|Here are most of the steps taken in purchasing a new home. I've organized them in a timeline format. Keep in mind that I do the vast majority of everything for you on the list and assist you with the remainder.
Finding Your New Home
1> We discuss your wants and needs in a home – This can change as you begin looking at the available homes.
2> Pre-Qualify – I will help you determine how much lenders will be willing to loan you and translate that into a maximum offer price. This doesn’t mean you have to invest the maximum in a home. It’s just a way to make sure you are looking at homes that are in your price range.
3> Search and locate properties. – At any given moment they’re numerous homes available in San Diego. If you are interested in several areas we may have to look at each area at different times.
4> Map the properties, Set appointments. – Most sellers want to be warned before their property is shown. Some require actual appointments and others will only show when their listing agent is present. I’ll coordinate that for you. Mapping properly is important. It insures the least amount of time is spent on the road and more time is spent looking at the homes.
5> View the properties – It’s important to understand while we’re looking at homes, if you don’t like the area or the home we approach, you don’t have to feel obligated to stop and look at the inside. Let me know and we’ll pass it by. On the other hand, the old axiom “You can’t judge a book by its’ cover” can apply. Sometimes you can find a jewel on the inside even if the outside needs some work. I’ll give you the listing printout for you to make notes of your likes and dislikes on each property.
You've found a new home... Now What?
1> Discover if there is any other offers on the property. – In the current market, it’s not uncommon to have multiple offers on a property. I’ll call the listing agent. If there are offers on the table that may influence what you decide to put in the offer.
2> Write an offer and submit it to the sellers. The offer is a contract after it is accepted and will be used by escrow. You should know sellers expect a "Good Faith" deposit after everything is approved and escrow is opened. I'll collect this check from you at the time the offer is written. The customary amount of the Good Faith Deposit is $3,000 to $5,000 or 1% of the offer price and is applied to your closing costs. I try to keep this as low as possible for you. This is typically when you get anxious waiting for a response to your offer. Take a breath and relax. I'll notify you the moment we have a response.
3> Counter offers - Occasionally we will get a counter offer that we can either accept or make our own counter to theirs.
4> Accepted Offer - Once everyone signs the original paperwork and any counters, it is considered an Accepted Offer and a valid contract.
Your Offer is Accepted – Where do you go from here?
1> Escrow is opened, your Good Faith Deposit is mailed or delivered to escrow and cashed and we complete the loan process. Depending on the loan type, this would include the loan application and collection of some preliminary paperwork outlining your current financial position.
2> In the first 17 days of an escrow, it can get pretty busy. The listing agent is responsible for providing a number of Seller’s disclosures to you about the property and other material facts that everyone wants you to be aware of. I review those disclosures with you and return signed copies to the Seller's agent. Escrow will also mail you a package for your review.
3> This is also the time period for your personal investigation of the property and the surrounding area. You can talk to the neighbors, police and fire department, but you should also have a physical inspection done by a qualified home inspector. I can provide you with a list of different inspectors to choose from. With you and me present, it is their responsibility to examine the home to discover any material defects that might affect your decision to purchase the home. From the inspectors findings we may also select items we'll ask the seller to repair before the close of escrow.
4> If everything looks good to you, the escrow process will quiet down a little until the week before closing. However, if you discover something about the home in the first 17 days that changes your decision, we can cancel the escrow, get your Good Faith Deposit back and go back to looking at other properties.
1> Sometime in the week before closing, your loan documents should be arriving at escrow. Escrow will contact you after receiving them and set an appointment for you to come in and sign them with a notary present. This is also a good time to give escrow any additional closing costs your lender is requiring from you. This figure typically includes your Property Tax and Property Insurance Impounds. You will also need to do a "Final Walkthrough" of the home. This is when we go back to the home and verify the seller has fixed everything he promised and to make sure the home hasn't substantially changed since the last time you were there.
2> If escrow and your lender have everything they need, your lender will wire the loan money to escrow the day of closing or the day before. This is called Funding. Escrow is now responsible for Recording the transaction with the city. Recording is the last thing that is done and once completed the home is officially yours. Congratulations! You’re a new homeowner!