Island of Nantucket

Buyers Guide

Buyer's Guide

1. Figure out how much house you can afford.
It's very common that buyers exceed their original budget when buying on Nantucket. Once buyers start looking closely at the options on Natucket two things generally happen: they fall in love and they further realize why the prices are so high. This usually means they up their budget if possible.

To help your analysis consider the following:
  • Calculate your monthly income and debt.
  • Check your credit report and FICO score.
  • Determine your down payment potential.

2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
You need to be ready to move fast for the right opportunity. We've seem people watch the market for years and then need to make a decision in hours. When you know your price points, and what makes a fair deal, you'll need to move fast and that means being ready with pre-approval.

  • Choose a type of mortgage.
  • Speak to several lenders and mortgage brokers.
  • Follow rates and try to lock in if rates are favorable.

3. Determine what you want versus what you need in a home.
Every area on Nantucket is special in its own way. Many areas are less expensive but also offer unmatched value with things like views and land. You might get twice as much in one area over another and these trade offs come into play quickly as you search the island for what fits your needs.

To help your analysis consider the following:
  • location (town, beachside, water views, Sconset, ect).
  • type (winterized, single family, multi-unit, new).
  • Choose a price range.
  • Choose a size.

4. Explore the various areas on the island.
Spend the time to drive around all the areas in Nantucket. Explore places like Tom Nevers or Quidnet, for example, even if you do not think it fits your need. Being familiar with these areas will help you understand pricing and opportunities that might come from somewhere least expected.

5. Work with an agent who feels right.
Nantucket has lots of great real estate agents. But you can find little differences. Make sure you find one who will be responsive and work hard to keep your interests on their daily calendar. They right opportunities can often be hidden and come quickly.

  • Talk to the last two or three people they worked with to get a sale.
  • Look for experience and good chemistry.

6. Search for homes online and save favorites
Sign up for new listings email blasts and visit the website daily to see what is coming on the market. Save your favorites on our website so you can keep your choices close at hand for easy access.

7. Research each home you want to buy.
The Nantucket market is isolated and requires you to do much of the legwork on your own. It's critical you know the industry norms on various pricing metrics – avg time on the market, avg sale price to assessed value and other things found on our market stats section. You should also be watching all sold data to see the types of houses that have sold are your price point. Go look at this yourself with a drive by so you know the market value points. This research will give you the confidence to know when a listing is priced right or what to offer when the time comes to make a deal.

  • Ask your agent for comps to estimate the property's fair market value.
  • Ask the seller's reason for selling.
  • Review all property disclosures.
  • Find out about liens, easements or other restrictions.

8. Make an offer and negotiate.
There are many variables in this crucial stage. No offer should be considered an insult but often that is what happens with unrealistic starting points. Work with your broker to set the tone with the first contact with the seller. Every deal is different but things like time on market, comps, and interest in the property all weigh on how best to negotiate. And most important, don't fall in love because there are always other options if the seller is unwilling to be reasonable.

You agent will guide you throughout this process and make sure the following are included:
  • Include contingencies, such as financial, inspection or purchase.
  • Spell out any special requests and repairs you want included in the sale.
  • Determine an earnest money amount.
  • Define a move-in date.
  • Once both parties agree to the terms, sign the Purchase and Sale Agreement.

9. Finalize the deal.
  • Get the house appraised.
  • Get a professional home inspection.
  • Consider getting specific inspections for structural engineering, roof and termites.
  • Use the appraisal and inspection reports to re-negotiate if necessary.
  • Choose a home insurance company.
  • Complete the loan process with the lender.
  • Do a walk-through inspection prior to closing.
  • Set aside cash for the closing costs and down payment.

10. Close the purchase.
  • Review the settlement document at least 2 days before closing to see how funds will be collected and distributed.
  • Get a cashier's check for the amount you need to bring to closing, including the down payment and closing costs.
  • Open the bubbly and make sure to invite all your friends from JPFCO to the home warming party!

Back to top