What You Should Know Before Buying a Home in the Silicon Valley
Buying your first home is an exciting venture, but it can also be confusing and a little overwhelming as you negotiate your way through the offer process, financing, inspections, insurance and closing. As your buyers' agents in the Silicon Valley real estate market, we are there every step of the way, offering guidance and ensuring that your transaction goes as smoothly as possible.
1. Talk to a Lender
Before you even start looking for a home, you should talk with a mortgage lender to get pre-approved. Getting pre-approval from a lender puts you in a strong negotiating position when it comes time to make an offer. We can put you in touch with a lender who will review your financial records, recommend which type of mortgage will suit you best, and then write a letter stating the amount for which you are pre-approved. You may be pre-approved for a larger amount than you originally planned to spend. If so, make sure that the higher payment is realistic for you. You are not obligated to spend the entire amount for which you have been approved.
2. Tell us about what you want in your new Silicon Valley home
Once we have your pre-approval, we will sit down with you to determine what specifics you are looking for in your new home. This is the time for you to tell us how many bedrooms and bathrooms you want, how close you want to be to schools or work, what size yard you prefer, architectural style preference and any other details that come to mind. We’ll take this information and run it through our vast database of available properties. When we find some that meet your requirements, we’ll send information and pictures to you. You’ll review them and decide which, if any, you want to see in person. If none of them appeal to you, let us know since we don’t want to waste your valuable time showing you homes that are not of interest to you. We’ll then go back to our database and refine the search.
3. Make an educated offer
After visiting several homes, you find “the one.” That’s when you’ll make an offer based on the data we provide you about comparable values in the neighborhood. We will present the offer to the listing (seller’s) broker. At the time we present the offer, you will also be asked to put down “earnest money” to show that you are serious about the offer. This will usually be 3% of the sale price. Once the offer is accepted, the earnest money will be deposited into the escrow account and credited back to you as part of your down payment. If the contract does not close, the earnest money, in most cases, will be returned to you, the buyer, unless you are in default of the contract terms.
4. See your Mortgage lender and secure your home loan
Once the offer has been accepted, the lender may require you to present specific financial documents in order to get final loan approval. You will also have to arrange homeowner's insurance prior to closing. If the seller has not already done so, we recommend you have a qualified home inspector go through the house. Should the inspector find major faults with the property, you may have the right to renegotiate your offer or ask the sellers to make repairs.
5. Complete the walk through and sign the final documents
After the inspection is completed and your loan has been approved, the next step is the closing. Just before closing, we will arrange a walk-through of the property to make sure it is in the same condition it was at the time your offer was accepted. Approximately one week before closing you will be asked to sign your closing paperwork and submit your down payment money. We will be present to answer any questions you may have.
Congratulations, the home is yours!
We hope this brief explanation has helped you better understand the Silicon Valley home buying process. If you have any questions or would like to talk to us about helping you with your home buying experience, please contact The Gary & Robert Real Estate Team.