Step 1 – Research and Preparation

  • Understand the Process: Learn about the real estate market in your desired area.  Educate yourself on the home buying process and the need for representation by a realtor and lender that work together so mistakes are not made ensuring your success with home ownership.
  • Determine Your Purchase Power to include Home Affordability and Get Pre-qualified to understand your purchase power and what that buys you in terms of a property based on the price and its location.
  • Market Research: Learn about local home prices, inventory levels, and market demand in your specific search areas and what’s needed to ratify an offer on the purchase of a home.

Step 2 – Set Goals and Budget

  • Get Preapproved for Financing: Lender underwrites your income, debt, assets and credit report to determine your max purchase power in writing subject to the appraisal, ratified purchase contract and prelim.
  • Determine Your Wants and Needs: Bedrooms, Bathrooms, Locations, Schools
  • Understand Market conditions: Align your budget with local prices and what your preapproved for to ensure you can obtain what you want when buying based on inventory.
  • Plan your timeline: Stick to a schedule for home hunting and closing.
  • Advocate for yourself: Ask questions on what you don’t know and rely on your Realtor and Lender to guide you through the process of buying.

Step 3 – Start Your Home Search

  • Explore neighborhoods: Visit areas and test distance for dollars.  How far from work do you have to travel to find properties or the neighbor you like where you’d eventually like to buy.
  • Scout listings: Use real-time alerts and compare properties provided by your realtor based on your wants and needs.
  • Realtor leveraged networks: Some properties never hit the MLS.  Realtors have access to properties you will never have access to.
  • “Virtually” preview homes: Shortlist the properties meeting your needs so you can then schedule a real estate tour of those properties with your Realtor.  Make this a priority as properties sell fast in the current market (5-16-24)
  • Determine the Pro’s and Con’s of each property so you can narrow down on the ones you’d like to make an offer on.

Step 4 – Making Your Offer

  • Discuss Price to Offer with Realtor: Decide on your offer amount based on inventory, market conditions and how many other offers are being made on the same property.
  • Discuss Offer with Realtor and Lender: They can help you differentiate your offer over others by offering a quick closing or long closing based on the needs of the seller.  Closing date, contingencies, rent backs, credits, who pays for what.
  • Make sure preapproval is current and updated specific to the price you want to offer.
  • Make sure the Realtor has spoken to the listing agent about your offer and to ensure your offer is aligned with the seller as much as possible.
  • Make Sure the Lender calls the listing agent on behalf of the offer to communicate the strength of the offer and answer any questions.

Step 5 – Possible Counters and Acceptance

  • Understand multiple-offer scenarios: Have strategies ready with your realtor and lender.
  • Negotiate effectively: Secure the best terms and finalize the contract.

Step 6 – Facilitate Closing

  • Coordinate with all parties: Ensure clear communication with agents, escrow, title, lender, inspector, appraiser, escrow officer, insurance company and bank.
  • Order inspections and appraisals: Confirm property condition and value based on what’s drafted in the ratified purchase contract.
  • Track deadlines: Create timeline all parties follow and update immediately if there are delays from any party to ensure everyone is to up to date.
  • Review closing documents from realtor but also lender: Ensure accuracy and completeness.
  • Prepare for closing meeting: Coordinate with escrow and bring necessary items to sign and eventually close.
  • Finalize the transaction: Sign documents. Coordinate with lender and escrow to record the purchase.  Once the purchase is recorded, the keys to the buyer unless a rent back amount the seller and buyer was previously negotiated.

This summary highlights the key steps in the home-buying process, focusing on research, budgeting, searching for homes, preparing financing, making offers, negotiating, and finalizing the purchase.

Any questions, please contact me.

Best Regards,

Rob McCarthy
Senior Mortgage Advisor
650-465-8957 c
CA DRE #01165697  NMLS #121019
101 Loan – 14435 C Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070

  1. Residential Financing for Purchases and Refinances on 1 to 4 unit properties.
  2. Reverse Mortgage Financing to include Conforming, Jumbo, HELOC Jumbo’s.
  3. Commercial & SBA Financing to include Multifamily, Office, Retail and Light Industrial.
  4. Access to over 60 banks with over 300 “Five Star” Reviews on Yelp, Google and Linkedin.
  5. Over 30 years of lending experience with over $2b in closed loan volume.


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