Buying With Jess

Marin County, East Bay, and Berkeley Real Estate Agent

The Home Buying Process

Buying a San Francisco home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This guide, created by Marin County, East Bay, and Berkeley real estate agent Jess Williams, will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.


1 - Get Pre-Approved

While you're likely eager to start looking at properties, getting pre-approved for a loan is a smarter first move. Working with a reliable lender who understands the San Francisco real estate market will ease your home buying journey in two ways: First, a quality lender will help you assess your finances, process all the paperwork, and line you up for a loan you can afford; and second, they will protect you from financing falling through just when you're on the cusp of victory. We are happy to share our list of recommended lenders.


2 - Explore the Market

Once you know how much you can afford, it's time to start going to open houses and looking through listings online. At first, cast your net wide to learn what's available, where, and - importantly - for how much. There will likely by a dramatic difference between a property's listing price and its sales price. Use this knowledge to narrow in your search to places you like and on which you anticipate that you can make a competitive offer.


3 - Find Your Dream Home

One day you'll walk in the door of an open house and know you've found something worth pursuing. Take a deep breath and look closer. Make sure the home satisfies all your requirements. Have your agent request a disclosure package for you and then read it-it will provide additional detail and spell out what work needs to be done to the house. If everything still looks good, we'll review other comparable homes that have sold recently ("the comps") and help you assess what kind of offer would be both appropriate and likely successful.

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4 - Make an Offer

After deciding on an offer strategy and price with you, we'll assemble the paperwork, proof of funds, and everything else we need to send to the seller's agent. Most often the seller will respond within 24 hours. Negotiating your offer and representing your best interest are the most valuable services your agent provides.


5 - Closing Time

Once your offer has been accepted, it's time to get excited. You'll officially be "in escrow", and you will deposit your 3% initial deposit into the escrow account. The escrow period is typically 21 to 30 days in San Francisco. During this time you'll be taking care of your due diligence including getting property insurance and transferring utilities in your name. You'll be in close contact with your lender who will be processing your loan. A few days before the close of escrow you'll sign your loan documents and deposit your remaining funds into the escrow account, so the lender can finalize the loan. 


Once escrow closes, you're officially a homeowner! You'll receive your keys and then it's time to celebrate. Congratulations! You just bought a home in the Bay Area!

Work With Jess

I take pride in always providing exceptional service with diligent attention to detail to build authentic relationships with my clients. If you are looking to partner with a San Francisco real estate agent who will always put your needs first, let's see how we can work together!