Buying a home means a lot of paperwork and many professional people involved. I will guide you through the process, but understanding basic steps before you start is always helpful.
Step 1 Free initial no-obligation consultation
Meet me at one of our Pasadena Compass office or at a coffee shop in your neighborhood. I will explain to you the buying process, how I work with you and show you tips to secure the home you love in the competitive market.
Step 2 Meet with lenders and have your home loan pre-approved
Your next step is meeting lenders and assess the amount you can qualify for on a loan. In most cases, sellers will not entertain an offer that’s not accompanied with a mortgage pre-approval. Online research is helpful, but working with a live person who can review your situation, answer questions and suggest how you can improve your credit score is essential.
Step 3 Home search and submitting an offer
We can search properties by using “Collections” – the first truly interactive online home search tool. Collections allows us to organize, monitor, discuss and collaborate on for-sale properties. When you have chosen a property, I will draft a purchase agreement for you, advising you on the offer price, protective contingencies, customary practices, and local regulations.
Step 4 Acceptance of your offer
Once the offer is accepted by the seller and signed by all parties, the seller’s real estate agent will open escrow. You will be asked to wire the “earnest deposit money” (usually 3% of the purchase price) into an escrow account within 3 days from acceptance. All funds associated with the transaction will be handled through escrow.
Step 5 The contingency period
This is the time allowed per your Purchase Agreement to obtain financing, perform inspections, and satisfy any other contingencies. (Usually 10-17 days) Typical contingencies include:
- Approval of the seller’s disclosures
- Approval of the Preliminary Report from the Title Company
- Appraisal of the property
- Physical inspections of the property
- Termite inspection
- Loan approval
If an unexpected defect is found, you can request a repair. The seller may or may not agree on your request. Once you remove contingencies at the end of the contingency period, backing out of escrow is breach of contract.
Step 6 Deposit the remaining balance
The remaining balance of funds needs to be wired to escrow several days prior to the closing date. Escrow will provide a settlement statement with the required amount of funds needed to close including down payment and closing costs.
Step 7 Signing loan documents
When all of the conditions of the Purchase Agreement have been met, you will sign your loan documents. Escrow usually sets up the appointment for your signing. If everything is satisfactory, the lender will fund the loan.
Step 8 Closing escrow
The deed will then be recorded at the County Recorder’s office and you will take ownership of the home!