Information for Buyers
The Buying Process, From Beginning To End
The following is a generalized look at the process of purchasing a property. While the information on this page doesn't cover all the possible aspects of purchasing a property, it highlights some of the major issues and milestones along the path to doing so. At times, the path may beem long, complex and complicated, and it is. However, we are here to guide you along every step of the way, backed by our time-refined experience, first-hand knowledge, and constant dedication to our clients.
What To Look For In A Real Estate Professional
Choosing a real estate professional can be scary. We know -- we work with them every day! While there are many out there that know their stuff and can represent your best interest, there are times that it can be just the opposite. As you can see in the About Us section of this website, all our qualifications (and a few fun facts) are laid out in plain text. We don't overreach and embellish in order to try to snap up your business. We believe in earning it, through referrals and our actions.
What to look for in a real estate professional is simple: choose someone who is experienced in purchasing property. Not only negotiating a good price, but also aware of the many potential pitfalls facing buyers throughout the entire process, including properly inspecting a property before continuing on with the purchase. Bob has purchased and owned property since 1968. Marc purchased his first property in 1988. Since then, they have gathered vital information and experience in the way homes are built, maintained, and sold, and have worked with countless buyers to successfully purchase properties throughout San Diego County.
The Importance of Preapproval
Let's face it, it's hard to get a loan nowadays. Plenty of fully employed people with decent credit scores and savings in the bank have been turned down for a mortgage. That's why the first step of the buying process is to contact a qualified lending professional, who will guide you through the steps of qualifying you for a loan. Being preapproved is not only an important part of the process, but an essential one. It is our policy to not begin looking for homes with a buyer until they have been preapproved by a qualified lender.
It is very important to understand what amount and type of loan you can qualify for, and make a determination to the maximum price you can, or are willing to, afford. Sometimes a buyer can qualify for much more than they are willing to spend on a monthly payment. Discussing your options with a mortgage professional will address these issues.
We have a couple of individuals we can refer to you should you not have a lender already selected. And for those of you who are cash buyers, recent copies of bank statements are all that's needed.
Let the Search Begin
Once you have been preapproved, we will get together to begin formulating a list of things you want to find in a house, which could include the maximum price you are qualified (or want) to pay, what part of town you are interested in living, and physical characteristics of the property (size, number of bedrooms, size of the garage, and other things, like the size of the yard and lot and whether or not it has a view or pool). This information will allow us to create and refine computerized search parameters to locate the right property for you.
After your custom search has been activated, you will begin receiving email notifications of property listings that match your criteria. Depending on the scope and specifics of your parameters, notifications could arrive daily, weekly or at other various time intervals. It all depends on when listings that match your specific criteria become available. The notification emails will contain a link to the listings for you to review.
Some of our buyers do their own searched on the internet. This is perfectly fine. In fact, in a recent study, a majority of buyers had found the home they purchased through their own searching on the internet. This is a drastic shift from just a short while ago.
When you review property listings on your computer and find one or several you want to see in person, we setup appointments with you and the property occupants and go over and have a look. Keep in mind that as you begin to actually see properties in person, your perception of your "dream home" will change and evolve, and we can adjust your search parameters accordingly.
How to Make an Offer to Purchase
When the time comes that you find a home you are intersted in purchasing, it's time to make an offer. We will review recent sales comparables ("comps") in the area to determine an approximate market value of the home as guidance to an appropriate value to offer. We try to discourage "lowball" offers at a price that is far below the current market price. This is a surefire way to make a seller view your offer as a waste of their time and discourage them from making a counter offer. This is why reviewing sales comps is an important step in the process. It's ok to send in a low offer, if the surrounding market data can support the price offered, or if there are other legitimate characteristics about the home that would justify the low price.
More than likely, the seller will send over a counter-offer to your offer, which you can counter-offer as well if appropriate. We will provide our opinion and recommendation at each step along the way. Once an agreement is reached and your offer accepted, it's time to open escrow!
Offer Accepted! What's Next?
The first step after Acceptance is to contact your lender and notify them about the purchase (which we do). This will start their process of getting your loan set up so you can close escrow on time. Typically within 3 days after acceptance, your earnest money deposit will be delivered to and deposited by the escrow company. Over the next several days and weeks, we will guide you through the escrow and loan process, most of which happens in the background without much hassle or requirement from you. Inspecting the property, on the other hand, is one of the most important aspects of purchasing a property, as described below.
If a buyer is obtaining a loan in order to purchase the property, the lender will require an appraisal be completed, which includes a visit to the property by a licensed appraiser. The purpose of an appraisal is to verify that the purchase price is not higher than the appraiser's opinion of the market value of the property.
A typical California sales transaction has over 40 disclosures for the seller to provide the buyer. We have worked with disclosures for years and have become very familiar with their terms and (sometimes confusing) language. We take as much time as our clients like to go over disclosures, as well as other required reports, such as a Natural Hazard Disclosure report and the Preliminary Title Report. We also assist with reviewing Home Owner's Association documents if the property is located in a HOA. Our goal is to make the mountain of paperwork as simple and unobtrusive a process as possible. It's what we do.
Choosing A Qualified Property Inspector
Inspecting the property is your opportunity to determine its condition and search for defects that may or may not be present. It is up to the buyer and the buyer alone to be satisfied with the condition of the property before moving on with the process. Unless you are a contractor, you'll want to pay for a qualified home inspector to inspect the property. Again, we have companies that can be referred to you when the time comes, companies that have inspected our own properties and homes over the years.
Crossing the Finish Line
Once you have finished inspecting the property, reviewing disclosures, and removed all contingencies, you'll need to sign your loan documents and deliver your remaining down payment balance to escrow. When everything is completed and in order, escrow will close, and the property will officially be yours and it will be time to move in. Even then, we're still not done being there for you. We have referrals for moving companies and where to purchase new appliances.
Keep in mind that this is a general description of the buying process. There are literally hundreds of variables that can occur, and we've experienced most of them. You can rest assured that as our client, we will be constantly looking out for you and your interests. Since the majority of our new business is referrals from existing clients, it is a high priority of ours to keep you happy and sane. We're here to guide you, every step of the way, down the long, complex and complicated path of buying property, backed by our refined experience, first-hand knowledge, and steady dedication to our family of satisfied clients.
Even after the transaction has long been completed (days, weeks, months, years...), we are still there for you to do what we can to make your house feel like home!
" I was a first time home buyer who was very apprehensive about the process and who did not really understand how exactly everything worked. Marc spent an incredible amount of time and patience answering my questions and really walking me through the various requirements and steps along the way, and did so remarkably quickly and thoroughly. He also was really flexible about meeting me and my fiancee for open houses based on our schedule (we both are professional who work long, odd hours) and was so on top of our situation that it often seemed like we were his only clients."