South Shore Real Estate Blog: The Great Thaw—Five Ways to Loosen Inventory

South Shore Real Estate Blog: The Great Thaw—Five Ways to Loosen Inventory

Bob ThawAnyone involved with today’s market undoubtedly knows that we are in a period of low inventory. This week, we’re going to look at five strategies that allow Buyers and Agents to help thaw an otherwise frozen market.

  1. One Day Exclusive Listing Agreements:

Ordinarily, a Buyer’s Agent will search the MLS looking for homes that meet their Buyer’s requirements within a given area. Due to low inventory, very often there are few homes, if any, to show a Buyer. In this situation, an Agent should consider what’s known as a “one day exclusive listing agreement.” Very simply, the Agent will send a letter stating that they are an Agent of a Buyer who is interested in their home. The Agent will represent/list the recipient’s home for a single day to allow their Buyer to view and potentially submit an offer and as an additional benefit to the Agent, even if the Buyer does not make an offer, for whatever reason, the Seller will often ask the Agent to list their home for sale because now their mindset has shifted due to the excitement of moving. Result: the Buyer is able to see more houses, the Seller is spurred to list their house, and the Agent either sells a house or gets a listing: this is  truly a win, win, win situation.

2. Technology/Social Media: 

One may take the “old school” approach of actually knocking on doors and asking if the owner is interested in selling; and it may work. With social media as a platform to broadcast a desire or need, it’s easy for an Agent to post what their client is looking for, perhaps enticing an otherwise non-selling homeowner to sell their home. For example: “I have a Buyer looking for a 3 bedroom home with a yard big enough for their dog in Mytown, USA.” As an additional benefit, you are marketing and developing your brand as a Real Estate Agent. Friends who didn’t know you were an Agent will be reminded by such posts. Use technology and creativity to “manufacture” inventory and develop your brand.

3. Negotiate a Home Sale Contingency:

Many Buyers are sitting on the sidelines waiting for inventory to increase. The problem is that many of these Buyers are also would-be Sellers. To increase inventory, Buyers who also need to sell should make an offer which includes a home sale contingency with their offer. That said, not all home sale contingencies are created equal. There are generally four types which expire at different points of the sale process: 1) the Seller becoming party to a signed offer, 2) the Seller becoming a party to a signed purchase and sale agreement, 3) the Seller’s Buyer receiving their mortgage commitment, or 4) the Seller closing on their sale and receiving proceeds. An Agent guiding their Buyer should define precisely which type of home sale contingency they are seeking. Sellers should bear in mind that while inventory is low, there’s a good chance that the Buyer will sell their own home quickly assuming their home is properly marketed at a realistic price. The Seller’s agent may be able to evaluate the Buyer’s marketing strategy and home to get a better sense of how likely it will be to sell at the Buyer’s listing price.

Notwithstanding, Sellers may also choose to include a “Kickout Clause” in their counter offer. Generally speaking, a kickout clause allows the Seller to continue listing their house for sale, during which time if the Seller receives a bona fide offer that is stronger than the Buyer’s offer, the Buyer is given a defined period to either waive the home sale contingency or exercise their rights under the contingency to terminate the Agreement. For more information on kickout clauses, read our article, The Offer Part 2 – Contingencies for Sellers to Consider.

4. Negotiate a Suitable Housing Contingency:

Many Sellers are saying that “If I found the right house, I would sell mine.” Those Sellers are sitting on the sidelines waiting for inventory to increase so that they can find their next house. (Some homeowners simply prefer to Sell before they buy. Buying before selling comes with the risk of not being able to find a home to purchase before having to close on their sale.) As with sale contingencies, not all suitable housing contingencies are created equal. A suitable housing contingency generally expires at one of four points: when the Seller 1) signs an offer, 2) signs a purchase and sale agreement, 3) receives a mortgage commitment, or 4) closes on their purchase. The benefit of sharing the risk is that Buyers who would otherwise wait for inventory to increase before listing will be willing to list and sell their homes, thus, increasing inventory.

5. Disclose the Seller’s Time Requirements:

Finally, a Seller may choose to disclose on the listing that they need more time than is customary between signing the Purchase and Sale Agreement and closing: sixty days or even longer is not unreasonable when properly disclosed. Many Buyers are flexible and wouldn’t mind extra time if it means buying the home of their dreams.

While the above strategies do not present a complete panacea, using one day exclusive listings and strategic contingencies can help to bring homes that would otherwise stay off the market, into the market. The common thread between these five strategies is creativity. Creative thinking can help to thaw the frozen market, benefiting Buyer, Sellers and even Agents, alike.

Click here to get to know our team.

Stiles Law, with offices located in Boston and Marshfield, Massachusetts, is a firm concentrating in real estate conveyancing and mortgage lending services, representing buyers, sellers, borrowers, banks, mortgage companies, investors, builders and developers in all of their real estate and mortgage transactions. Stiles Law serves all areas of eastern Massachusetts–the North Shore, Boston, and Cape Cod, in addition to the entire South Shore, including: Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury, Hanover, Pembroke, Marshfield, Scituate, Norwell, Cohasset, Hull, Hingham, Weymouth, Braintree, and Quincy.

Copyright © 2016 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts. No child labor laws were breached during the creation of this Blog, further Bob Bonkley was compensated for his likenesses and appearances in the same.

The Massachusetts South Shore Real Estate Blog: Benefits of Wintertime Investment in Real Estate

The Massachusetts South Shore Real Estate Blog: Benefits of Wintertime Investment in Real Estate

Winter Wonderland

Typically there’s a thick blanket of snow covering everything in sight–and if there isn’t, it won’t be long until there is. It is for this reason that the real estate market is notoriously slow in the winter months. While it’s tempting to curl up with a steaming cup of cocoa and a good book, this is actually one of the best times to purchase real estate. Numerous factors, which we will outline here, combine to make this time of year a buyer’s market for novice purchasers and high-powered investors alike.

Interest Rates are Still Low: Okay, so this isn’t because it’s winter.  Fed policy has helped to keep rates historically low. While none of us have a crystal ball, investors and home-buyers could see significantly higher rates in the not so distant future.

Fewer Buyers: Get ready to dust off your Econ. 101 notes–as demand drops and supply remains relatively constant (or at least if demand drops more sharply than supply), we should expect prices to drop as well. Most other buyers, whether to avoid the slush or moving their children during the school year, will be drinking their cocoa rather than pounding pavement (or ice, as the case may be). In addition to lower prices, buyers will enjoy greater negotiating power as there are fewer standby offers (or even interested buyers) for the Seller to rely upon. Further, chances are that if the property is on the market during the winter months it has been on the market for longer than the seller wanted and as such is motivated to sell. Wintertime bidding wars are rare.  All of this plays to the advantage of the buyer.

Agents will have Fewer Clients: Since there are fewer buyers during the winter months, Real Estate Agents will simply have fewer clients to tend to. This means each client will receive a larger portion of the Agent’s attention, and by extension, even greater searching and negotiating power.

Lower Loan Application Volume: When fewer homes are sold, lenders have fewer applications to process. Similar to the greater attention from Agents, loan processors will likely have more resources to dedicate to your application which should improve speed and smoothness of the loan application process.

You Get to See the House at its Worst: Yes, you read that correctly. At base, selling a house is selling a product. There’s a reason that most listings show the property in the middle of spring or summer, covered with lush vegetation and manicured landscaping: it helps to increase the buyer’s perception of the property’s value. Buying when the property is covered with snow, sand, salt, and ice removes the emotional “wow” that fair weather primping can have. Additionally, prospective buyers will have a better idea of the condition of essential systems—for example, whether the furnace adequately heats the space. Leaks, cracks, and other cold weather problems will also manifest themselves more readily in the dark winter months.

While it might feel counterintuitive to start your search while the frigid winds are still howling, the intrepid buyer is more likely to score a deal than the one who is waiting for the springtime thaw.  For additional considerations about whether this is the time to invest in real estate, check out our past Article: Is It Time To Buy That Investment Property Or Second Home?

Are you on our mailing list for our latest Blog posts?

Fill in your information below to receive periodic emails announcing new Blog Posts:

This MailChimp shortcode is now deprecated. Please insert the new shortcode to display this form.

Stiles Law, with offices located in Boston and Marshfield, Massachusetts, is a firm concentrating in real estate conveyancing and mortgage lending services, representing buyers, sellers, borrowers, banks, mortgage companies, investors, builders and developers in all of their real estate and mortgage transactions. Stiles Law serves all areas of eastern Massachusetts–the North Shore, Boston, and Cape Cod, in addition to the entire South Shore, including: Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury, Hanover, Pembroke, Marshfield, Scituate, Norwell, Cohasset, Hull, Hingham, Weymouth, Braintree, and Quincy.

Copyright © 2015 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.

The Massachusetts South Shore Real Estate Blog: Congratulations–You Bought an Investment Property–Now What?

The Massachusetts South Shore Real Estate Blog: Congratulations–You Bought an Investment Property–Now What?

Buying Investment Property

 

Last time, we took a look at the reasons why it is still a great time to invest in real estate. There are many types of investment properties ranging from multi-family homes to a vacation rental. This week, we’ll focus on real estate investments that include tenants. Many investors will focus exclusively on the acquisition of a property and the long term management of tenants that occupy it. Many first-time investors gloss over an important part of the process: establishing the landlord-tenant relationship. Here are the tips that you need to know before a tenant moves a single box into your new property.

 

Why Can’t I Save Some Money and Find My Own Tenant (on Craigslist)?

There is a recurring theme in many of our articles and that is: utilize the services of a Real Estate Professional. Finding a tenant is no exception. First and foremost, a good agent will act as a screen, minimizing the risk of getting saddled with a crummy tenant. Though you probably already have a general idea from information gleaned from your research before buying the property, an agent will also help you set the proper rental amount for the market. Perhaps most importantly, finding your own tenant will increase the likelihood that you will have to re-read our next article dealing with the eviction process in Massachusetts.

What do I need to do to Protect my Investment?

Your property is a valuable income-generating asset. The wrong tenant can cause damage to the premises, disturb your other tenants, and occupy your property while not paying rent, here are four quick and inexpensive ways to minimize the risk of being hitched to a bad tenant:

  1. Check their Credit Report: Documented history of timely payment of debt is a useful indicator that the Tenant will make timely rental payments to you. Further, making payments on time is a hallmark of a responsible consumer which supports the inference that the prospective tenant will treat your property responsibly.
  2. Ask for References: Some clients are surprised to hear this, but who would be a better judge of a tenant than their prior landlord? If the tenant refuses, that supports the inference that they didn’t get along with their prior landlord and that they may not get along with you.
  3. Don’t Settle: This is the time to trust your gut. Meet with your prospective tenant face to face. Your life experiences should give you a good idea of how they will perform. While you certainly want to push cash flow into the black, don’t settle for a tenant that you feel isn’t going to be a good fit. You may be able to cover your new mortgage payment, but you’ll likely spend many thousands of dollars (and many hours wishing you listened to your gut) to fix your new headache.
  4. Call Back: Call from a few different phone numbers that the prospective tenant won’t recognize. If they don’t answer, they may be ducking other creditors.

So I Found a Tenant–Now What?

  1. Get it in writing: Let me say that one more time: get it in writing! Your experienced attorney who helped you purchase the property can also help you to draft a written lease. This document will guide the landlord-tenant relationship. Resist the urge to use a form lease you found in a dark corner of the internet as most are not well drafted nor designed with Massachusetts law in mind. A written lease settles issues ranging from the monthly rental amount to the types of pets, if any, your tenant can keep. In the event of a dispute, it will be helpful to reach an expedient solution. Be sure to provide your tenant with signed copy of the lease as soon as possible.
  2. Establish a Record of the Property Conditions: We all carry a camera in our pocket–now let’s use it for something more useful than taking pictures of your food and posting it online! Before your tenant moves in, take pictures of every room, every fixture, down to the last detail-preferably with the tenant in each picture. If your tenant is camera shy, email the pictures to your tenant and ask that they respond with an acknowledgment that each is a fair and accurate representation of the current condition of the premises. It’s tedious and feels silly, but in the event of a dispute, you’ll have strong evidence to refute your tenant’s claim that the damage was a preexisting condition.
  3. Hold Your Tenant’s Money Properly: Nothing is more deflating in an eviction proceeding than the tenant claiming you’ve mishandled her money–especially the security deposit. This mistake can cost the landlord thousands of dollars in damages and months of unnecessary legal proceedings. Save your deposit slips. Keep a ledger of every payment with the date, amount, and what the payment is being credited to (remember: unlike a mortgage, rent is paid in advance–usually on the first day of the month). Contact your attorney for advice on this subject.

These tips should help to protect the hard-earned dollars that you’ve invested in your new property. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, it will help you to avoid the eviction process. If you are forced into that undesirable situation, these tips should help you to prevail, more quickly, more inexpensively, with less inconvenience.

Stiles Law, with offices located in Boston and Marshfield, Massachusetts, is a firm concentrating in real estate conveyancing and mortgage lending services, representing buyers, sellers, borrowers, banks, mortgage companies, investors, builders and developers in all of their real estate and mortgage transactions. Stiles Law serves all areas of eastern Massachusetts–the North Shore, Boston, and Cape Cod, in addition to the entire South Shore, including: Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury, Hanover, Pembroke, Marshfield, Scituate, Norwell, Cohasset, Hull, Hingham, Weymouth, Braintree, and Quincy.

Copyright © 2014 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts. No child labor laws were breached during the creation of this Blog, further Bob Bonkley was compensated for his likenesses and appearances in the same.

 

The Massachusetts South Shore Real Estate Blog: Why Buyers may not be Adequately Protected without a Homestead

The Massachusetts South Shore Real Estate Blog: Why Buyers may not be Adequately Protected without a Homestead

Massachusetts Homestead DeclarationThis week we’re coming back to discuss a topic that many of this season’s new home buyers should be considering—declaring an estate of homestead (more colloquially “declaring” or “filing a homestead”). Here’s the most common scene at closing: “Mr. Smith, did you know you have a right to declare a homestead today?” Mr. Smith looks back inquisitively, invariably thinking: “I’m buying a two bedroom condo in Southie—aren’t homesteads giant tracts of land in the undeveloped wilds of the west with names like dusty gulch?” Instead Mr. Smith says: “I’ve heard of this—could you tell me more?”

The simplicity of the concept of declaring a homestead (more accurately “establishing an estate of homestead”) is obscured by its name. While you could declare a homestead on your tumbleweed cattle ranch—and we would usually advise you that this is a good idea—you can declare a homestead just as easily on your two bedroom ranch on the cape.

What is a Homestead? Declaring a homestead protects the homeowner against certain types of unsecured debts (and by implication, creditors) from being satisfied by forced sale, execution, attachment, levy and the like. In short: you cannot be dispossessed of your home to satisfy unsecured debts with an effective Homestead Declaration.

Who can claim an estate of homestead? Anyone who owns the property (is on the deed) and who uses the property as his/her primary residence (sorry, no vacation or investment properties). Married couples can join a declaration together—non-married owners must file separately.

What’s the protection limit? By declaring an estate of homestead, protection increases from the “automatic homestead” of $125,000 to $500,000. Two qualifying owners over 62 years of age (which the Homestead Act so callously calls “Elderly”) or owners who are disabled are protected in an aggregate amount up to $1,000,000 from unsecured creditors.

It’s at this point in the explanation that some of our clever Buyers lean back and smirk. We have to break the news to them that a homestead does not protect the owner against their lender foreclosing on their mortgage or against tax liens. While this is a shame from the Buyer’s perspective, the protection offered by filing a homestead is still robust. Here’s an example: you’re driving home from another long day at the office when a minivan pulls out in front of you. Before you can slam on the brakes, you rear end the minivan, which results in serious injury to the passengers of the vehicle. While this in itself is horrible and unavoidable, the worst is to come. You’re sued by the driver of the minivan (lawyers—am I right?), and you lose. Worse yet, you haven’t declared a homestead. In order to satisfy judgment, the Judge orders your home to be sold to satisfy the hefty sum.

If you had declared a homestead, you would still owe the award of damages; however, you wouldn’t be forced to sell your home to satisfy it (assuming of course the judgment is for less than the protection limit).This encapsulates the real benefit of declaring a homestead.

After seeing the various costs, fees, and charges of buying a house, many buyers are skeptical that such protection can be purchased affordably. Most are surprised to learn that a lawyer will draft and file a homestead declaration for less than the cost of a nice dinner. This is one of those instances where if it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t.

In almost every case, we advise our clients to declare a homestead. It’s short money to obtain robust protection. While the name “homestead” may conjure unintended images of covered wagons and rolling prairies, it fits with the notion that a person’s right to their home is something that should be strongly protected. It also happens to be one of the better bargains when buying a home.

Stiles Law, with offices located in Boston and Marshfield, Massachusetts, is a firm concentrating in real estate conveyancing and mortgage lending services, representing buyers, sellers, borrowers, banks, mortgage companies, investors, builders and developers in all of their real estate and mortgage transactions. Stiles Law serves all areas of eastern Massachusetts–the North Shore, Boston, and Cape Cod, in addition to the entire South Shore, including: Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury, Hanover, Pembroke, Marshfield, Scituate, Norwell, Cohasset, Hull, Hingham, Weymouth, Braintree, and Quincy.

Copyright © 2014 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts. No child labor laws were breached during the creation of this Blog, further Bob Bonkley and Molly Moraine were compensated for their likenesses and appearances in the same.

 

The Massachusetts South Shore Real Estate Blog: When to Retain a Real Estate Attorney

The Massachusetts South Shore Real Estate Blog: When to Retain a Real Estate Attorney

When to Retain a Real Estate AttorneyThe purchase or sale of Real Estate results in various costs. Among these is the cost of retaining an attorney. Some Buyers and Sellers elect to wait to hire an attorney until the Buyer’s home inspection is finished. The logic is understandable: why should I involve another party, potentially incur additional costs, for a transaction that may not happen? This week, we’ve decided to throw in our two cents and explain why retaining an attorney earlier in the process is cost neutral and can result in other important benefits.

In an ideal world, every Buyer and Seller would have their real estate attorney’s number saved in their cell phone as their number one contact. Before a Buyer submits an Offer, or a Seller accepts an Offer, an experienced real estate attorney can provide legal advice as to the consequence of, or the lack of, contingencies.

Since we don’t live in an ideal world, and real estate agents generally do a nice job advising their clients at this stage, we’re going to assume that the Offer has been submitted and accepted before either the Buyer or Seller calls the attorney–all of that said, we recommend reading a couple of our earlier posts: The Offer Part 1–Five Contingencies for Buyers to Consider and The Offer Part 2–Contingencies for Sellers to Consider.

When Sellers Should Retain an Attorney: Sellers should call a Real Estate Attorney prior to or as soon as they have accepted an Offer. After the initial consultation and quote, the Seller should ask their attorney to draft the P&S. The attorney-drafted P&S will generally include additional provisions that provide further protection for Sellers that are not included in the standard form P&S drafted by a Broker. Further, it allows the attorney to remove the administrative burden from the Broker acting as the “go between” for the respective attorneys. This allows the Broker to focus on other important tasks. In the event that the transaction falls through before signing the P&S, the Sellers will most likely find another Buyer. At this point, the attorney will simply modify the changed terms to reflect the new deal. Since this will incur very little or no cost, there is little cost-savings to wait to retain an attorney.

When Buyers Should Retain an Attorney: With Buyers, there’s a bit more gray area. A Buyer’s Offer is usually contingent on the home inspection. The Buyer may want to see the results of the inspection before investing any time on further negotiation; however, the same logic described above applies here. Stiles Law, with rare exception, will not invoice Buyers in the unfortunate event that the P&S is not signed and thus the transaction is not consumated. We assume that the Buyer will retain our firm for their soon to be purchase; therefore, retaining an attorney early is cost neutral.

Observations from Our Experience:

  1. Waiting Disadvantages your Negotiating Position: After the deal is set in stone, it’s very difficult for a late-comer to make significant changes.
  2. Waiting can Rush the Lawyer’s Review: The offer sets a deadline for signing the P&S. Hiring an attorney the day before this deadline can result in a rushed review that in some cases results in inadequate protection.
  3. Waiting Causes more Stress: It’s a terrible feeling for both Buyers and Sellers to look at the clock to see if their deal is about to fall apart.
  4. Mother Always said “You get What you Pay for”: If an attorney is willing to review this extremely important legal document for free, you should run away…quickly! You should find an attorney that is willing to represent your interests, not one that is simply willing to “look it over as a courtesy for your lender.” It is important that the attorney is representing your interests, not simply going through the motions in order to obtain the eventual legal engagement from your lender.

While the benefits of retaining a real estate attorney are clear, the optimal point to do this is less clear. Hiring an attorney early in the process is cost neutral, strengthens your negotiating position, allows for thorough review, and reduces everyone’s stress.

Stiles Law, with offices located in Boston and Marshfield, Massachusetts, is a firm concentrating in real estate conveyancing and mortgage lending services, representing buyers, sellers, borrowers, banks, mortgage companies, investors, builders and developers in all of their real estate and mortgage transactions. Stiles Law serves all areas of eastern Massachusetts–the North Shore, Boston, and Cape Cod, in addition to the entire South Shore, including: Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury, Hanover, Pembroke, Marshfield, Scituate, Norwell, Cohasset, Hull, Hingham, Weymouth, Braintree, and Quincy.

Copyright © 2014 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts. No child labor laws were breached during the creation of this Blog and Bob Bonkley was compensated for his likeness and appearance in the same.

 

The Massachusetts South Shore Real Estate Blog: Title Insurance – Protection for the Purchaser of Real Estate

The Massachusetts South Shore Real Estate Blog: Title Insurance – Protection for the Purchaser of Real Estate

Whether to purchase Title Insurance is an often debated issue, though it remains an affordable protection against loss for Buyers.Whether Buyers should purchase Title Insurance at the time of closing is an important, often debated issue. At its most basic level, Title Insurance protects an insured against loss due to a title defect, many of which remain undetected by a thorough title examination. Title Insurance is obtained with a one-time premium, paid at closing. Coverage continues for as long as the policy holder or her heirs has or have an interest in title to the property. In addition to reimbursing policy holders for losses, should it be necessary, the Title Insurance company will also provide for the cost of attorneys necessary to defend the insured’s interest in the property.

But here is the natural question (usually asked at closing):

Why do I need an Owner’s Policy if I’m already buying a Lender’s Policy at closing?

Most lenders require that the Buyer purchase a “Lender’s Policy” at the time of closing. A Lender’s policy, limited to the amount of the loan, protects the lender should there be a loss due to defective title. The amount of coverage reduces over time to reflect the unpaid principal balance and eventually disappears as the loan is paid off. The Lender’s Policy only protects the lender against loss–NOT THE HOMEOWNER. For purposes of Title Insurance, the lender does not suffer a “loss” until there is a title defect and the Borrower defaults on the loan, i.e. the Borrower stops making monthly payments.

An “Owner’s Policy” protects the Buyer and her heirs against losses due to title defects up to the policy amount—the purchase price of the property. Coverage continues as long as the owner or her heirs have an interest in the property and some policy limits actually increase over time to keep pace with inflation.

Title defects are actually common. Here are some of the usual, covered title defects:

  • Errors or omissions in deeds
  • Mistakes in examining records
  • Improperly discharged mortgages
  • Forgery
  • Undisclosed heirs
  • Erroneous or inadequate legal descriptions
  • Silent (off-record) liens (such as mechanics’ or estate tax liens)

You’ve just done a title exam, shouldn’t you know if there’s a title defect?

The short answer: No. The customary title examination reviews records held at the Registry of Deeds and Registry of Probate for a period limited to fifty years. If title defects occur before this point, they will go undetected. Title examiners are not looking for forgeries, missing documents, unrecorded documents, or unaccounted for heirs. Frankly, title examiners are human, which by definition means that they can make mistakes.

It’s new construction, so the title should be clear, right?

No. While the beautiful house you are buying may be brand new, the land that it sits on is not. Any defects that may have affected the land will also encumber your new house. So whether you’re buying a brand new home or buying from a seller who has lived in the house for the past 50 years, the need to adequately protect your home remains extremely important.

The purchase of a home often represents the largest investment that a person will ever make. Home buyers should strongly consider purchasing an Owner’s Policy as an affordable protection for this investment.

Stiles Law, with offices located in Boston and Marshfield, Massachusetts, is a firm concentrating in real estate conveyancing and mortgage lending services, representing buyers, sellers, borrowers, banks, mortgage companies, investors, builders and developers in all of their real estate and mortgage transactions. Stiles Law serves all areas of eastern Massachusetts–the North Shore, Boston, and Cape Cod, in addition to the entire South Shore, including: Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury, Hanover, Pembroke, Marshfield, Scituate, Norwell, Cohasset, Hull, Hingham, Weymouth, Braintree, and Quincy.

Copyright © 2014 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.