5th Annual Derby For Our Troops!!

March 14th, 2016

It’s that time of year again!!

Join us for our

~ 5th Annual Derby For Our Troops Party ~ 

Click on the invitation for all the details 

We can’t wait to see everyone there!!

1 2

2 Chances to Win Red Sox and Bruins Tickets!!

February 25th, 2016


The Mass Save Energy Program

February 11th, 2016

We get a lot of questions from clients about the Mass Save energy-conservation program (www.masssave.com).  They want to know what it does, how the process works.

Out of curiosity, Ben recently went to the Mass Save web site and completed its home energy assessment form; his experience brought new heating and air-conditioning systems to his home, interest free.

An Energy Specialist came to his home two weeks later to measure the energy use and provide energy-saving recommendations.  That led to the plan that is now making Ben’s home cheaper to run.

This energy specialist really knew what he was doing.  First thing, he replaced a bunch of light bulbs – for free — with the newer, more efficient kind.  Then he went through the house – he spent two hours – and the bad news was Ben’s old, inefficient heating system needed to go.  The good news was Ben could go to Bob Kelley at Mutual Bank in Whitman for his zero-interest loan.  That’s the same bank that holds the mortgage on his house, so it was friendly territory.

Another twist in the story was that Ben wanted to install central air, too, so the heating specialist talked Ben through that. To have central air covered by Mass Save you need to purchase a super-efficient, unit – the expensive one – for it to qualify for the zero-interest loan. Ben, and his lovely wife, Tara, decided to go for it all.

Getting the job done was easy, too. Ben was able to use the installation companies and the bank of his choice. He called Bob Kelley at Mutual Bank in Whitman for his new loan because he already had a mortgage loan with them.

Bob later explained how the zero-interest Mass Save loan is handled:

 “We offer the 0% heat loans, up to $25,000, with terms up to 84 months (seven years). Right now, we limit them to owner-occupied properties.  In most cases, this is the customer’s primary residence, plus we have done some on second homes. But that may expand to other types of real estate in the future.

 “The application process is relatively easy.  The application is on our website, or we can e-mail the application to customers,” Bob explained.

 “We have offered these loans without any fees and we are writing all of them unsecured.  This is unlike some of our competitors.  We looked hard at the fees, but decided that if customers are seeking 0% loans, lets try to make it easy for them.  By not charging fees, we also decided not to have any of them secured with either a mortgage or a UCC-1 financing statement.  Many of our customers are homeowners and by recording a mortgage, it can get in the way for the next 5-7 years if and when the customer attempts to refinance their first mortgage. Plus, the recording fees are $178 to record it and $78 to discharge it, so it can add up.”

All the work in Ben’s house is done now, thanks to the Mass Save Program.

We asked another friend about his experience with Mass Save.  Here is what he had to say.

Joe, called Mass Save’s 1-800 number to schedule a home energy assessment.  It took about a month for an Energy Specialist to come to Joe’s house.  When he arrived he provided Joe with new energy-efficient light bulbs and programmable thermostats.

The technician walked through Joe’s house and attic for about two hours using an infrared camera to check for heat loss.  After looking for hot and cold spots, the Energy Specialist concluded that the only work needed was to replace his furnace.  They gave Joe a list of 12 banks he could choose from for the interest-free loan.

Afterward, Joe said the process was definitely worth it.

Hopefully, this information will help you if you’re interested in Mass Save.  Ben and Joe were both happy with the experience and recommend it to their friends!

If you have any more question about the Mass Save Program, or any other real estate questions, please reach out.  We love helping people!

What to expect once your offer has been accepted…

September 22nd, 2014

What to expect once your offer has been accepted…

Information You will Need Prior to Closing

Immediately upon acceptance of the final contract the following things need to happen:

1.  Order a home inspection

Once the home inspection has been completed provide your realtor with a list of any items that you have concerns about or would like the seller to fix prior to closing.  Your realtor will discuss these items with the seller’s realtor and come to a repair agreement if any items need to be addressed prior to the closing.

2.  Determine if you would like a radon inspection and order it from the home inspector. Radon testing is performed to check if the home is at risk for the gas.  Radon is an invisible and odorless gas.  Both long and short term testing devices are available.  Your home inspector can advise you as to which type of testing is best suited for the home.

3.  If there is well water, you will need to have this inspected as well.  Well water is analyzed to measure for possible bacterial contamination and/or chemical and mineral contamination.   Your home inspector can take a sample to be tested and analyzed. 

4. Financing: 

Contact your lender and notify them of your accepted offer and discuss locking in your rate and apply for a mortgage.

5. Purchase and Sales Agreement

This agreement is provided by the seller and reviewed by your lawyer or the closing attorney.

6.  Commitment/Closing Prep

Once the Purchase and Sales has been signed by all parties the following needs to happen:

  • Notify lender to order appraisal.
  • Contact insurance company to set-up homeowner’s policy.
  • Obtain change of address on the US Post Office website.
  • Obtain commitment letter from the bank.
  • Contact Lender to ensure that the closing date is on schedule.
  • Contact your utility companies to schedule transfer.

7.  Final Items to be completed prior to closing:

  • Obtain and review HUD-1 closing documents.
  • Verify that the repair items outlined in the inspection amendment have been addressed.
  • Conduct final walk through within 24 hours prior to close. Date/time to be set up.

8.  For Closing you will need the following items:

  • Certified check for your down payment
  • A photo ID
  • A copy of the insurance policy
  • Any additional documents requested by the lender
  • A personal check in case there are any last minute items that come up.

If you use Ben and Kate Real Estate as your realtor we will hold your hand through all of the above tasks.   We will provide you with each important date that each task needs to be completed by.


You have an accepted offer on your house! Now What?

September 15th, 2014

Now that you have an accepted offer on your home we will be continue to be by your side to guide you throughout the entire process.  Here are the next steps to see the word “SOLD” by the curb!

The buyer’s are going to schedule a home inspection.  

Most buyers will request a home inspection before completing the transaction. Following the inspection and based on the results, the buyer may request certain repairs. As the seller, you have the ability to negotiate these items and may choose to offer a seller credit instead of repairing the items. We will be there to advise and assist you in coming to an agreement that is most suitable to you.

Don’t be surprised if the buyers have questions or concerns stemming from the inspection. It is the inspector’s job to find problems.

Once the home inspection is complete we move onto the Purchase and Sales Agreement.

The P&S agreement is drawn up by our office and forwarded to the buyers.  More times than not the buyers will have an attorney review, make changes and add an addendum to the agreement. You as the seller always have the right to hire an attorney to review those changes. We can recommend a few local attorneys’ that would be happy to help review the buyer’s attorney’s changes. After the agreement is finalized the buyers will sign and then you will sign.

A good faith deposit is made by the buyers.

The lender orders a bank appraisal to make sure that the home is worth what the buyer is paying for it.

A Title search is performed by the closing attorney.

The Lender obtains a bank commitment, and the closing date is scheduled.  Closing occur at the closing attorney’s office or at the Registry of Deeds.

The Deed is recorded in the new owner’s name and the keys are handed over to the buyer.

The sale proceed funds are then released to the seller.