Buyer Process: Page 1

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12 Steps to Buying a Home

1. Agent Selection
The foundation of a successful sale is often selecting a qualified and licensed agent who will work closely with you to find the right home.
2. Agent Consultation & Prequalification
Once your needs are established, your agent will provide guidance to financial institutions where you can obtain information in order to get the best financing available. You will discuss your needs and analyze your resources.
3. Identify a Property to Buy
You’ll be shown homes based upon the criteria you establish. The more precise and direct you are with your agent, the more successful your search will be.
4. Determine the Seller’s Motivation
Once you have found the home that you want to purchase, your agent will do the necessary research to help you structure an effective offer.
5. Write an Offer to Purchase
Your agent will draft the Purchase Agreement for you, advising you on protective contingencies, customary practices, and local regulations. At this time, you will need to provide an “earnest money” deposit, usually from 1–3% of the purchase price. The deposit is not cashed until your offer has been accepted by the seller.
6. Present Offer
Your agent will present your offer to the seller and the seller’s agent. The seller has three options: they can accept your offer, counter your offer, or reject your offer. You agent’s personal knowledge of your needs and qualifications will enable them to represent you in the best way possible.
7. Seller’s Response
Your agent will review the seller’s response with you. Their negotiating skills and knowledge will benefit you in reaching a final agreement.
8. Open Escrow
When the Purchase Agreement is accepted and signed by all parties, your agent will open escrow for you. At this time, your earnest money will be deposited. The escrow company will receive, hold and disburse all funds associated with your transaction.
9. Contingency Period
This is the time allowed per your Purchase Agreement to obtain financing, perform inspections, and satisfy any other contingencies to which your purchase is subject. Typical contingencies include:
  • Approval of the seller’s Transfer Disclosure Statement
  • Approval of the Preliminary Title Report from the Title Company
  • Loan approval including an appraisal of the property
  • Physical inspections of the property
  • Pest inspection and certification
10. Homeowner’s Insurance
Your agent will coordinate between your insurance agent and the escrow officer to make sure your policy is in effect at close of escrow.
11. Down Payment Funds
You will need a cashier’s check or money transfer several days prior to the closing date of escrow.
12. Close of Escrow
When all of the conditions 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 into 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.