Or maybe you just want to make sure you’re doing everything right. Check out our home-buying guide, where we break the process down step by step for you.
Okay, so this may sound a little self-serving, but it really is one of the first things you should do. Why? Because having the right agent by your side will fast track the whole process. Exponentially. At Akimax, we have a team of experienced, knowledgeable, and dedicated real estate agents who will:
- Prescreen properties for you
- Monitor the market for new homes that meet your criteria, including pocket listings
- Locate the neighborhood that’s the best fit for you
- Connect you with the right financial professionals
- Go over tax implications of your home purchase with you
- Help you steer clear of potential pitfalls
This step actually involves several steps of its own. First, you need to clean house – your financial house, that is. Make sure your credit report is error-free and gather the documents that you’ll need for your loan application. Next you’ll want to shop around for a loan. Compare the different loan products and rates and determine which one is right for you. We’ll connect you with local lenders and mortgage brokers who’ll be happy to help you out. Once you know what you want, then you can get pre-approved. This is very important in a highly competitive market like Silicon Valley, where sellers will only seriously consider buyers that already have financing in place.
When you’re buying a home, you’re investing in the neighborhood as well. So it pays to do your research. Visit it at least several times, check out area schools, etc. We’re here to help you find out if the communities you’re interested in are the right fit for your needs.
Your home search will go faster – and easier – if you’re clear on what features you want your new home to have. It’s also useful to group them according to whether or not they’re a must-have, nice-to-have-but-not-essential, and so on.
Found what you think is the right home? That’s the easy part. Making the right offer is a little bit trickier – but we’re here to make sure that everything gets done the way it should. It’s about scoping the market right, being up-to-date on the latest trends in each neighborhood, and crafting a persuasive offer letter.
Be prepared for counteroffers and sometimes even outright rejections, particularly if the property is especially sought-after. Don’t worry, it’s our job to watch out for your best interests and we’ll advise you whether you just need to restructure your offer, accept the new terms laid out in the counteroffer, counter with another one, or start seriously considering other properties on your shortlist.
Before you buy a home, you’re going to get several disclosures from the seller. These need to be carefully reviewed and we’ll help you go over them and make sure that you’re not going to be investing in a potential money pit. In California, sellers and their agents are required to provide a Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS), which details the features that the property has, whether or not they’re in operating condition, and if they have any significant defects. The presence of hazardous materials also needs to be disclosed as well as whether or not there are any encroachments or easements, modifications without permits or that don’t comply with building codes, soil problems, flooding issues, and so on. If the property is part of a Homeowners Association (HOA), then information regarding it will be provided as well. Inspections are also typically done and whatever issues are found can either be the seller’s responsibility or yours. You’ll need to review reports on the property and pest inspections as well as the title report.
The escrow process kicks off once you and the seller sign a real estate purchase agreement and the brokerage, escrow or title company hands you the deposit receipt (from the earnest money you deposited). Here in Silicon Valley, the title insurance company also handles the escrow process. They will serve as a neutral third party and will hold whatever monies and documents will be involved in the transaction. They’re there to ensure that the funds will be disbursed only when agreed-upon conditions are met, that the title search is completed, and that all documents are filed with the county. All of this can take as little as two weeks to more than a month to complete and our goal at Akimax is to help ensure that everything proceeds smoothly and on time. We’ll handle whatever new negotiations need to be made and stay on top of your loan processing as well.
The escrow period closes once the new deed to the property is recorded in your name and the funds get released to the seller. Closing day is when you sign all the papers, keys are handed over, and you and the seller officially seal the deal. Congratulations! You’re now the owner of a new home!