Looking to buy a home...

Buying a home is an exciting time in one's life. Making the smart move of choosing a REALTOR® is your first step to ensuring that your new home and community meets your needs. My services and experience range from financial aid to helping you find the home that best suits you and your family. For your convenience, I also provide listings by email. I pride myself on repeat business and hope you'll come to understand why.

As your agent, I will:

  • Assure that you see all the properties in the area that meet your criteria.

  • Guide you through the entire home buying process, from finding homes to look at, to getting the best financing.

  • Make sure you don't pay too much for your new home and help you avoid costly mistakes.

  • Answer all of your questions about the local market area, including schools, neighborhoods, the local economy, and more.

What to do before you start looking for your new home:

  • Mortgage broker.  A mortgage broker will pre-approve you for a loan.  S/he will discuss the different loan packages available and assist you in targeting the best options for your specific financial situation.  Additionally, your mortgage broker will help you determine your price range.  A mortgage broker will also talk with you about the different loan options available and what the best options are for your specific situation.

Here are a couple of mortgage brokers that I work with and highly recommend; even if you have already been pre-approved, it is in your best interest to have one of the following professionals pre-approve you as well.  When making a purchase of this magnitude it is important to comparison shop; in addition, it is vital to have a "back up" broker to decrease your risk of falling out once escrow has been opened. 

Once you have been pre-approved, we will begin to discuss your criteria (are you looking for a single family residence or a condo?  What areas are you interested in?  How many bedrooms?  Do you want a fixer or something you can move right into?).  I will be setting up a website to manage properties that fit your criteria, which can be modified and updated as needed.  You and I will receive periodic emails when a new listing hits the MLS that meets your criteria.  Feel free to contact me if you see something you would like further information on; however, be assured that I will consistently monitor the MLS and preview potential properties.  In addition, I have various contacts and resources, which I will use to identify unlisted properties, such as those for sale by owner or marketed solely to brokers.  I also recommend that we set up a day for us to spend together looking over some of the inventory.  This is important, as it will give me a better sense of what you are looking for and what your style is.  After spending a few hours together, I can begin previewing properties and contacting you only when there is something that is worth your while to see.

 

What to do when you're ready to make an offer:

  • Personal letter. A personal letter stating who you are and why you want this property.  We want to convey a sense of connection to the seller; we want him/her to feel like s/he knows you and WANTS to sell you the property.  This may seem like an extraneous detail, but I can assure you that it carries substantial value, especially in these changing days of real estate, where more often than not we are not able to present offers in person. 

  • Loan pre-approval letter.  This can be obtained from your mortgage broker.  It should state the property address on it, not the purchase price.  Please request that your mortgage broker indicates having made an in-depth analysis of your financial situation and have him/her fax a copy directly to me at the number above. 

  • Proof of funds. You will need to show that you have the money for a down payment and closing costs.  This can be in the form of a bank statement, a 401k, a stock portfolio, or someone else’s bank statement as long as it is accompanied by a signed and dated note stating that s/he allows you to use the funds for the purchase of the property located at 123 N. Main St, LA 90210.  This does not have to be the money you actually use but is more a show of good faith.  For instance, you may submit a copy of your 401k account at the time you make your offer, but ultimately decide to use the funds from a savings account.   Please black out any account numbers and make sure the names and amounts are still visible.

  • Deposit check.  A deposit check for 3% of the purchase price made payable to Coldwell Banker.  This will not be cashed until we get an accepted offer and escrow is opened, at which point it will be put into a third party trust account and escrow will apply it towards your down payment at the close of escrow.

 

What to do when opening escrow: 

  • Insurance.  You will need to obtain homeowners insurance for your new condo/single family residence.  You can start by calling whoever insures your car. Most likely, they offer homeowners insurance as well.  Fariba Zand with State Farm Insurance is an agent I have worked with and believe offers reputable services at good rates.  She can be reached at 310-314-7601. Once your insurance is in place, forward escrow your insurance agent's name and number. 

  • Loan. Call your lender and let them know you have opened escrow.  They need to know ASAP so that they can order the appraisal.

  • Inspection.  Schedule a physical inspection.  If you have an inspector you would like to use, I would be happy to call him/her and schedule it. 

  • Deposit.  Your 3% deposit check will be cashed with escrow and held in a 3rd party trust account until the close of escrow, at which point it will apply towards your down payment.  You will receive escrow instructions shortly after escrow is opened, and these will outline the terms of your deal including the contingency dates.

  • Contingencies. We will negotiate your loan, appraisal and inspection contingency periods prior to opening escrow. Contingencies must be removed in writing, unless specified otherwise in the contract. 

 

What to do when closing escrow:

  • Loan documents.  If you are receiving a loan for this property, escrow will be contacting you to schedule an appointment to sign loan documents.  It is always good to check-in with escrow if you haven’t heard yet and make sure loan documents are signed about five days before the close date. 

  • Wire instructions. Escrow will provide you with an estimated closing cost statement and wire instructions, which you will need in order to wire funds into an escrow account to cover your down payment and closing costs.  I will review the estimated closing statement to make sure everything is appropriate (please note it is an estimate with a pad, thus you may receive a refund and will get a final accounting shortly after the closing). Escrow will give you an exact amount due and you must wire the funds so that they arrive at escrow a day or two before the closing is scheduled.  You should contact your bank the week before to find out how much notice they will need (usually 2 – 3 days).  

  • Final walk-thru: Two to Five days before the close of escrow there will be a final walk-thru of the property.  This inspection gives you an opportunity to verify that the property is being delivered in the same condition as when escrow was opened and that the seller has completed all agreed upon work satisfactorily.  The seller may also be present to give you pertinent information regarding the property, such as how to work a security system or sprinkler system.

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