The Flow of Real Estate Transactions: A Buyers Guide to Obtaining Real Estate for the Best Possible Price

Phase 1: Locating Property

Initial Consultation

- Understand your needs, priorities and time frames
- Examine local market conditions
- Discuss financial qualifications
- Define agency relationship
- Discuss buying process
- Explain how we will work together

Loan Pre-Approval

- Discuss lenders and lending options
- Determine budget and price range
- Consult with your tax advisor to understand benefits and ramifications of prospective purchase

Searching for Property

- Discuss then tour properties that meet purchasing profile
- Monitor market inventory
- Identify off-market, for-sale by owner and expired listings matching your criteria

Presenting an Offer

- Review comparable sales and discuss appropriate offer strategies
- Review and sign all available disclosures and reports
- Prepare and present detailed complete offer package including purchase contract
- Negotiate the best possible price for your new home!

Phase 2: Due Diligence

Accepted Contract

- Open Escrow, deposit buyer funds into escrow account
- Order and review preliminary title report
- Submit purchase contract to lender for processing
- Lender schedules appraisal
- Confirm contingency removal and loan condition dates


- Schedule buyer inspections: property, pest, roof, chimney etc.
- Conduct second review of disclosures
- Review homeowner's association documents (if applicable)
- If new critical issues are discovered during inspections, negotiate repairs or renegotiate the price!

Underwriting and Appraisal

- Underwriting file review
- Appraisal completed and reviewed by lender
- Select home insurance coverage
- Submit insurance information to escrow

Remove Contingencies

- After property inspections and confirmation of loan document approval, remove contingencies

Phase 3: Closing

Final Walk-Through

- Confirm property condition and completed repairs, if any.
- Property condition should be consistent with condition on date of ratification

Moving Details

- Setup utilities: electricity, water, garbage, phone, internet, alarm etc.
- Schedule move

Signing and Loan Funding

- Review all closing and transaction costs
- Sign loan documents
- Provide cashier's check or send wire for down payment and closing costs
- Lender sends balance of funding to title company one business day prior to close

Record and Close Escrow

- Deed is recorded in person at City Hall by Title Company
- Obtain keys to your new home!

Phase 4: Post Transaction


- Change all locks on doors and update security system
- Complete any planned repairs or improvements


- Change mailing address for all bank accounts, bills, doctors offices, magazine subscriptions
- Update estate plan and trust
- Consider meeting with financial planner or tax professional to update financial plans


- Note upcoming property tax payments and supplemental property tax bill updates
- Refer to the San Francisco Real Estate Group for any resources you may need or property related professionals

Settling In

- Check out events happening in the area
- Get acquainted with your new neighborhood and community

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