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Who is representing you in your home purchase?

Posted by Leslie Mann on Thu, Mar 27, 2014 @ 07:55 PM

Buying a home can be a confusing process, and it’s made even more confusing when you encounter a slew of different realtors along the way. It’s important to understand each realtor’s role in the transaction, and how to protect your interests when buying a home.

Here are a few common areas where confusion arises.
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Topics: home buyer tips

Home Buyer Tips: Avoiding Move-in Angst

Posted by Leslie Mann on Thu, Jul 19, 2012 @ 07:55 AM

Knowing what to expect when you purchase a home can help make the whole process smoother. Here are five steps to making your move a positive experience.

Call your utility providers. At least a week before you move, call the electric company and other utility providers so that they'll transition service from the previous owner on moving day.

Allow extra time for the movers. It's common for closings to be delayed from a few hours to a few days due to last minute title issues or other paperwork. If you have the time flexibility, you might want to book the movers for a day or two after closing day, just in case. It's incredibly frustrating to home buyers to have a moving truck waiting, only to find out the closing is delayed.

Schedule cleaners.
In general, home sellers are required to leave the house in "broom swept" condition when they move out. This does not mean it's sparkling clean. Many buyers prefer to schedule cleaners so the home looks spotless when you walk in the door.

Be prepared for last-minute expenses. Minor expenses often crop up at closing. For example, it's customary for home sellers to charge back the buyer for small items such as excess oil in the oil tank, or overpayments they've made on taxes, water, or sewer bills. Sometimes these fees are wrapped into the mortgage, and other times the buyer must write a check at closing.

Ask for copies of manuals, warranties, etc. Ask the sellers for documentation they may have for operating and maintaining systems in the home, such as central air, sprinkler systems, security systems, and more.

Feel free to contact me for more home buyer tips, or to start a home search in Boston's MetroWest suburbs. We'd be glad to be of assistance. My husband Kyle & I represent home buyers across many Boston suburbs, including Concord, Dover, Holliston, Hopkinton, Lincoln, Sherborn, Southborough, Sudbury, Wayland, Wellesley, Westborough, and Weston, among others.
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Topics: Sotheby's Realty Boston, Wellesley MA real estate agent, home buying tips, best Massachusetts real estate resources, Sotheby's International Realty Greater Boston, Hallmark Sotheby's International Realty Greate, Boston Metrowest real estate agent, home buyer tips, best Massachusetts relocation resources, tips for a stress free move, Wellesley MA buyer's agent, Boston Sotheby's Realty, Boston MetroWest buyer's agent

Should I get a preapproval letter with a lower amount to help me negotiate the best price?

Posted by Leslie Mann on Mon, Sep 19, 2011 @ 09:17 PM

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Topics: home buyer tips

Finding the best places to live in Boston

Posted by Leslie Mann on Sun, Jul 3, 2011 @ 07:36 PM

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Topics: living in Holliston MA, Boston real estate market, Boston relocation, best places to live in Massachusetts, living in Wayland, living in Wellesley, home buyer tips, Boston metrowest real estate, Hopkinton MA homes for sale, Hopkinton MA real estate, Homes for sale in Wellesley, Wellesley MA homes for sale, Weston MA homes for sale, Boston Magazine best places to live 2011, Boston suburbs homes for sale, best public schools in Boston, best places to live in Boston, Lexington MA schools, Boston suburbs realtor, Boston suburbs real estate, relocating to Boston, Hopkinton realtor, Hopkinton relocation, living in Westboro, Westboro homes for sale

Home Buyer Alert: Lenders Pull Last-Minute Credit Reports

Posted by Leslie Mann on Fri, Jun 3, 2011 @ 07:48 AM

I received this important alert from our friend and colleague, Attorney Richard Vetstein:

Fannie Mae’s new Loan Quality Initiative mandates will curtail borrowers’ spending before their home closings, and could derail some closings for buyers who rack up purchases before their home sales have closed.

The new changes are part of a new effort by mortgage giant Fannie
Mae to cut down on slipshod underwriting by lenders and frauds by borrowers. Fannie’s so-called “loan quality initiative” will require lenders not only to pull two credit reports for each mortgage transaction but to perform additional verifications of borrower occupancy plans for the property, Social Security numbers and Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, among other changes. These last minute credit checks could result in a closing delay, pricing adjustment, or, worst, loan approval cancellation.

Thus, Vetstein advises buyers to avoid obtaining or applying for new credit, or even increasing utilization of existing credit, before their closings:

Lenders may view this added debt as a strain on a household budget sufficient enough to make a once qualified borrower now appear unable to handle the payments. If these new loans are sizable enough to affect the debt-to-income ratio calculations used in the original mortgage approval, then the deal could fall through.

Check out Richard's helpful real estate law blog for more information.
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Topics: Sotheby's Realty Boston, home buying tips, best Massachusetts real estate resources, home mortgage tips, obtaining a home mortgage, home buyer tips, Boston Sotheby's Realty, Wellesley Sotheby's Realty, Sotheby's Realty Wellesley

Handy Real Estate Mobile Applications

Posted by Leslie Mann on Thu, Feb 24, 2011 @ 09:32 PM

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Topics: Sotheby's Realty Boston, Boston real estate market, home buyer tips, Boston MLS, MA real estate, Boston metrowest real estate

Understanding Buyer Agency in Massachusetts

Posted by Leslie Mann on Fri, Feb 18, 2011 @ 09:31 AM

In Massachusetts, there are usually two real estate agents involved in the purchase of a home. The listing agent represents the home seller while the buyer’s agent represents the home buyer. A buyer’s agent acts as your advocate, helping you find the home you want, then negotiating the lowest possible price.
For example, your buyer’s agent will work on your behalf to scout out new listings to find the right match, counsel you on the pros and cons of each property, provide you with objective information about recent sales of similar properties, and negotiate the best price for you once you do find the right home.
When you walk into an open house or call an agent because you saw their home listing, you are talking to the listing agent or "seller's agent". Seller's agents are legally and contractually obligated to represent the best interests of the seller. This includes the right to share with the seller any information you, the buyer, give them. For example, if you tell the listing agent that you are pre-qualified to $300,000, they can give the seller this information. Additionally, they are not allowed to disclose information to you that could harm the seller’s negotiating position. Your buyer’s agent can share with you any information they discover about the seller’s situation.
Typically, there is no cost for a buyer’s agent. The entire commission (usually 5-6 percent of the home sale price) is paid by the home seller. If there’s only a listing agent involved in the transaction, that agent retains the entire commission. If you have buyer representation, the commission is split between the listing agent and buyer’s agent.
[photo courtesy of Enrico Trujillo]
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Topics: Boston real estate market, home buyer tips, Boston metrowest real estate

Keeping Shaq Under Wraps: Protecting a Home Buyer's Privacy

Posted by Leslie Mann on Sat, Aug 28, 2010 @ 11:27 AM

Boston real estate is always a hot topic, especially when it involves a celebrity. Boston area residents were abuzz this past week in the wake of an article speculating about where Shaquille O'Neal was buying a home.

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Topics: home buyer tips, luxury home purchase, confidential real estate services

Navigating the Boston Real Estate Market

Posted by Leslie Mann on Thu, Aug 26, 2010 @ 08:13 PM

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Topics: living in Westboro, Boston suburbs real estate, living in Holliston MA, Boston real estate market, living in Boston, Boston relocation, best places to live in Massachusetts, living in Wayland, living in Wellesley, Wellesley MA real estate, home buyer tips