154 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657508.487.4005800.838.4005Provincetown

The Buying Process

Do Your Homework

Get a handle on what's on the market. Most properties for sale in Provincetown are listed in the Cape & Islands Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a database available only to realtors.

Buyers can access these listings in one of two ways:

  • Under “MLS Listings” on this website, where you can view ALL currently listed properties, AND receive email updates when new listings are added.
  • Search www.realtor.com, which has all listings except commercial properties OR

"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.

Choose an agent

Choose an agent to work with, a "buyer's agent" who'll 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 properties matching YOUR needs and help you decide if they are sound investments. Remember, listing agents represent the SELLER, and look out for their interests.

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?) and
  • 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 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 or Cape based-lawyer, familiar with local practices & idiosyncrasies.

Contact a bank or mortgage company

Contact a bank or mortgage company, during the two weeks between Offer and Agreement, about a mortgage. Get two or three "bids", and "points" and "fees" as well as rates.

Sign the "purchase & sale agreement"

Sign the "Purchase & Sale Agreement", or contract, usually in two to three weeks, 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"

"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.

Last updated: December 18, 2010