The Home Buying Process: How It Works

The home buying process can be daunting, especially for first time home buyers. Where to start? What are the absolute must-know items? Many buyers browse the internet for homes they think they can afford. While that can be fun, doing this first is unlikely to produce great results. There are too many missing pieces. For instance, it’s often hard to tell on-line whether the home is for sale now. Market and neighborhood trends are also difficult to assess and tend to be generic at best. That said, home buyers can glean some good information on-line also and will definitely get an overall idea.

Sites like Zillow, Trulia, and appear to be consumer friendly but their algorythms leave much to be desired and they often display inaccurate information. Perhaps that is because these sites make their living from realtor advertising. Whatever the reason, smart consumers connect with a savvy real estate professional sooner or later.

In most market environments it is imperative to work with trustworthy, knowledgeable professionals and to consider the following:

A pre-approval from your mortgage professional is essential.

Know your price range and your absolute top offer amount.

Be ready to move as quickly as possible.

Find out what the seller wants and allow your agent to do the work on this.

Write an offer with as few contingencies as possible.

Make contingency periods as tight and short as possible.

Present your best & highest offer amount vs. hoping for the seller to counter your offer and then going higher.

Come in with a healthy down payment.

Close as quickly as possible.

Consider writing an ‘As-Is’ offer.

Understand that you may be writing several offers.

Maintain the attitude that the perfect property for you is forthcoming.

If you are hoping for a deal or insider information to get you one, that is exceedingly rare in San Francisco and especially in the current market environment.. Even fixers, probates, and REOs (bank-owned properties) generate much competition, thereby increasing prices.

Similarly, buyers who wish to procure FHA or VA funding or government subsidies stand almost no chance to get a property in the San Francisco/Bay Area because those types of financing present too many hurdles to sellers. They are also quite labor- and time-intensive for the buyers and all professionals involved. Most of all, they take time and programs can change or entirely go away in a hurry. Most sellers therefore will not even consider them.

The realtor you work with guides you through the process with skill, helps you understand trends, requirements, timelines, neighborhoods, and the list goes on. Additionally, strategic positioning to succeed in getting the home of your dreams will set you apart.

For additional facts and figures, please feel free to contact us at 415-200-7202.

©SFRE March 2016

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