Joanne’s Buyer’s Guide
Your Roadmap to Your Dream Home!
The Search: To begin house hunting, there are several steps to take before we start looking at houses.
- Have you spoken to a lender? Are you pre-approved to buy? If not, I will have my lender give you a call. All offers today should be submitted with a pre-approval letter from a lenderAre you ready to buy? If not, what has to happen for you to be ready?
- What do you need? Want? You will have choices and you will need to narrow them down. For instance, if schools are important, you may pay more for a home in a highly-rated school district. Are you looking for a spacious yard or one with low maintenance? Or maybe a townhome with a patio is your preference? Do you want a fixer or would you rather move into a completely updated home? The price of a home is usually determined by one or more factors such as location, age, size, and condition. Sometimes, though, one sees a property and derives a sense of place which has an appeal all its own.
Your Escrow: Once you have an accepted offer, the property goes into escrow and is considered “pending” the close of the sale. During this time you have certain responsibilities.
- After acceptance, you have three business days to get your deposit check escrow.
- You have an agreed upon time, usually 17-21 days, to secure financing. This means written confirmation from a lender that your loan is approved. Only then are you able to safely remove in writing the financing contingency.
- You have an agreed upon time, again usually 17-21 days, to inspect the property. This means lining up a home inspection as well as any further inspections the home inspector may recommend. Any problems that arise during the course of inspection must be resolved in writing between you and the seller prior to the removal in writing of the inspection contingency.
- Did the seller provide a termite report? If so, is the home clear of pests? If not, who is to pay for the remediation? This is negotiable and can be specificed in the purchase agreement. Keep in mind that lenders require a termite clearance.
- Line up your home insurance. Do this before removing your contingencies to avoid any problems later.
- Before you remove all contingencies, review all disclosures, inspection
reports, and the title report.
Your Closing: You’re almost there. The closing date is approaching. What are your responsibilities?
- Liquidated Damages. You have removed all contingencies, the closing date is just days away and you decide you do not want to buy this property. What do you do? You stipulate that in writing and, as per the contract you signed, you are prepared to lose 3% of the purchase price, which escrow pays from your deposit to the seller as “liquidated damages” because you reneged.
- You are ready to close. How does the money move? In advance of the closing date, your escrow officer will give you wiring instructions for your lender. Escrow will call the lender to wire the funds when all is in order to close. Escrow also will let you know when to bring in your cashier’s check for any difference between your deposit plus loan and the purchase price.
- Finally, escrow calls me to say the deed has been recorded in your name. I let you know, and then bring you the keys and a bottle of champagne!
Joanne Fishman, CalRE #01211313, Coldwell Banker Luxury Specialist
Direct: (925) 878-2334 * jf@JoanneFishman.com