Understanding The Homebuying Process

Deciding to invest in a home is one of the biggest and most exciting decisions you will ever make. That’s why I want you to to fully understand the process and how I work to represent your best interests.

Why You Should Work With a REALTOR®

When it comes to finding your dream home, working with an agent is a big benefit to you. This is because a buyer’s agent exclusively represents you and your interests. In addition, there are no out-of-pocket costs for you, as their commission is paid by the seller at the close of transaction only if they find you a home.

Deciding to invest in a home is one of the biggest and most exciting decisions you will ever make.

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As your agent, I will act as a resource and will work side-by-side with you from the moment you begin your search until the day you get the keys to your new home. Because we will be spending a lot of time together, I believe that it is important for us to be a good fit.

To see if I am the right agent to work with, please schedule an initial buyers consult with me. You can use the direct scheduling link at the bottom of this page, email me at monica@monicarivera.com, or give me a call at (562) 354-0294.

Before Beginning the Actual Home Search, You Will Need to Obtain Financial Pre-Approval

Though not required, any experienced agent will tell you that before you even begin the housing search, getting pre-approved for a loan is an absolute must. The worst feeling in the world is to spend valuable time viewing properties and falling in love with a home, only to realize that it won’t work out financially.

Benefits of pre-approval include:

  • You can narrow down the search to homes only within your price range
  • We can eliminate properties based on the financing type (for example, if a seller will only accept a conventional loan and you are approved for FHA financing, then that home may not be an option)
  • When you view homes, your mortgage consultant can prepare a closing cost worksheet (by request), so you know your price range, closing costs, and monthly payments up front
  • Your negotiating position with the seller is stronger as the pre-approval letter will be included in your offer packet
  • Some sellers will not accept an offer with out pre-approval
  • Closing on your new home can happen more quickly

You can work with a mortgage consultant or broker of your choosing, or I can provide you with my resource list.

Buyers Consultation & Home Search

 

Once you are pre-approved, this is when we sit down for a full buyers consultation. This meeting is meant to learn about you and understand your needs and desires in your home, so that I can make recommendations based on that information.

After a thorough understanding of your new home needs, you’ll receive a list of homes that meet most or all of your requirements, and I will schedule time to visit them.

I will also help you find homes through:

  • Via mobile with my mobile search app – we will make appointments to visit them. You can access my app by texting “Get App” to 31996
  • For Sale or For Sale by Owner (FSBO) signs as you drive through neighborhoods – we will make appointments to visit them.
  • Open Houses – accompanied by your real estate agent.
  • Online with a customized real estate search that will give you the fastest listing notifications and updates as it pulls directly from the MLS in real time. Through this search, you’ll be able to “like” and “comment” on properties or share them with family or friends.

Find Your Dream Home & Make Your Offer

Once you have found your dream home, I will research market data on the home to help you will determine what to offer and we will present a written offer to the seller’s agent.

In addition to helping you determine a competitive price, my job is to make your offer as attractive as possible to the seller and seller’s agent and for this reason, in addition to the standard paperwork, my recommendation (and practice) is to include the following:

  • A Personal Letter – A personal letter to the seller pitching yourself as an ideal buyer can differentiate your offer from the next person. It also shows your commitment in the process and the likelihood of a fast and seamless closing.
  • Your Pre-approval Letter – This shows the seller that you’re not only qualified but also prepared and serious about purchasing their home.
  • A Fast Closing Date – Seller’s generally want to close the transaction as soon as possible, so faster closing dates are more attractive.

After submitting your offer, there may be some negotiation required and the seller may either accept, reject, or counter your offer. When the seller accepts the offer, it becomes a legal contract.

Get Inspection, Negotiate Repairs & Clear Up Any Other Contingencies

You offer should have included an inspection contingency clause allowing for 17 days to complete an inspection and negotiate with the buyer or cancel your offer.

My recommendation is to hire a professional home inspector to conduct a thorough inspection of the property within the first week after submitting the offer. Should any issues be brought to light, your agent will then work with you to negotiate with the seller to complete any necessary repairs or provide a credit. Should the seller refuse, you can cancel your offer within the 17 days with no loss to you besides the cost of the home inspection.

Although getting an inspection is not a requirement, I do consider it a requirement when working with me, or I will require a waiver of inspection. This is because the home inspection is meant to protect you as a buyer against major property issues that could become very costly down the line.

Another thing that must be taken care of is to make sure the title is clear. The title is what gives you ownership of a property and you want to make sure there are no surprise liens, unpaid taxes, ownership claims or other surprises. You can make sure the Title is clear pre-offer or you can make your offer contingent upon title clearance. You will also need to acquire title insurance.

Another thing that must be taken care of is to make sure the title is clear. The title is what gives you ownership of a property and you want to make sure there are no surprise liens, unpaid taxes, ownership claims or other surprises. You can make sure the Title is clear pre-offer or you can make your offer contingent upon title clearance. You will also need to acquire title insurance.

Final Review of Contract and Close!

The closing is the formal process of signing papers, paying fees and closing costs. During this time, your agent will assist with the paperwork and will provide copies of all signed documents which will include warranties, insurance documents, contracts, etc. After closing paperwork is done and all fees are paid, you will receive the keys to your new home!