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Tel: 781-804-1300 ext. 305

Cell: 339-987-1315

Kellem and Kellem, LLC

100 Recreation Park Dr., Hingham, MA 02043

© 2023 by Michael Baird. Designed and developed by Anchor Watch Marketing

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About Real Estate Law

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Letter indicating amount of money buyer is qualified to borrow based on initial conversation with mortgage professional.


Letter indicating amount of money a buyer is approved to borrow based on financial documents provided to a mortgage professional.


Formal written proposal from buyer to seller indicating what is being purchased, proposed purchase price, and key dates.

Loan Estimate

A formal written list of fees reasonably expected fees to be paid as part of the borrowing process.


An event that needs to occur for the parties to be obligated. A buyer's contingency is to obtain financing.

Initial Deposit

Small amount of money ($500 - $1,000) held as security of initial offer


Anything physically connected to the real estate, the removal of which causes damage. Fixtures come with the property unless stated otherwise.

Personal Property

Items not connected to real estate (such as refrigerator, washer and dryer), but to be included with the sale of the real estate. Personal property will be removed, unless stated otherwise.


Upon acceptance of terms in offer, buyer and seller have a legal obligation to buy and sell real estate (respectively); to not perform that obligation holds a legal consequence. Buyer's obligations are subject to a satisfactory home inspection.

Home Inspection

A physical inspection of every part of the home, performed by a qualified professional and lasting roughly 3-4 hours

Closing Cost Credit

Funds to be transferred from seller to buyer at the time of closing, occasionally negotiated as a result of outstanding items indicated in the home inspection.

Purchase and Sale Agreement (P&S)

The final comprehensive contract between buyer and seller including the terms of the offer and any changes resulting from the home inspection.


Money of one being held by another to released under certain terms. Typically, deposits are help by a Real Estate Brokerage or law office.

Lender's Application Disclosure

Lender's formal documents executed by buyer to finalize loan application.

Buyer's Application Supporting Documents

Formal documentation supporting loan application, i.e., evidence of income, tax information, bank statements and other asset documentation.

Earnest Money Deposit

The amount of buyer's money held as security to be applied to the overall purchase price at closing. In the case of buyer's breach of contract, the seller retains the deposit. (Deposit is typically three to five percent of the purchase price, and held in escrow.)


The lender's review of the real estate, determination of monetary value and compliance.

Title Exam

Review of the legal ownership of the real estate for the previous 50 years.

Plot Plan

An overview of the structures as they exist upon the land, based on public records.

Settlement Agent

The party responsible for holding and disbursing funds upon transfer of title.

Mortgage Commitment

Lender's written approval of buyer to purchase the real estate, subject to terms out of the buyer's control.

Clear to Close

Lender's final approval of items and terms in the mortgage commitment.

Closing Disclosure

Formal written document containing final closing costs to Buyer received and acknowledged at least 3 days prior to closing.


Final visit to real estate to ensure property is delivered per the details of the P&S agreement.

Broom Clean

All personal property and debris removed from the real estate.


The execution of documents and exchange of funds to transfer ownership of real estate.


The filing of documents in the appropriate County Registry of Deeds, providing actual "notice" of the transfer of ownership. In a standard transaction, upon recording, Buyer can move in and money changes hands.

Down Payment

The difference between the purchase price of real estate and the amount being financed to purchase. (By example, in a $200,000 purchase where the buyer is financing $175,000, a typical deposit held in escrow is $10,000, delivered at the time of P&S, with the remaining $15,000 of the total $25,000 down payment to be delivered at closing.)

Real Estate Law Terms

(in order of appearance)

If you are one of the more than 1.5 million annual first-time home buyers (or even a fourth or fifth time buyer), it's completely natural to have questions. There are a lot of terms your real estate agent, loan officer and real estate attorney will throw around that you have no reason to know.

Here, I'll share some common terms you will likely see come up throughout the process. 

See any that I missed and still have questions? It's ok, call me.


First Time Home Buyers

A video series that helps first time home buyer's better understand the process, the people involved, and what to expect.


Seller's Resources

Selling your home doesn't have to be stressful. I'm happy to share a wide array of posts, videos and other resources to help take relive some of the overwhelm.


Closing Cost Calculator

Wondering how much money you should have available when you reach the holy closing table? This calculator helps buyers to take the guess work out.

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