Land Bank | Septic Systems | Purchase & Sales Agreement | Attorneys | Day of Closing
We hope you have a great experience selling your home on Martha’s Vineyard. We’re here to help you. Island Real Estate works honestly and fairly with every customer and client. We are members of the Board of Realtors® and adhere to a strict code of ethics. We will explain how the process works and assist you through the transaction. The following information will help you with the procedure. Please feel free to ask us questions whenever they arise.
The process begins when you list your home with us for sale. Below is a description of the different ways you can list your property for sale. As long as you list with fewer than three offices, you can list with the multiple listing service on the island called LINK. Information on LINK is listed below. Once your home is listed for sale, we will go to work immediately to sell your property. Island Real Estate is a full-service real estate office handling sales and rentals of all types of Vineyard properties. Through a broad-range of marketing that includes our advanced website as well as advertising in the local newspapers and magazines, Chamber of Commerce publications and large city newspapers, we reach buyers for all price ranges and towns. Island Real Estate will do the following to market your property and get as much exposure as possible:
- Create a special brochure for your property.
- Contact and send a brochure and listing sheet to our extensive database of customers who are looking for a property. Since our office has rented many homes throughout the island, we have an additional list of customers who may be interested in purchasing property.
- Post your listing on our website.
- Market the property to other brokers on the island. We will do this by creating a listing in LINK, the island’s multi-listing service. Also, we will have an open house and invite other brokers to preview the property by including your home on a LINK tour.
- Display advertising in the monthly Real Estate Guide and the local newspapers as well as weekly classified ads in both papers.
- Try to accommodate any special advertising/marketing requests you have for your property.
Island Real Estate’s job is to market and sell your property. The office works as a team with one agent as the listing agent and your main contact person. The listing agent will be the primary person showing the property. However, all agents will be knowledgeable about your house and, if the listing agent is unavailable, they will be able to do the showing. Sometimes there is an agent from another office involved in a transaction. In this instance, Island Real Estate will meet the cooperating agent at your property. If the property goes under agreement with this agent, the commission is split between two offices. After each appointment, you will receive a “Show Notice”. This notice will have the customer’s name and their comments regarding the house. We will be in contact with you on a regular basis to give you updates on the sale of your house. At that time, we can review what steps we have taken to market your property and discuss any concerns you may have.
|Types Of Listing Agreements|
When you list your property for sale, you may list your property four different ways: Exclusively, Co-Exclusively, Tri-Exclusively, or as an Open Listing. Below you will find the descriptions of each agreement. Please feel free to contact us at any time if you have any questions.
Exclusive Listings: When you list your property exclusively with us, we have the sole responsibility to advertise, market, and make your property visible to potential buyers. As an exclusive agent, we will work closely with you through the process of selling your home. We will help you set the price. We will meet every potential buyer at your property for showings. We will advertise, hold a broker open house, advise you, and help you sell your property for the best price. With an exclusive listing there are no other offices that have your listing for sale. We are happy to cooperate with any office that has a buyer who wants to purchase your home.
Co- Listings: When you list your property as a co-listing, you choose two agencies to list your property for sale and represent you. With a co-listing (as well as any other type of multiple listing other than exclusive), it is the owners responsibility to keep both offices informed of any changes in the property. It is important to keep in touch with both offices regarding showings, offers, and any information that should be shared. It is more work on your part to make sure all information is accurate and up to date. Island Real Estate will cooperate with other island agents and brokers on the island to make sure all offices are aware that the property is for sale. Your property will be listed in the LINK system.
Tri-Listings: When you list your property as a tri-listing, you choose three agencies to list your property for sale and represent you. The seller/owner has more responsibility to keep all three offices informed of any changes as well as specific details of the property. A seller may think they will have more exposure, but it is essentially more work on the seller’s part to make sure all information is accurate and all agents are informed of any important facts or changes in the property. It is also important to alert all offices if an offer has been presented or if the property has gone under agreement. Your property will be listed in the LINK system as long as no more than three offices are contracted. Island Real Estate will work with other island agents and brokers on the island to make sure all offices are aware that the property is for sale.
Open Listing: An open listing means that you have contracted with a number of offices to market and sell your property. If you list your home with more than three offices, you cannot list your property in the LINK system. You have to be very organized and understand that there will be many agents and offices going through your home. It is much more work on the seller’s part to keep everyone involved and informed of changes.[BACK TO TOP]
LINK is the multiple listing service (MLS) on the island. It is a real estate program developed to meet the special needs of the Martha’s Vineyard real estate market. It provides full color listing sheets in several formats, maps showing the property location on the island, automated property searches based on price, town, etc., comparative market analysis capabilities, as well as many other options. It is basically a database that is updated weekly through the internet that combines the LINK information with Island Real Estate’s database to search for properties or property information for customers and clients. It has the ability to find properties that are currently available for sale, under agreement, sold, and off the market. LINK has a policy that you can list with no more than three offices if you would like your listing advertised in their data
|Offer To Purchase|
When a buyer is ready to make an offer, your agent will contact you directly to give you all the information. The first step is the Offer to Purchase. This is a legally binding contract. This document spells out the terms and conditions of the offer; such as the price the buyer is offering as well as contingencies (conditions) of the sale. Examples of contingencies are as follows: a home inspection, mortgage contingency (if financing is necessary), and septic inspection. When the buyer and seller agree upon all the terms of the offer, all parties sign the offer. A good faith binder must accompany the paperwork. The binder is usually $1,000. This document is a legally binding contract. If you do not understand the terms of the contract, please consult your attorney.
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Buyers typically have a home inspection done, by a certified home inspector, to protect their investment. Since real estate agents are not home inspectors, there could be a defect to the property that only a home inspector or contractor would notice. A home inspector will examine the interior and exterior of the home, including the roof, structural supports, and windows, the plumbing, heating, and the electrical workings. They will also note the presence or absence of bugs/pests. If this is beyond their realm of expertise and they see a potential problem, they will refer the buyer to a bug/pest inspector. At the conclusion of the inspection, the inspector will give the buyer a written report on the property. A home inspection is not meant as a tool for renegotiation, but to inform the consumer on the condition of the property. A home inspection is usually done within two weeks of acceptance of an offer. Home inspections typically cost $500 -$1,000. This cost is paid by the buyer and is the property of the buyer. Agents are not allowed by law to recommend a home inspector unless they are working as a buyer's agent.
The Land Bank fee is a cost to the buyer at closing. The fee is 2% of the purchase price. The money collected by the Land Bank is used to purchase land that will be forever unbuildable on the island. This agency has protected the integrity of the island. There are walking trails throughout the island that are open for all to enjoy. Only buyers who are purchasing a home for the first time are exempt. They are exempt from the first $300,000 and must keep the property as their primary residence for at least five years.
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|Title V - Septic Systems|
The majority of homes on the island have septic systems. Typically it is the Seller's responsibility to supply a Certificate of Compliance for the septic system at closing. Septic systems have strict guidelines in the state of Massachusetts called Title V. If a septic system is a failed system or needs repairs or updating, you, as the seller, may want to negotiate the selling price of your home according to the cost of repairing/replacing the system. If it becomes the responsibility of the buyer to bring the septic system up to Title V standards, it must be completed within 60 days after closing.
|Purchase & Sales Agreement|
When both parties agree to the terms and conditions of the Offer, you, as the seller will have your attorney draw up a Purchase and Sales Agreement. This document is more detailed than the offer. At the signing of the Purchase and Sales Agreement, the balance of the deposit money that was written in the Offer to Purchase will be paid. Typically the listing office holds the deposit money in an escrow account, unless otherwise agreed upon by all parties.
We recommend that you hire an attorney to review the paperwork and assist you with the closing. The attorney you choose will also take care of many details as well as discharge your mortgage if you have one. Local attorneys are familiar with local real estate laws and regulations and may be able to help you better than an off-island attorney. We can give you a list of attorneys to assist you.
As it gets closer to the date of closing, make sure you contact your insurance company, the electric company, the gas or oil company, the cable company, and the water department (if you have town water) to let them know you are selling your home. They will cancel your services.
|Day of Closing|
On the day of closing, you will meet your attorney at a specified time and place; unless you decide to have your attorney send you the paperwork prior to closing for your signatures. You can also have your attorney can have power of attorney. The buyer typically does a walk through prior to the closing to make sure the home is in broom-clean condition and vacant.
If there are ever any questions throughout this process, feel free to contact your agent at Island Real Estate. We look forward to working with you!