9 Steps to Owning!
Step #1: Get Pre-approved: Unless you are paying cash, first apply for being pre-approved for your new home mortgage. Knowing what you can truly afford upfront narrows the focus to properties you know you can buy. Being pre-approved can take more time than you think so start the process ASAP.
Step #2: Your New Home Search: Pre-approval in the process or in hand the excitement begins in searching for your New Home! Providing your Realtor with a detailed list of your needs – wants – likes - dislikes saves you valuable time to narrow down the search to property types – neighborhoods - locations that are the best possible match for you. Update this list as often as needed!
Step # 3: New Listings On and Off Market: The value in working with a Realtor exclusively is not about finding your new home as much as it is in working with someone you can trust in representing you in a home purchase which is to many the single largest investment made in their lifetime. Let your Realtor know what works best for you in being alerted of new to the market listings as they surface - updates and what he/she will do as your Agent to expose you to off-market opportunities.
Step #4: Disclosures/Reports/Inspections: Nearly every listed property has completed disclosures – reports and inspections available up front referred to as “Disclosure Packages”. A professional Realtor will review them with you in person if time permits to be certain you understand what you are reading and agreeing to when signing.
Step #5: Making an Offer: A professional Realtor should always provide closed sale data of properties comparable to the property you are making your offer on that support the price you are offering and should clearly explain your option to include contingencies (Protection to Cancel) which are conditions like your loan being fully approved – having the property inspected by professional licensed inspectors you choose and the like. A true professional Realtor knows how to craft an offer that will impress beyond the price offered which is so important in getting your offer accepted or considered/countered when competing with multiple offers!
Step #6: Offer Accepted!: Now you and your Realtor are usually on a tight time frame to complete actions and tasks per the purchase contract starting with opening a sale escrow with a Title/Escrow Company to start the process in sending/wiring them your initial deposit typically in the amount of 3% of the accepted sale price.
Step #7: Title Escrow Company: Title Companies are primarily in the business to provide Property Title Insurance but also provide escrow services. In the escrow process they take care of the many tasks to transfer ownership from Seller to Buyer in a neutral position taking instructions from the Buyer – Seller and their agents in addition to working with the banks and other lien holders orchestrating payoffs to clear the Seller from title and in the end signing off separately both Buyer and Seller to transfer the subject property to you and insure title.
Step #8: Walk Through: Prior to signing the final closing documents it is highly advised that you return to your new home to conduct a physical walk through with your agent to insure it is in the same condition it was the day your contingencies were removed,check to see that all system's - utilities are working - repairs were completed if applicable. Walk throughs are usually done within 2 days of closing the sale. Also remember to set up the date to transfer utilities in your name prior to closing the sale!
Step # 9: Signed Off - Closed Recorded Sale - Congratulations New Homeowner! If the above steps are followed you should be as excited as you were the day you first set eyes on your new home!
Feel free to call 650.888.1778 or send an e-mail if you have questions or would like to discuss the possibility of our working together in your New Home Purchase!