The First Step: The Offer To Purchase

The first step in purchasing or selling Massachusetts residential real estate is the presentation and acceptance of an Offer To Purchase. Most often, the buyers’ real estate broker prepares the offer to purchase on a pre-printed standard form and presents it to the seller for review, modification, and acceptance. While attorneys are typically not involved in the offer stage, it’s not a bad idea to have an attorney review the offer before signing.

The Offer To Purchase will initially set out the important terms and deadlines of the transaction: the purchase price and deposits, the closing date, and the date the purchase and sale agreement must be signed. With deadlines, Buyers will often push for more time, while sellers push for less time. Reasonableness should prevail here. It may be unrealistic for a financed transaction to close in less than 30 days in this market. And it’s critical to build enough time to complete the home inspection process and get estimates for repairs.

Standard contingencies will also be added to address mortgage financing, home inspection, radon, lead paint, and pests. The home inspection and related tests are typically completed before the purchase and sale agreement is signed and any inspection issues are dealt with in the purchase and sale agreement. If they are not, there is an inspection contingency added to the P&S.

Once the home inspections are completed, the transaction will move to the purchase and sale agreement stage. This is where your trusted advisers at TitleHub will guide you through the remaining phases of the transaction.

For more information about the Offer to Purchase, please read our Blog post here.