Buying a Home in the San Francisco Bay Area
Professionally, our primary ambition as a Buyer’s Agent is to help as many folks as possible achieve their home ownership dreams. We assist all sorts of people in accomplishing a wide variety of real estate goals. Part financial advisor, part detective, we are dedicated to helping you achieve your goal, whether you are a first-time home buyer, a homeowner looking for greener pastures, or a seasoned investor looking for the next great real estate opportunity.
The reason we work so hard to assist our clients in achieving their dreams is that we deeply believe in the power of property ownership. Buying a home in the San Francisco Bay Area is at the foundation of long-term, sustainable wealth. The key is to start wherever you are, with whatever you can afford and to take action as soon as possible.
Property ownership is like life. It’s a journey and the road is long, so the time to start moving towards your dreams is now.
When you own property, a whole new world opens up to you. You don’t have to worry that someone is going to buy your place and force you to move out. You can have the security of living in your own place without a landlord to tell you what to do. If you’re decorating tastes run to orange shag carpet and purple walls, so be it. It’s your place! You are building financial security for your future while enjoying major benefits in the present. What could be better than that?
Regardless of your real estate history or current motivation, our work philosophy benefits you. When you have a sincere, straightforward Real Estate Consultant Team working for you, you feel the difference. And, you will achieve better results.
When you work with us, you work with our company, Climb Real Estate Group: San Francisco’s most innovative independent brokerage, and you join our growing family of satisfied real estate clients. As a member of our family, you have access to all the expertise and resources of the entire company, long after you take ownership of your new home. Whether you need a referral to a reliable plumber, a potential Tenancy in Common (TIC) partner or a connection to a trusted mortgage advisor to help you refinance your loan, our team is here to help. We are on the cutting-edge of real estate & technology and ready to work with you to find creative ways to meet your home buying and home-ownership needs.
Welcome to our family! We look forward to meeting you at our Initial Consultation.
The Process of Buying a Home
As your Real Estate Consultants, we are extremely experienced and knowledgeable in all aspects of San Francisco real estate: locating property, negotiating for the best possible price and terms, conducting inspections to ensure that the property is in an acceptable condition and handling the details necessary to coordinate and close the escrow. View the real estate transaction flowchart.
The Initial Consultation
Every relationship we have with a client begins with an Initial Consultation at our office. Why? So you can meet us, discuss your needs and goals in detail, get educated and savvy about the market for your price range, understand the sales and escrow process, and generally make sure we are the right team to help you. You will gain a head start on your competition. The more informed and educated you are from the beginning, the better your chance of success. The initial consultation is absolutely no pressure and no obligation. If we are the best Realtors to help you, we will proceed. If not, then you will at least leave with some great information!
Determining Your Parameters & Purchasing Power through Complete Loan Pre-Approval
Our success record (i.e. ability to get you the home you want, when you want it, & for the best price/terms) directly relates to how well we understand your goals, dreams and budget. Strong, direct communication is paramount to getting what you want.Before we begin to search for properties and ideally, before the initial consultation, we will refer you to a lender for complete loan pre-approval to establish your comfortable price range and to begin the process of applying for financing.
- It is extremely important to align yourself with a top mortgage broker or banker. We cannot stress this enough. Even if you are well-qualified, the process of obtaining a loan can be smooth and effortless or stressful and difficult. We encourage you to do research but to take our recommendations because we handle dozens of transactions each year and know who delivers on their promises and who does not. And, it’s not all about the rate! Rates fluctuate daily and cannot be locked in until you have an accepted purchase contract. Note – we have no financial relationship with these lenders…just an ongoing professional one.
- During the initial consultation and pre-approval process, you will choose a type of property to focus on: single family house, condo, tenancy-in-common, multi-unit building, loft, or lot. There are a number of questions to consider as you make this choice, and we will provide the information and expert advice needed to make an informed decision. We’ll also help you clarify which neighborhoods are most likely to suit your lifestyle and budget.
Writing the Offer to Purchase
When you find the right property, we will review the disclosure package and provide comparable sales information in order to help you determine the optimal offering price and terms. Keep in mind, a seller may accept, reject or counter your offer with a different price or change in terms. (There is a lot more to a winning offer than simply the sales price. Our years of experience and success with buyers will help you get the property you want, the first time around.)
The Escrow – Inspections, Negotiations, and Loan Approval
When we have negotiated successfully with the seller and have an accepted purchase offer, we will open escrow (usually 30-45 days), deposit your initial earnest funds (typically 3% of the purchase price), and you will begin the inspection process. You will want to have the property inspected by a home inspector, a structural pest control inspector, and any other types of experts you deem appropriate or necessary.
- We will provide you with a list of competent inspectors to help you choose your team though we encourage you to do your own research as well. (Just remember time is of the essence once you are in escrow so do this research ahead of time!)
- You will usually have a 5-10 day period within which to conduct your inspections (inspection contingency). After you have completed the inspections, you may either accept or reject the property based on the inspections, or you may renegotiate with the seller based on material items that have come up in the inspections. If you reject the property based upon your inspections within your inspection contingency period, you are entitled to the return your initial deposit in full.
- You will also have a period of time to complete the lender’s property appraisal and achieve final loan approval. While you are pre-approved prior to making the offer, a bulk of the financing process can only begin once we are in contract. You will be asked for further documentation and paperwork. Typically, the appraisal contingency period is 10 days +/- and up to 21 days for loan approval.
The Closing Appointment
When your loan has been approved, we will instruct the title and escrow company to prepare the closing package. This will include loan documents from the lender, a net sheet showing all closing costs, and documentation required by the local, state and federal governments. You will need to sign most documents in front of a Notary. This is usually done at the title/escrow company office with the escrow officer. The seller will also sign her/his closing documents at the title/escrow company during a separate appointment.
Taking Ownership & Getting the Keys
After you and the seller have each signed all documents, the loan can fund and the property can be recorded into your name at City Hall. Most often, the loan funds and on the subsequent business day, the title records in your name. When the title records, the property is officially sold and we can give you the keys. Congratulations! You have become a property owner!
Sound complicated? It is! And yet, the process of buying a home does not need to be stressful, overwhelming, or negative. With full disclosure, education and information, we will work as a team to make your experience fun, exciting, and invigorating. Sure, it’s a lot to take on and you will be busier for a few weeks but the rewards are substantial – financially and personally.