Buying a Home
At your initial meeting with Pam and Bill, we will discuss your needs and expectations and the home buying process. We will refer you to a lender for loan pre-qualification should you not already be pre-qualified for a loan – or better yet, already pre-approved. Based on your requirements and your price range, we will help you to establish your priorities and to determine the communities in which you will want to search for your new home.
A good lender is an invaluable part of the home buying process. Many times you will find that the home on which you have chosen to make an offer is attractive to other buyers, as the more appealing homes will draw more activity and often multiple offers, especially if they are well priced. When there are multiple offers, the seller will naturally select the most qualified buyer as the successful bidder. This is why a loan pre-approval is so important and is an essential part of your offer. Your lender should be able to provide you with a written pre-approval letter before your offer is submitted.
The price that you offer may be influenced by how long the property has been on the market and whether there is likely to be a competing offer. Generally in the San Diego area there is not a big discrepancy between the asking price and the sales price, and it is not unusual for a home to sell right at or close to the asking price – or even higher if there is high demand. A good faith deposit will be required with the offer, typically one to three percent of the offering price.
Once your offer is accepted, we will walk you through the escrow process. The first thing you will need to do is select a home inspector, as you will have only a certain number of days after acceptance to have any inspections that you desire – at your expense – and good home inspectors are frequently booked over a week out. We can provide suggestions for qualified home inspection professionals.
There is no “closing table” in Southern California, contrary to custom in other areas of the country. You will sign your loan documents with your lender or with your escrow officer. Typically, your lender will “fund” your loan the day before the property is recorded in your name and a day or two after you have signed the loan documents and the balance of your down payment has been given to the escrow officer in the form of a cashier’s check – or wired into escrow. You will be told how much money will be required once the escrow officer has received your loan documents. (Your cashier’s check can often be brought to escrow at the same time as you sign the loan papers, thus avoiding another trip.) No personal checks are accepted at this time (although personal checks are accepted for the good faith deposit at the time your offer is accepted).
We will keep you informed throughout the home buying process, guide you through the paperwork and be available for questions and support. We will call you once we know your home loan has “funded” and then let you know as soon as we get the news that the recording has taken place. Congratulations will then be in order!