Buyer's Guide

A Step-by-Step First Time Buyer's Guide

Buying property on Nantucket is exciting, and typically marks a major milestone. To help you prepare and understand the transaction, we are here to serve  you throughout the process. We created this step-by-step Buyer’s guide so that you know what to expect  every step of the way.

Step 1


You already know that Nantucket is your spot, but do you know which area suits you best? Do you want to buy land and build? Do you want a historic single-family home in Town, or maybe you prefer new construction in a more private location. Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. Understanding the market and noting trends will help when it comes time to make an offer.   You can keep up to date with all of this right here on our website, but we would love to hear from you!  Email or call us to start the process today.

Step 2

Understand and Determine Your Budget

Knowing what you are comfortable and able to spend in order to purchase your Nantucket dream home is important to understand early in this process.  In addition to the agreed upon purchase price, there are attorney fees, 2% Land Bank Fee (some are exempt), and possibly expenses during the diligence phase.  Depending on the property, the cost of maintenance could vary dramatically depending on factors like proximity to the water, if there is a pool, if it is a vacation rental, and how often it is occupied throughout the year.

In addition to helping clients buy and sell real estate on Nantucket, we also serve our clients as rental brokers.  Even more, we personally own year-round and vacation rentals on island.  All of this allows us to have a thorough understanding of costs associated with both owning a home and maintaining rentals. From getting a quote from a caretaker to seeing how much it will cost to mow your grass, we can point you in the right direction.  


Step 3

If Obtaining a Mortgage, Get Prequalified

Before you get your heart set on a home, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. This will be an advantage when you make an offer, allowing the transaction to move forward more seamlessly.  

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Step 5

Find Your Nantucket Home

This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). We will gain a thorough understanding of what you are looking for in order to arrange showings for properties that are a good match for you.  As the market ebbs and flows, we will be sure that you stay informed of opportunities and updates.  Once we start visiting potential homes, we will go over all the details of the location and what might set particular listings apart from others.  Although Nantucket is a fairly small island (14 miles long and 3.5 miles wide), each area is quite unique.  Whether you prefer to be uninterrupted on the beach, or prefer to be within a couple blocks of your favorite restaurant, understanding the island is key in determining the best spot to call your own.  Between a Nantucket native (Henry) and a former summer kid (Amy), we’ve got you covered.

Step 6

Make an Offer

Once you have identified the property you want, we will draft an offer that you are comfortable with, and identify any advantages you could have in future negotiations.  We will help you consider what other comparable homes have sold for, and what else is available.  We will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement. At this point, the house will go under contract, and the initial deposit will be put in escrow.

Step 7

Due Diligence

Unless you are purchasing a property “as-is”, or have agreed to purchase a property  not contingent on any findings in various inspections, it is important to get right to work getting as much information as possible regarding the condition or your future home.  Some typical diligence to consider when purchasing a Nantucket home includes a building inspection, erosion analysis, and septic inspection.  If the property is being sold furnished, you will want to determine what is included in the sale.  

A house with a blue door and blue shutters.
Step 8

Get an Appraisal

This is only applicable if you are getting a loan to purchase the property.  Your lender will have your new home appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.

Step 9

Purchase and Sale

A major step in the transaction is getting to Purchase and Sale.  At this point, the diligence is likely complete, and both parties have agreed to move forward.  You will make another payment to be put in escrow until the closing takes place.  The Purchase and Sale agreement is signed by both parties, and a closing date is confirmed.  Your attorney will be helping to make sure all details are clear and correct at this point as well.

Step 10

The Closing

In advance of the actual closing date, the final balance will be put into escrow.  Paperwork for the title and deed will be arranged by your attorney, you will have signed all necessary documents in order to make the property yours.  While it is exciting to be handed the keys to your home on the date of closing, some Nantucket homebuyers are unable to attend the closing - that’s okay!  We will make sure that we have gone through the property one final time before moving forward.  We commonly do Facetime/video walkthroughs the day of/prior to closing, if a Buyer is unable to be present.  In this event, it is important to make sure that all documents are signed and received by us and your attorney prior to the set closing date.  


Congratulations!  Once the money has been transferred to the Seller and the new deed has been recored with the Nantucket Registry of Deeds, you officially have a Nantucket home.  Although the transaction is complete, our relationship is ongoing.  We are happy to continue to be your resource for anything you need on Nantucket.

Work With Us

We understand that your time is invaluable, and how you invest it is paramount. Choosing to spend time on Nantucket shapes your lifestyle, and we are here to help you make the most of it.

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