Chronological Steps To Purchasing A Home In The San Francisco Bay Area

The very FIRST step when purchasing a home is financing.  Whether you are obtaining financing or paying cash, financing and budget are the FIRST step.

Once we ascertain your budget, then we look for homes that will suit your needs, taste and budget.  When we find a home you are interested in purchasing, that’s when it becomes interesting…

Making an Offer:

  • Once we sort out the price and terms, I write the offer and send it to you via Docusign for you to electronically sign—or we sign together in person
  • I present the offer to the seller’s agent – who then presents the offer to the seller.
  • It would be nice to have a letter from you to the seller discussing why you like the property. If not, I can create a cover letter on your behalf.

Negotiating the Offer:

  • The seller may accept your offer or counter you.  If they counter you they are under no obligation to finish the negotiations and are free to accept another offer until the terms of the offer you submit are agreeable to both parties.  When the offer is agreed upon, the house will be marked ‘Contingent’ in the MLS.  This indicates to potential buyers the seller has an accepted offer and the buyer is investigating the property.
  • The seller is free to accept back up offers in the event you withdraw your offer.

The Offer is Accepted and the Contingency Period Begins:

  • Escrow is opened with the escrow company—not the seller—with your funds totalling 3% of the purchase price.
  • The first thing we will want to do is investigate the physical condition of the property, the neighbors, etc.  I supply you with a list of inspectors. You can pick the ones you like or I can make recommendations.  I schedule the inspections and will be present during all inspections.  If you are able to be present, that is preferred.  Therefore you can ask any questions that are important to you.  If not, and there is an issue I feel you need to hear from the inspector, I will film the conversation and you can talk on the phone with the inspector.
  • I recommend a home inspection, sewer lateral inspection (if the seller indicates it has not been replaced) and a pest inspection to start. The home and pest inspectors will indicate whether or not there needs to be further inspections for the roof, electrical, structural or drainage.
  • VERY IMPORTANT:  When the inspections are completed and you know the condition of the house you will be expected to either purchase the house or withdraw your offer. You may need to negotiate the price if there are unexpected repairs, or you can ask the seller to make repairs.  Neither party is bound by anything at this point.  The seller may say no, and it is up to you to decide whether or not to move forward.  If you withdraw your offer your 3% funds will be returned.
  • The appraisal contingency portion of the purchase is independent of you as the buyer, your lender or me, your agent.   The appraiser is chosen randomly from a pool of appraisers.  The only thing that we can require is that they be local and know the market.  It either appraises at or above the purchase price or it does not.  In the event that it does not, we ask for a price reduction.
  • The financing contingency portion of the purchase depends on whether or not the underwriters, after reviewing your financial ability to repay the loan and the ability to resell the property if you cannot repay it, is acceptable within their lending guidelines.
  • If you decide to move forward and remove all these contingencies as outlined in the contract, the status of the listing will be changed to “Pending” in the MLS.  At this point, you are committed to buying the house and the seller is committed to selling you the house.  This is indicated by submitting a document that remove all your contingencies- appraisal, insurability, disclosures, inspections and all reports generated during the inspection contingency time frame as well as some other required documents.

From Pending to Close of Escrow (COE):

  • Pack your bags, sell your house or terminate your lease, and revel in your ability to make the transition to HOMEOWNER!!!
  • We will do a final walk through of the house to verify it is in the same or better condition as the day your offer was accepted.
  • You will sign documents here and there, and all the escrow documents.
  • You will deposit the remainder of the funds to the escrow account a few days prior to COE.
  • Once escrow closes, I give you the keys and you move in!

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