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Buying Overview

 

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The Buying Process | Our Commitment To You | Frequently Asked Questions

 

The Home Buying Process: What to expect when you are buying a home

 

  • Select Your Realtor and Establish a Working Relationship: We are full time, professional Realtors with extensive market knowledge. We will work closely together to find the right home for you. During our initial meeting we will provide you with information on the home-buying process.

  • Evaluate Your Needs and Your Resources: We will meet with you to discuss your specific needs in a home and analyze your resources. Together we will establish a set of criteria about the type of home and features that are most important to you.

  • Loan Consultation: We will provide you with guidance in finding a financial institution, and support you in obtaining information on available financing options. A licensed loan consultant can help you determine a realistic range of affordability and can provide you with a letter of pre-approval expediting the purchase process.

  • Market Education, View Properties and Select a Property: We will research available properties on a daily basis, and show you homes based on the criteria you establish. As we view different homes, we will reassess your criteria for a home. The more precise and direct you are with us, the more successful your search will be. We specialize in Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito, Kensington, Rockridge, and Oakland CA homes for sale.

  • Structure and Effective Offer: Once you have found the home that you wish to purchase, we will do all the necessary research to help you structure and effective offer. We will draft the purchase agreement for you, advising you on protective contingencies, customary practices, and local regulations. Although we will give you advice and information, it is your decision as to the exact price and terms you wish to offer.

  • Present Your Offer: We will present your offer to the seller and the seller’s agent. The seller has three options – to accept, reject or counter. Our personal knowledge of your needs, who you are and your qualifications will enable us to represent you in the best way possible.

  • Respond to the Seller: We will review the seller’s response with you. If the seller has countered your offer, you will have the option to accept, reject or counter. Our negotiating skills will benefit you in reaching a satisfactory agreement.

  • Open Your Ecrow: When the purchase agreement is signed by all parties, we will open escrow for you and your earnest money will be deposited. The escrow or title company is a neutral third party that will receive, hold and distribute all funds associated with your transaction.

  • Remove Contingencies: Prior to closing, all of the contingencies of the purchase agreement must be met. We will coordinate the removal of these contingencies and review all documents with you. Typical contingencies include:

    • Approval of the seller’s Transfer Disclosure Statement

    • Approval of the Preliminary Title Report

    • Approval of the Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement

    • Approval of various other documents required by law to be given to the Buyers

    • Loan approval, including an appraisal of the property

    • Physical inspections of the property

    • Pest inspection

    • Acquisition of homeowner’s insurance

  • Close Escrow. When all of the contingencies of the purchase agreement have been met, you will sign your loan documents and closing papers. You will deposit the balance of your down payment and closing costs to escrow, and your lender will deposit the balance of the purchase price. The deed will then be recorded at the County Recorder’s office and you will take ownership of your home.

 

Our Commitment To You

 

We are full time professional real estate agents licensed by the State of California. We abide by a strict Code of Ethics to provide you with the highest level of service.

 

A large part of our work is performed “behind the scenes”: Previewing homes, researching comparable sales, gaining market knowledge, evaluating changing legislation, maintaining our professional credentials. For every hour we spend showing you homes, we will have spent numerous hours in preparation.

 

We work entirely on commission, which we only receive if we initiate and complete a transaction. We are compensated only when all of your needs have been satisfied and you take ownership of your new home. All of the services we provide are uncompensated unless you purchase a home through us.

 

We will invest substantial time and effort to help you find your home and will represent you with integrity. In return, we request your loyalty – a commitment that you will work exclusively with us in selecting and purchasing your home.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What does it cost to buy a home?

Common costs in the purchase your new home are:

  • Price of Home: Your expense depends on your downpayment which can vary.

  • Inspections: A general inspection can be several hundred dollars, and this may lead to specific inspections at additional costs.

  • Closing costs: Costs vary depending on the purchase contract and may include items such as various escrow fees, insurance, loan points & fees, transfer taxes, and prorated mortgage interest and real estate taxes.

What is 'escrow'?

Escrow is a process for handling the details of the transaction from the time the purchase agreement is accepted until title is transferred to the Buyer. An escrow is a temporary deposit of assets, such as funds and documents, with a neutral third party that makes sure that the terms of the purchase agreement are carried out. The money is released when the conditions of the contract between the two parties have been met.

 

How long is an escrow?

The length of an escrow is determined by the terms of the purchase agreement and can range from around 10 days to several months. An escrow often takes an average time of 30-40 days.

 

How are real estate agents compensated?

A commission amount is negotiated between the Seller and the Seller's agent, and that amount is usually divided among the Seller's agent's Brokerage, the Seller's agent, the Buyer's agent's Brokerage, the Buyer's agent, and any referring agents. Real Estate commissions are traditionally paid at the close of escrow from the Seller's proceeds.

 

Do I have to work with the agent that is on the sign or at the open house?

No, we can assist you in buying any home. Home information on the Multiple Listing Service is shared and available to any licensed agent.

 

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Interested in learning more about Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito, Kensington, Rockridge, Oakland or other East Bay Real Estate areas? Contact us for a free consultation.

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