Do Your Homework
Get a handle on what's on the market. Most Provincetown and Truro real estate for sale is listed in the Cape & Islands Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a database available only to realtors.
Buyers can access these properties in one of two ways:
- Under "Search MLS Listings" on this website, where you can view ALL currently listed Provincetown and Truro property, AND receive email updates when new listings are added.
- Search www.realtor.com, which has all listings except commercial properties.
"Prequalify" with a Mortgage Broker
In 15 minutes you'll know how large a mortgage you qualify for, the cash you'll need, what payments will be, what you can afford. This will help appropriately guide your Provincetown or Truro property search.
Choose an Agent
Choose an agent to work with, a "buyer's agent" who will represent your interests. This costs you nothing as the fee is paid from the Seller's proceeds, but assures that you have an advocate who will find Provincetown and Truro properties matching YOUR needs and help you decide if they are sound investments.
Make an "Offer to Purchase"
Make an "Offer to Purchase" (once you've found the right property), outlining:
your offering price (your buyer's agent can advise you here)
your proposed terms(how much of your cash? How much of a mortgage?)
your conditions : contingencies such as home inspection, review of condo documents(Master Deed, Trust, Budget, Annual Meeting minutes) and mortgage requirements.
The Offer is accompanied by a "binder" or deposit, usually $500 to $1,000 which is returned if your offer is declined, credited to the purchase price if accepted, and forfeited if you breach your offering terms.
Once signed by the seller, the offer ties the property up for about 2 weeks while you do your "due diligence": hire a home inspector to inspect the property, check out records at Provincetown town hall (the assessors have deeds and floor plans, the Building File holds permits for work done on the property, the Health Agent has the septic system records.) You may need to try to renegotiate price depending upon what turns up!
Hire an Attorney!
"Offers" and "Purchase & Sale" contracts are binding legal contracts: if breached by either party a lawsuit can result! Your attorney should prepare, or review, the "P&S" before you sign it. Your attorney, or the bank's attorney, will also review the title to the property, and, if a condo, review the Master Deed, Condominium Trust and Budget, and advise you of any "issues". We recommend a Provincetown, Truro, or Cape Cod based-lawyer, familiar with local practices & idiosyncrasies.
Contact a Bank or Mortgage Company
During the two weeks between the offer and agreement, contact a bank or mortgage company with experience financing Provincetown or Truro homes about a mortgage. Get two or three "bids", and ask about "points" and "fees" as well as rates.
Sign the "Purchase & Sale Agreement"
Sign the "Purchase & Sale Agreement" for your new Provincetown or Truro home, usually two to three weeks after the offer, once inspections, reviews, renegotiations if any, are completed to your satisfaction. You will be required to advance an additional deposit (up to a total of 5% to 10% of the purchase price.)
"Passing Papers" occurs typically two months after an Offer. You receive a deed, which is recorded at Barnstable Registry, as "notice to the world" of the new ownership; the Seller receives his money, and you get the keys.