Here is a refresher and review of what to expect when buying a home. We may or may not have already discussed all the aspects to buying a home, but wanted to send you this helpful guide.
The Home Buying Process: What to expect when you are buying a home
Selecting Me As Your Realtor and Establishing a Working Relationship: We are full time, professional Realtors with extensive market knowledge. We will work closely together to find the right home for you. During our initial meeting we will provide you with information on the home-buying process.
Evaluate Your Needs and Your Resources: We will meet with you to discuss your specific needs in a home and analyze your resources. Together we will establish a set of criteria about the type of home and features that are most important to you.
Loan Consultation: We will provide you with guidance in finding a financial institution, and support you in obtaining information on available financing options. A licensed loan consultant can help you determine a realistic range of affordability and can provide you with a letter of pre-approval expediting the purchase process.
Market Education, View Properties and Select a Property: We will research available properties on a daily basis, and show you homes based on the criteria you establish. As we view different homes, we will reassess your criteria for a home. The more precise and direct you are with us, the more successful your search will be. We specialize in Sonoma, napa and Marin CA homes for sale.
Structure an Effective Offer: Once you have found the home that you wish to purchase, we will do all the necessary research to help you structure and effective offer. We will draft the purchase agreement for you, advising you on protective contingencies, customary practices, and local regulations. Although we will give you advice and information, it is your decision as to the exact price and terms you wish to offer.
What is included in offer:
- Along with Purchase Contract a disclosure for “Agency” is signed stating all agents involved in sale divulge any material defects about the property and have a fiduciary duty to their clients.
- Also a statement sheet from your bank of proof of funds to close for downpayment and closing costs.
- A “Possible Representation of Same Broker” being a part of the transaction on both sides of sale, Buyer and Seller will be signed.
- Wire Fraud Advisory for initial deposit when sending to escrow/title company.
Presenting Your Offer: We will present your offer to the seller and the seller’s agent. The seller has three options – to accept, reject or counter. Our personal knowledge of your needs, who you are and your qualifications will enable us to represent you in the best way possible.
Respond to the Seller: We will review the seller’s response with you. If the seller has countered your offer, you will have the option to accept, reject or counter. Our negotiating skills will benefit you in reaching a satisfactory agreement.
Open Your Escrow: When the purchase agreement is signed by all parties, we will open escrow for you and your earnest money will be wired or deposited. The escrow or title company is a neutral third party that will receive, hold and distribute all funds associated with your transaction.
- Your lender and escrow will get copies of contract and lender orders the appraisal.
- Home inspection, pest inspection, and any other inspections you deem necessary will be ordered.
- Title orders a “pre-lim” meaning all clear title for you and lender and they are ready to issue title insurance in your name at close.
- Costs to close “Closing costs” are exacted.. (escrow fee, title ins., lender charges, etc)
Buyers contingencies is what protects you from losing your deposit!!! We remove only after satisfied. Time frame: Usually 17 days from contract acceptance.
Remove Contingencies: Prior to closing, all of the contingencies of the purchase agreement must be met. We will coordinate the removal of these contingencies and review all documents with you.
Typical contingencies include:
Approval of the seller’s Transfer Disclosure Statement
Approval of the Preliminary Title Report
Approval of the Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement and Sellers Property Questionnaire
Approval of various other documents required by law to be given to the Buyers
Loan approval, including an appraisal of the property
Physical inspections of the property
Pest, Roof, Gen. Home, Well, septic, if applies, and any other inspections YOU deem necessary inspection. You may request to have items corrected and seller will decide yes or no.
Acquisition of homeowner’s insurance
You will be receiving disclosures and Gen Info Buyer guides and FYI’s. Many are redundant but all part of the buyer bewares. These will require signatures of Acknowledgement ONLY(You do not “sign off” on any of these until you release contingencies). Here is a sampling:
- Lead Paint Disclosure
- Mold Disclosure
- Earthquake Info
- Natural Hazard report from Seller(furnished by 3rd party)
- Statewide Buyer Seller Advisory
- Transaction Booklets
- Sonoma County Discloures and Disclaimers(County specific)
- Water heater bracing, Carbon Monoxide, Smoke detector, Water conservation
- Title report from Title Co.
Close Escrow: When all of the contingencies of the purchase agreement have been met, you will sign your loan documents and closing papers. You will deposit the balance of your down payment and closing costs to escrow, and your lender will deposit the balance of the purchase price. The deed will then be recorded at the County Recorder’s office and you will take ownership of your home. Closing is when the county recorder calls and says “home is on record”.
**All subject to change in an imperfect world! 🙂