19 STEPS FOR BUYING A HOME IN CALIFORNIA
95% of buyers start their home search on the internet before even speaking with a Realtor. Buyer’s have access to over 90% of the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) that Realtors provide to their clients. Buying a home with the help of a Realtor is no longer just about having access to available listings. It is about building a trusting relationship with a true professional who can negotiate on YOUR behalf, advise against properties with certain known defects or location issues, advise on the present and future market activity, prepare and package the most competitive offer possible, and much more.
Here is a list of steps from beginning to end that you may experience during the home buying process:
Start a preliminary home search on the internet
Contact a mortgage lender to get pre-approved for a loan in order to know your purchasing power
Contact a Real Estate professional to discuss your needs, the market activity, negotiating process, etc.
Set appointments with your Realtor to VIEW PROPERTIES! The more homes you view, the more educated and confident you will be throughout the process.
Locate and get an offer accepted.
Once your escrow is accepted by the seller, you will have 3 days to deposit your good faith deposit into escrow. This is typically 3% of the purchase price.
Schedule a property Inspection. The inspection cost depends on the size of the home and can cost anywhere between $300-$600 for homes under 4,000 sqft. This is one of the only out of pocket expenses paid prior to close of escrow.
Order the appraisal from the lender
Schedule any other inspections or estimates needed for upgrades, repairs, alterations you plan to make after close of escrow.
Review seller disclosures, environmental disclosures, escrow documents, title report, and any other documents associated with the property.
Negotiate Repairs found on the inspection report with the seller.
Once you have received full loan approval and have completed all of the above, you will then remove contingencies. The contingency period is typically between 17-21 days. This is your due diligence period which allows you to cancel escrow and receive your 3% deposit back before this time is up and before you have signed your full contingency removal.
Once contingencies are removed, you will then be contacted by escrow to set an appointment for signing closing and loan documents.
Once Loan documents are signed, escrow will instruct you to wire the remaining down payment into escrow prior to closing.
As soon as the wire and loan docs are received and approved with the lender, escrow will release the file to the Title for recording with the county.
Usually within the same day, escrow will contact all parties that we have officially recorded/closed escrow
Transfer utilities to begin on the day of Close of escrow
Receive the keys
Enjoy your new home!