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Home Buying Made Easy – Understanding the Process

Buying a home is not as far fetched as it may seem. After many years of facilitating the buying process for my clients and my family’s real estate investment fund, I have learned the ins and outs of purchasing real estate. With the right team and the proper approach, buying a home can be simple and relatively stress-free. Whether you work with me, or another realtor, I have outlined the steps below to help you understand the process. 


Step 1: Meet with me to establish what you are looking for in your new home

We will get together in person or by phone to get acquainted with one another and establish what you are looking for in your new home. We will talk about your desired location, lifestyle, budget, and ideal home characteristics.


Step 2: Mortgage Pre Approval

Many people rely on a mortgage when buying a home. If you need to secure a mortgage, it is important that you are pre-approved before identifying and submitting an offer on a home. Being pre-approved ensures your offer will be compelling to a seller. To get pre-approved, you will talk to a lender about your credit, debt, income, and assets and the lender will estimate whether you can qualify for a mortgage and how much you may be able to borrow. During pre-approval, a lender will pull your credit report and will review documents to verify your income, assets, and debts. Once you have been pre-approved, you will receive a pre-approval letter from the bank which we can use when submitting your offer. 

If you do not already have a mortgage advisor, I have several different advisors I can refer you to. Usually, this process takes about one to three days, so we should plan accordingly. 


Step 3: Preview Applicable Properties 

Once we have identified what you are looking for in your new home and you have been pre-approved, we can go ahead and preview properties. I will start by running an MLS search and I will reach out to fellow agents and brokers who may have off-market opportunities that are not yet on the MLS. We will then go tour these properties in person together.


Step 4: Write and Present a Purchase Offer

Now that we have identified a home that checks all the boxes and you are ready to present an offer, we will write up a purchase offer and present this to the seller. Remember, your purchase offer is contingent on several different terms like loan approval, appraisal, and your satisfaction with the condition of the home after inspections are conducted by licensed professionals.


Step 5: Negotiate Terms of the Sale 

In some instances, the seller will accept our initial purchase offer without negotiating via a counteroffer. Regardless, once we have come to terms, we will ultimately have an accepted purchase contract between you and the seller. Once a purchase offer has been accepted, we will move forward with opening escrow. In some instances, the sellers will have already opened escrow to streamline the process.


Step 6: Inspections, Appraisals, Underwriting, and Removal of Contingencies

During the escrow process, we will have the opportunity to inspect the property for any defects. This includes but is not limited to pest inspections, general inspections, roof inspections, sewer line inspections, and any other inspections we deem necessary for the specific property you are interested in. It is important we order inspections so we can ensure the integrity of the home you are purchasing. We will also check with local building departments, and utilities to make sure no surprises lie ahead. This period of time is also when appraisal and loan underwriting takes place. Once we have inspected the property thoroughly, appraisals have been conducted, and loan underwriting is complete, we will move forward to closing. This is when we remove contingencies and proceed with preparing closing documents. 


Step 7: Buying a Home – Transfer of Funds

Once escrow is ready, you and your lender will be notified how, and where to transfer funds. Funds can be delivered by cashiers check, or wire transfer. 


Step 8: Closing Day – Close of Escrow and Receiving Keys 

We have made it to the end and you are about to receive the keys to your new home! On closing day, you will sign closing documents, and all involved parties will be paid through the escrow company. Once all documents have been signed, and the deed has been recorded, you will receive keys to your new home and can officially move in! 


If you have any questions or want to discuss moving forward with buying a home please feel free to contact me!

Torben Yjord-Jackson is pictured sailing. He is wearing a white jacket and the Golden Gate Bridge is pictured in the background.

Torben Yjord-Jackson
®Realtor – CalBRE # 02050831
Call or text (415) 259-8088


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