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The 5 Questions You Need to Ask Before Buying a Home in Boston Right Now

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Boston homebuyers taking their first step onto the property ladder face tight housing supplies as houses are sold just days after a listing hits the market. As homes in the area are being scooped up left and right, homebuyers find themselves at odds with qualified competition. But by conducting research and asking the right questions, buyers can find the home that fulfills all their wants and needs, and then make a competitive offer.

For homebuyers looking to purchase their dream home, the team at Prevu Real Estate compiled a few must-ask questions to increase the likelihood of a successful home buying journey. 

How do I find a local agent?

Whether you are buying a home in Jamaica Plain or a condo in Back Bay, purchasing real estate can be a complicated process, filled with legal documents, due diligence checks, and negotiations.

First-time buyers and experienced homeowners targeting specific neighborhoods should search online to find brokers that have closed numerous deals in the area. Boston residents partnering with local brokers gain access to their knowledge and insights on price trends in the area. 

Buyer’s agents guide clients through the home-buying process. In addition to negotiating a great deal, buyer’s agents connect buyers with real estate attorneys, mortgage lenders, and any other professional referrals needed.

When choosing an agent, buyers should ask how their brokerage stands out from the rest. 

Can I get a commission rebate?

As buyers interview buyer’s agents to accompany them on property tours, they have every right to ask for a commission rebate

Commission rebates are legal in forty states, including Massachusetts, and allow brokers to reward buyers with a percentage of their broker commission fee. 

Traditionally, after a deal closes, the buyer and listing agents split the broker commission fee layered onto a property listing. But modern brokerages enable agents to share their commission with buyers. 

For example, if a buyer purchases a $1.2 million condo in the North End with Prevu Real Estate, they can receive significant savings of up to 2 percent of the purchase price cash back.

Learn more about commission rebates.

How much can I afford?

Figuring out how much you can afford to put down on your first Brookline home does not have to be a complicated process. Once Boston residents find a broker, they can start shopping for a lender and get pre-approved for a mortgage and discern the price ranges available to them. 

By getting pre-approved, buyers can show they are serious about purchasing a home and are ready to finance the transaction. The pre-approval process also helps buyers understand how much a bank is willing to lend them, after the bank reviews the buyer’s financial statements and credit history. 

Why is the home being sold?

When touring properties, ask real estate agents lots of questions about the property and why the owner is selling.

Understanding the motivations of a seller can provide insights on how negotiable they might be and what their timeline might be. For example, are the sellers relocating for work, upgrading to a larger home, or going through a contentious divorce?

While the listing agent may not disclose, any incremental information you can uncover may be useful when it comes time to negotiating an offer.

How should I make an offer?

Boston residents looking to purchase a home in 2021 face tight inventory, and buyers have to view properties quickly when they go on the market.

When you attend an open house in your favorite neighborhood and find the perfect home, a local agent can help buyers swiftly write an offer reflecting their timeline, what contingencies to include or exclude, and of course the purchase price. 

Once the seller accepts the offer after some negotiation, the buyer will typically have an inspector review the property, and a purchase and sale agreement will be prepared and reviewed by the real estate lawyers of the buyer and the seller. After signing the purchase and sale agreement, buyers will complete the mortgage underwriting process and finally close on the transaction.

Interested in buying a home in Boston? Browse listings in your favorite neighborhoods and see how much you can save with Prevu’s Smart Buyer Rebate Program.