The process to purchase a property in California is intense to say the least, sometimes even down right upsetting. With this comprehensible list of the process of purchasing a property, your life will be easier and the transaction smoother.
I have completed this list with my many years in the real estate profession but also with my years as a contractor. My previous post was all about getting ready to purchase, so read that first before trying to complete this list. If you are not into reading from this resource, there are many out there with varying lengths and depth.
1. Heart drop
After all the prep is done, you will have found a home and put an offer in within your financial obligations (heart drop time). At this step is the negotiating, which can be done throughout the transaction in many ways. As a buyer you are just waiting for an acceptance or a Seller Counter Offer. As a seller, you will have to decide (with your agent, hopefully) to accept or counter.
• The contract itself is comprised of many parts and should be read all the way through before writing an offer or before accepting any offers.
• In this contract you will be informed of buyer and seller legal names to be
purchased/ sold through, offer amount, escrow information (such as company, duration, ect..), financial terms, loan info with contingencies (if applicable), your allocation of costs (such as pests report, septic report, all required reports as well as buyer requested or denied reports), items to be included or excluded from transaction, buyer and seller rights within contract and of course required California disclosures for both buyer and sellers explaining any risks and how to avoid them. In my opinion, this is a very important section. The initial acceptance offer is very scary for new property buyers or sellers. We all want to make sure we are doing things right and not getting the wool pulled over our eyes. I get it, as a realtor I actually want my clients to be happy before, during and after
2. Inspector Gadget
After the contract is accepted, we will be entering our 17 day period for inspections, repair requests and to review documentation given. At this point you have already
agreed to some terms such as: purchase price, finance terms and allocation of some costs. Having a realtor (a realtor is preferred from an agent because a realtor is a member of the association of realtors) for negotiations will help the transaction in your benefit. You have been to the house several times, discussed and submitted Repair Requests based on your investigations, as well as made appointments for inspections you want to have based on those reports by the end of this step.
The most common inspections in Twentynine Palms, CA are the home inspection, septic inspection and the pests inspection. The home warranty is agreed upon in the contract for typically $550 with a $75 charge to come out but can be negotiated
while writing the offer and countering. There are many inspections you can get but this area is less complicated than more developed communities. Once the offer is accepted the agent will start the escrow process. The agent will have recommendations for you during this period but cannot tell you what to do. Like I ended my last blog post with...It's YOUR money, YOUR life, live it the way YOU want.
4. Escrow and title are no joke
As soon as escrow has been started the escrow and title representatives will contact you in regards to signing documents and for the buyer usually, the Earnest money deposit also agreed upon in the contract. The Earnest Money Deposit is a neutral account the escrow company uses for your transaction. As you can see, this is the part you have to do what you agreed to do. Most escrow periods are 30 days but can be extended or shortened if necessary. Unfortunately if there was any financial obligations you may have not known about, forgot about or just pushed from your mind, this is the time it'll come up. This is also the time the bank (if you are obtaining a loan) will order an appraisal. From the appraisal you will know what items are required to repair for the appraised value to be valid and can be added to your Repair Request from step 2.
5. Appraisal or null?
At this point the appraisal came in and you have discussed with your agent what repairs are required and what repairs you just want done. For certain loan types there are requirements for the home to be in a particular condition before the bank will finalize a loan. The appraisal can open up subjects if the amount appraised is too far off of the purchase price. If the appraisal is done and there are required repairs to get the loan approved from the lender, you may have to put in extra money to keep the property. If you and the seller are unwilling to complete the required repairs/ changes to get the loan type approved then you will have to cancel the transaction and start the search again.
6. To Cancel or Not to Cancel?
The appraisal came back and they are requiring thousands of dollars of work to be
completed for the loan approval on that property. Do you go through with it? At what point is it just too much? This will be an easy question to answer if you have not fallen for the property. I tell everyone who is starting the home purchasing process, "DO NOT FALL IN LOVE!" Too many times has a buyer fallen for a property, proceeded to stretch their limits, but failed regardless of the effort. If you are required to put in smoke alarms and carbon detectors, not a biggy, it is California law and relatively cheap; If you are required to get a combination of items repaired equalling an amount that exceeds your abilities, then walk away. You may not get an entire deposit back from the initial inspections (if requested), but you will not be in over your head. If you decide to walk away, it's completely fine and no one will be upset. Keep in mind, no agent (real estate, escrow, title, loan) will get a cent unless a transaction records.
At the end of the escrow period (Typically 30 days) and all escrow/ title required documents are signed and notarized the transaction will record and the property will finally be all yours. CONGRATS!!!