Getting Started As A Buyer

Get Started As A Buyer in the San Luis Obispo Real Estate Market


  1. Get Pre-Qualified or Pre-Approved

    Pre-Qualified means that you have talked to a lender or a mortgage broker who has, based on information you told them, calculated what your home budget should be. This qualification is subject to verification of the information you gave the representative and the appraisal of the actual home you will purchase. Pre-Approval means that a lender has actually verified your financial information and approved you as a borrower for a specified amount. All you need to do is to purchase a home which will appraise at the price you and the seller agreed upon.

    Getting pre-qualified or pre-approved is important for two reasons. First, as your Realtor® I will need to know which properties fall within your financial means. I want to show you the best value possible in your price range. Second, when you write an offer on a property you will want to attach the pre-qualification/approval letter to your offer so that the seller is favorably impressed by your financial credentials.

    Kim RivasI know of a great local loan officer by the name of Kim Rivas. She is an MBA graduate from Cal Poly. I recommend all my clients to Kim, and I do all my personal financing through her. She has very competitive rates, great loan programs, and she gets the job done. She is a "no pressure" person, works 7 days a week, and answers her cell phone anytime. I work with a lot of loan officers, and in my opinion she is the best. Let me know if you would like her phone number and I would be happy to put you in touch with her.

  2. Let's get together!

    I like to get to know my clients; in particular their individual needs and wants. That way, I can tailor our search for your future home to your unique requests and budget. Plan on spending about a half-hour with me at our office. I'll ask you some questions that will help me understand what you're looking for.

  3. Let's look at some homes!

    Once I know your taste in homes and your budget I can arrange for us to preview some homes. I usually book about four to six homes; or about what we can see in two hours. I've found that more than that often overloads buyers with too much information ("Was the blue master bath in the yellow house or in the white house with green shutters?”).

    Sometimes on the very first outing you'll find THE house. After all, I'll try to show you your "best bets" right away. If not, I'll keep on going with another round until you've seen the entire possible inventory. If the inventory is low, you may need to be patient. I'll watch for new listings that might match your criteria and call or e-mail you right away so that you can get the jump on competitive buyers.

  4. What should I offer?

    Once you find THE house, I'll guide you through the offer process. Writing an offer takes about a hour. I'll explain how to form the terms of your offer. I'll also review the recent sales which are comparable to "your" house and advise you regarding various strategies you may want to consider. Every client and every house are different—and so are offers. Here is where my years of experience will pay off for you.

    You'll need a personal check to write an "earnest money deposit" to attach to your offer. This check is held uncashed until after your offer is accepted by the seller and escrow is opened.

  5. Presenting your offer

    After I write your offer for you, I will arrange to meet the seller and their agent and to present your offer. I prefer personal presentations whenever possible. I do this so that the seller has an opportunity to hear about your qualifications and to ask questions on a face-to-face basis.

    Sometimes the seller and their agent will write a counter offer, which I will then present to you for your response. The offer/counter offer "back and forth" could go on indefinitely, but usually one or two counter offers will resolve differences.

  6. What happens when the seller accepts my offer?

    After you and the seller reach an agreement, I "open escrow”. That means that your earnest money deposit is placed in an account controlled by a neutral third party, the escrow officer. I then begin the count down to the close of escrow when title is transferred to your name. There is much activity during this period, all of which I, as your agent, will guide you through. You never have to "wing it”, so don't worry.

  7. How much will this cost me?

    Other than your down payment and loan costs, you should plan on paying for whatever property inspections (physical, geological and the like) you choose, half the escrow fee, the lender-required title policy and certain other miscellaneous fees. I will calculate for you the amount of money you will need, including down payment & closing costs.


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