The "Closing Thoughts" Blog

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    Beware: “Homeowner Benefit Agreement”

    By Amanda Collins

    As the real estate market cools, it’s no surprise to see predatory practices on the rise. One scam making news is something called a “Homeowner Benefit Agreement” or “HBA” that promises homeowners quick cash of up to $5,000. The problem is that the homeowner doesn’t find out what they are giving up for that easy…

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    Agents: How to protect your Buyer’s deposit from default

    By Joshua Blumen

    Just because you know how to complete the financing contingency clause of a Purchase and Sales Agreement does not mean your Buyer’s deposit is safe from forfeiture. The financing contingency is supposed to protect the Buyer’s deposit from risk of default to the Seller — and it is a litigation landmine. The nastiest attorney emails…

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    Owner’s Title Insurance: What is it and why do you need it?

    By Joshua Blumen

    You’re about to close on the sale of your home. The buyer has lined up financing. You’ve lined up the movers and the final walk-through. Everything is on track and on time. Until you get a call from your attorney. There’s a problem with your title — and it’s complicated. The bottom line: You aren’t…

  • close up of team reviewing clipboard

    Selling Your Home in Massachusetts? Don’t make this classic legal mistake.

    By Joshua Blumen

    “What is the biggest legal mistake a seller can make?” As a real estate closing attorney, that’s a question I hear a lot from listing agents who want their clients to avoid legal landmines. The answer is easy: The biggest legal mistake sellers make is taking a piecemeal approach to getting the legal support they…

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    Should You Waive Your Home Inspection?

    By Joshua Blumen

    Another popular strategy that can make your offer stand out in a competitive market is waiving your home inspection contingency. What Does it Mean to Waive the Inspection Contingency? The inspection contingency is a standard part of typical Offers to Purchase real estate in Massachusetts. If your home inspection turns up deal-killing problems, the inspection…

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    The Homeseller’s #1 Closing Nightmare — and How You Can Avoid It

    By Joshua Blumen

    You know the expression “It ain’t over till it’s over?” Well, it applies to selling your home, too. Things can and do go wrong at the last minute. And it’s not always a bolt from the blue that derails your closing. In fact, the most common closing day nightmare for sellers isn’t something dramatic, like…

  • looking up at a tight rope walker against a blue sky

    Should You Waive Your Financing Contingency?

    By Joshua Blumen

    Shopping for a home? Get ready to deal with a market where Sellers are calling the shots — and have their pick from multiple and increasingly competitive offers. No one likes to lose a bidding war. But sometimes offering to pay more isn’t possible. The good news is that there are other ways to make…

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    Seller FAQ: Do I have to attend the closing?

    By Joshua Blumen

    Do I have to attend the closing for the sale of my home in Massachusetts?  With proper planning and good advice, probably not.  In fact, for a variety of reasons, you may prefer not to be there — particularly if there is tension between you and the buyers or you have another transaction on the…

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    Down Payment Gifts: Not just for first-time homebuyers

    By Joshua Blumen

    Can my family give me the money for a down payment on a home purchase in Massachusetts? Absolutely! As a matter of fact, according to IRS guidelines for 2018, anyone can give another person – family or not – up to $15,000 per year without having to file a gift tax return. This means that…

  • Know what to expect when you refinance

    Refinance FAQ: No Check at the Closing?

    By Joshua Blumen

    I am refinancing my home in Massachusetts to pull out cash because mortgage rates are so low.  How come I don’t get a check at the closing?  The short answer is that there will not be any “cash-out” refinance money available until a few days after your signing. Let me explain… When you are refinancing…

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    5 Documents You Need to Keep from Your Massachusetts Real Estate Closing

    By Joshua Blumen

    Whether you’re buying or selling, all real estate closings have a couple things in common: They all come with a lot of paperwork. And they often happen as you are getting ready to move — a fairly chaotic time that can make it difficult to keep track of important documents. Here are five key documents…

  • a couple in bed pulling the sheets up to their eyeballs, looking scared

    Are You Buying A Haunted House? Know the frightening facts.

    By Joshua Blumen

    Adjusting to a new home can be tough. Especially at night, when unfamiliar creaks and noises can rattle your nerves. Is that someone walking on the roof under the full moon? What are those footsteps coming towards me in the middle of the night? In my case, these late-night terrors turned out to be turkeys…