Winter Reading List The process of buying real estate, especially for the first time, can seem daunting and confusing. How does it work? Who do I talk to first? Should I locate the property and then find an agent to represent me? Do I need an agent? Why? What will it cost? Just like with everything else, education and information will make the experience both more successful and more comfortable. So, get educated! Read books http://sfhotlist.com/blog/index.php?/archives/5-Winter-Reading-List.html and online info and then interview an agents to find the best person to represent you. Ideally, we’d like you to work with us but we recognized that it’s not always the best fit.  Make sure to check your Realtor’s references!

Read on to hear how I describe the process of buying San Francisco real estate. As a first time and move-up buyer specialist, I try to break down the process so everything is up-front and transparent.

  1. The Initial Consultation
    Every relationship I have with a client begins with an in-office Initial Consultation. Why? So you can meet me, discuss your needs and wants in detail, get educated and savvy about the market, the sales and escrow process, etc. Plus, 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 I am the best person to help you then we will proceed. If not, then you will at least leave with some great information!
  2. Determining Your Parameters and Loan Pre-Approval
    My 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 I understand your goals and dreams. Strong, direct communication is paramount to getting what you want.Before we begin to search for properties I will refer you to a lender unless you are already “pre-approved” to establish your price range and to begin the process of applying for financing. After the financing phase has begun, you will choose a type of property: 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 I will provide the information and expert advice needed to make an informed decision. Once you know how much you can afford and what kind of property you want to buy, you’ll start investigating neighborhoods and properties to find one that suits your lifestyle and your pocketbook.
  3. Writing the Offer to Purchase
    When you find a property that interests you, we will review the disclosure package and I will provide comparable sales information in order to help you determine the right 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 to purchase than simply the sales price. My years of experience and success with buyers will help you get the property you want, the first time around.)
  4. The Escrow – Inspections, Negotiations, and Loan Approval
    When we have negotiated successfully with a seller and have an accepted purchase offer, 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. I will provide you with a list of competent inspectors from which you may choose your home inspectors. You will usually have a 7-15 day period within which to conduct your inspections.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 items that have come up in the inspections. If you reject the property based upon your inspections in a timely manner, the seller will return your deposit in full.

    You will also have a period of time within which to complete your financing. This will always include an appraisal of the property by the bank and completion of any necessary documentation or paperwork to obtain your loan.

  5. The Closing Appointment
    When your loan has been approved I 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 company office and I will be with you on this most important and exciting day. The seller will sign her/his closing documents at the title company at a separate appointment.
  6. Taking Ownership
    After you and the seller have each signed all documents, the property can be recorded into your name and I will give you the keys. Congratulations! You will have become a property owner!

*Sound complicated? It is! And yet, it does not have to be stressful, overwhelming, or negative. With full disclosure, education and information, we will work as a team to make the home buying process 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.

Added Bonus: Zephyr MLS Direct…Unparalleled Multiple Listing Service Access and Accuracy

Zephyr MLS Direct is the ultimate tool for serious San Francisco homebuyers, available only to Zephyr clients. When you work with me, you’ll have access to this dynamic search engine. Search every listing online as it becomes available, receive open house alerts, personalize new match e-mail alerts, track price and status changes, make market comparisons and much more.

Did you know the Multiple Listing Service feeds on public, real estate websites, including this one, are not 100% accurate and up-to-date? It’s not on purpose but due to the IDX feed’s limitations, you are not seeing all the property listings. With MLS Direct, you do!

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