like, do the research. Find out as much as you can about the property, the community, the septic system, zoning, setbacks, water supply, etc. For example, if you are going to pay a premium to live on the water or near the beach, make sure these attributes are not at risk from erosion, vegetation growth or even a new house blocking the view.
Walk the neighborhood and talk to residents on the street. You will be surprised at the useful information you will pick up. If you are shy, bring a gregarious friend along.
Prior to making any offer, familiarize yourself with other houses on the market that meet your needs and your budget objectives. Make sure you are also aware of the recent sales in the community and that you compare the house you want to purchase with these comparable sales.
Decide if the house you have chosen is indeed the best house for you in your price range. Find out the property's true market value, not the asking price, as it will vary wildly from the final sale price. Use this information to decide how much to offer.
If you decide to make an offer, prepare a written offer to purchase which includes price, terms, conditions, and contingencies. These should all be in your best interest. (In Massachusetts real estate contracts need to be in writing to be legally binding). The typical binder deposit accompanying an offer is $500 to a $1000.
Prepare a negotiating strategy. Identify the reasons why the property owner should accept your offer. Include information about yourself and the fairness of your offered price and terms.
Make the offer presentation. Your agent will do so following your chosen negotiating strategy.
Once an offer is accepted, make sure BOTH parties sign off on the agreement.
Hire a nationally certified home inspector to evaluate the house to identify any defects requiring corrective action. In Massachusetts home inspectors are licensed by the Commonwealth. Attend the inspection, take your own notes and ask questions. Note some of the signs that can indicate bigger problems such as: ceiling leaks, a strong odor of damp, faulty or broken windows/doors, neglected yard, broken fixtures and appliances, rotting or insect damaged wood inside or out. Read the inspection report and identify any problems that you will ask the seller to correct prior to the closing date.
Once you and the seller agree on the inspection items, a purchase and sale agreement is signed by both parties. Legal assistance is recommended for all contracts.
According to Paul Cottone, a member of MABA Board of Directors and broker at The Cottone Company of Newton Highlands, âReal estate is one of the biggest investments of a lifetime and a buyer MUST take the time to do the research and investigate the pros and cons of their potential investment.â
All MABA buyer agents take a pledge of undivided loyalty and are committed to protecting the home buyer. For more information about Buyer Agents, visit MABAâs website at http://www.MassBuyerAgents.com.
MABA is currently accepting new members. MABA is dedicated to providing quality, fiduciary-level services to home buyers and specializes in working to save buyers time and money, as well as looking out for the buyer clientâs interests in the real estate transaction. MABA members never represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction and they never ask a buyer client to waive his/her right to full buyer representation. They are serious about due diligence and will inquire about non-disclosed property information. For more information, visit the website at http://www.MassBuyerAgents.com or contact 1-800-935-MABA (6222).