Knowledge and experience are the keys to successful real estate transactions. Combine that with the expertise, experience and training of your REALTORS® at CalRes, your home ownership dream will become a reality. One of the keys to making the home-buying process a little smoother is planning. In doing so, you’ll be able to anticipate requests from lenders, lawyers and a host of other professionals. Furthermore, planning will help you discover valuable shortcuts in the home-buying process.
Step 1 : Are you ready?
Whether you are a first-time home buyer or entering the marketplace as a repeat buyer, you need to ask why you want to buy. Are you planning to move to a new community due to a lifestyle change or is buying an option and not a requirement? What would you like in terms of real estate that you do not now have? Do you have a purchasing time frame? Whatever your answers, the more you know about the real estate marketplace, the more likely you are to effectively define your goals.
Step 2 : Hire us!
Buying and selling real estate is a complex matter. At first it might seem that by checking local picture books or online sites you could quickly find the right home at the right price. But a basic rule in real estate is that all properties are unique. No two properties — even two identical models on the same street — are precisely and exactly alike. Homes differ and so do contract terms, financing options, inspection requirements and closing costs. Also, no two transactions are alike. In this maze of forms, financing, inspections, marketing, pricing and negotiating, it makes sense to work with professionals who know the community and much more.
Step 3 : Get Loan Pre approval.
Few people can buy a home for cash. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), nearly nine out of 10 buyers finance their purchase, which means that virtually all buyers — especially first-time purchasers — required a loan. “Pre-approval” means you have met with a loan officer, your credit files have been reviewed and the loan officer believes you can readily qualify for a given loan amount with one or more specific mortgage programs. Based on this information, the lender will provide a pre-approval letter, which shows your borrowing power . Contact us for a list of our preferred lenders.
Step 4: Choose the perfect home.
There’s no doubt that choosing a home is a big decision and you want to do it right. As a buyer, here’s what actually happens. A home has been placed on the market for which the seller has established an asking price as well as other terms. In effect, this is an offer. At this point, you have three choices: accept the seller’s offer and create a contract; reject it and not make an offer; or suggest different terms and make a counter-offer. If you choose this last option, the seller may accept, reject or make a counter-offer. No aspect of the home buying process is more complex, personal or variable than bargaining between buyers and sellers. This is the point where the value of an experienced REALTORS® is clearly evident because he or she knows the community, has seen numerous homes for sale, knows local values and has spent years negotiating realty transactions.
Step 5: Make the offer.
While much attention is spent on offering prices, a proposal to buy includes both the price and terms. In some cases, terms can represent thousands of dollars in additional value for buyers — or additional costs. Terms are extremely important and should be carefully reviewed. In a typical situation, you will complete an offer that we will present to the owner and the owner’s representative. The owner, in turn, may accept the offer, reject it or make a counter-offer.Because counter-offers are common (any change in an offer can be considered a “counter-offer”), it’s important for buyers to remain in close contact with REALTORS® during the negotiation process so that any proposed changes can be quickly reviewed.
Step 6: Open & Close Escrow!
Once we have an accepted offer, escrow is opened. The result is that title to the property is transferred from seller to buyer. The buyer receives the keys and the seller receives payment for the home. From the amount credited to the seller, the closing agent subtracts money to pay off the existing mortgage and other transaction costs. Deeds, loan papers, and other documents are prepared, signed and filed with local property record offices. Before closing, buyers typically have a final opportunity to walk through the property to assure that its condition has not materially changed since the sale agreement was signed.