The Importance of the Offer to Purchase
In 1999, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that a signed Offer containing all of the essential terms of the closing is a binding legal contract. Therefore, the dates must be carefully thought out before you sign the Agreement.
Your real estate broker will assist you in completing the offer form but cannot give you legal advice.
At Touchstone, we are available to discuss your legal questions regarding the purchase of your home when you have them. Not after your property is under contract.
Purchase & Sale Review
We will review the purchase & sale agreement with our custom modifications within 24 hours of receipt of the document. We are available to review the paperwork via email, over the phone, or in-person at your convenience.
Title in a Flash
It is our policy to order the title immediately after the offer is signed (and we have been retained). Our attorneys and network of independent title examiners provide a full 50-year title search within 3-5 business days.
We don’t want our clients to waste time on a house or condo that does not have a clean title.
TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID)
As of October 3, 2015, the substantial modifications of the settlement & closing business has dramatically affected the ability of borrowers to close on time. The mortgage market is generally turbulent, and post-TRID, it is the wild west.
As a home buyer, there are hundreds of mortgage lenders vying for your business. It is critical that you work with someone with a track record of closing on time in this new lending environment. Don’t be afraid to ask for references!
Declaration of Homestead
We will prepare and record a Declaration of Homestead for you at closing for no additional charge. An estate of homestead is only available for your primary residence. Homeowners are entitled to automatic homestead protection worth $125,000.
If you properly sign and record a declaration of homestead with the registry of deeds, the number of protection increases to $500,000. The declared homestead protects against attachment, seizure, execution on judgment, levy or sale for the payment of debts.
Closing Document Review
At closing, you will sign dozens of documents. Our attorneys will review the paperwork with you and discuss any last-minute questions you have.
Common Title issues
- Errors in public records
- Unknown liens
- Illegal deeds
- Missing heirs
- Undiscovered encumbances
- Unknown easements
- Boundary/survey disputes
- Undiscovered will
- False impersonation of previous owner
|Fees & Pre-Paid Items||Estimated Fees||Description|
|Lender Origination||$600-$900||This fee is intended to cover the process and administration associated with originating the loan.|
|Appraisal||$325-$450||This is usually the only up-front payment required to start the loan application process. Every loan needs an appraisal!|
|Government Recording Fees||$365-$400|
|Points||Variable||an optional expense if you would like to “buy down” the mortgage interest rate.|
|Settlement & Legal||$600-$750||This is the market rate for the administration cost of processing the mortgage loan for the lender.|
|Purchase & Sale Review||$0 – $350||Many attorneys will offer a discount or complimentary purchase & sale review if they perform the closing for the mortgage lender.|
|Title Exam||$150-$250||This is the cost for a person to search all records relating to the real estate you are purchasing for the last 50 years.|
|Plot Plan||$110-$150||This is required to show are no encroachments and to provide a footprint of the land and the location of the building(s) you are purchasing.|
|MLC||$25-$50||This is a certificate obtained from Massachusetts cities and towns with tax payment information. The document is recorded at closing.|
|Title Insurance||Variable||Title Insurance pricing varies based on the purchase price of the home and the amount of the loan. To receive a quote, email firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote within 2 business hours|
|Property Taxes||4-5 Months||Property taxes are due quarterly. If the tax payment is due within 45-60 days of the closing, the attorney will collect the payment for that quarter at closing as a separate line item and the initial deposit to the escrow account will be reduced accordingly.|
|Homeowners Insurance||Variable||It is the practice of the mortgage industry to collect the first years premium up-front at closing. Therefore, the homeowners insurance will always be paid a full year in advance. If you are escrowing for the next years homeowners insurance premium, the lender will collect approximately two months’ worth of the premium.|
|Tax adjustment||Variable (+/-)||This is an adjustment for the taxes that have already been paid by the Seller of the property you are purchasing. Alternatively, The seller may reimburse you for taxes that you are pre-paying that cover a period of time during the Sellers ownership.|
|Condo Fee Adjustment||Variable||The monthly condo fee will be adjusted on the settlement statement at closing based on the closing date.|
|Fuel Adjustment||Variable||There may be adjustments for the oil or propane fuel that will be left at the property if this amount has not been previously negotiated.|