Home Buying Steps

Buying a home can be overwhelming. It is a big decision that requires careful consideration, a huge financial investment, in-depth negotiations and complex contracts. The valuable services and expertise REALTORS® bring to real estate transactions can help you find exactly what you are looking for while taking the load off your shoulders. Below are the common steps to take with your REALTOR® when you are ready to buy Redding real estate.

Step One: Meet with your REALTOR® to discuss your needs.
In this initial meeting, your REALTOR® will ask you a series of questions to help determine what you are looking for in a home. This information is kept completely confidential and is necessary to ensure you find a home that meets your needs. To help narrow down your home search, your REALTOR® will need to know the following information:

Price range – Your REALTOR® can help you determine what homes around the Redding area you are able to afford and within what circumstances negotiations can take place. A REALTOR® can also help you determine what financing options are available.

Timeframe – If you are moving to a new city or have certain time constraints, it is essential that you let your REALTOR® know up front so he or she can best meet your needs.

Motivation – Some buyers are strictly looking for an investment opportunity while others are looking to buy because they need more space for their growing family. These are serious considerations your REALTOR® can use to help you determine which Redding properties can best help you achieve your goals.

Location – Let your REALTOR® know the qualities you are looking for in your new neighborhood, such as close proximity to a child care, work, school or a center of worship.

Lifestyle – Other lifestyle preferences can also be taken into consideration, such as gated communities, fenced yards, parks, special home amenities and more. Your REALTOR® can tell you more about the neighborhood and surrounding areas that interest you.

You can find a REALTOR® on MyReddingRealEstate.com, as well as important home search questions you can ask to help build a great relationship with him or her.

Step Two: Whether written or orally, agree to a buyer’s agent agreement.
Your REALTOR® will review his or her services and make sure you are comfortable with the terms before moving forward. Buyer Agency Agreements, whether done orally or in writing, set out the main conditions of the relationship between you and your REALTOR®.

The REALTORS® that work in our office work directly with fewer buyers so that they can provide specialized attention to each of these buyers.  This makes you, the buyer, more confident that you can reach your REALTOR® when needed and that they are always working behind the scenes to find you the “right” home.  By having you commit to us, the agent, we have more confidence that you are only working with us when we are putting forth all of our efforts to find your dream home.

A written Buyer Agency Agreement defines the duties and obligations of the parties involved and sets forth the commitment term and commission rate. However, in a typical home sale, your buyer’s agent receives compensation by earning a percentage of the commission that the seller pays his or her listing agent. Under the agreement, your REALTOR® is also bound to act loyally honestly and in your best interest; to remain dedicated to his or her purpose; and to honor the other duties stated in the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.

Step Three: Obtain a pre-qualification letter from your lender.
Before looking at homes in Redding, you must know how much you can really afford. Your REALTOR® can help you determine your buying power. Give your REALTOR® basic information about your available savings, income and any debt, so he or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. You will then need to speak with the financial institution to establish a monthly payment plan you are comfortable with and obtain a pre-qualification letter.

A pre-qualification letter comes from a lender who has done a quick review of your financial situation and determined there is nothing to prevent you from getting a loan.

Once you have chosen a house in Redding and your REALTOR® begins negotiations, you will need to obtain a pre-approval letter from the lender that indicates a thorough analysis of your credit, income, employment history and assets to officially pre-approve you for a specific loan amount. A pre-approval gives strength to your offer, can improve your REALTOR®’S negotiating power with the seller and helps speed up the closing process.

Your REALTOR® understands that financing is a very private matter and is obligated under the REALTOR® Code of Ethics to respect your privacy and demonstrate confidentiality while helping you through this process.

Step Four: Research and narrow down your choices.
Once your lender pre-qualifies you, your agent will use the Shasta Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and other resources to match you with Redding real estate that meets your qualifications. Your REALTOR® may frequently send you listings via e-mail as he or she conducts in-depth research. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, which is why your agent will use other resources and personal connections to find all potential properties that fit your needs.

Your REALTOR® will likely show you 10 to 30 houses around Redding, California, but the specific number depends on what you are looking for and what is available in the market. While visiting each home, your REALTOR® may ask you certain questions about what you see, point out unique features and take notes and pictures to remind you later of what you did and did not like.

Lastly, your REALTOR® can help you make the best decision. A REALTOR® can provide objective information such as the pros and cons of each home, what home repairs may be necessary and what marketable resale features each property has in case there is a possibility you may decide to sell the home in the future.

Step Five: Make an offer and begin negotiations.
Making your selection among available Redding homes can be tough. Confide in your REALTOR®; he or she is there to listen and help you through the decision process. Once you are ready to make an offer, there are a myriad of negotiating factors. These include but are not limited to price, financing, terms, inspection period, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of certain repairs and furnishings. Additions to the house that would make the property ideal to the buyer are also negotiating points, so communicate with your REALTOR® on which upgrades and add-ons matter most to you.

Step Six: Review the final Purchase Agreement.
This document will be the binding contract and agreement between you and the seller. Within the Purchase Agreement will be a provision for the scheduled “Date of Closing.” The closing date officially takes the property off the market and puts you one step closer to moving in. The seller will often choose a closing date that allows him or her enough time to move out and find a new property. Make sure the closing date is set before your lender’s commitment expires. The closing date must also allow you enough time to apply for and obtain a mortgage and, if needed, finalize a loan. Your REALTOR® can help you determine a closing date that allows you enough time to conduct property inspections and review the title report. Other special circumstances that might take up time are: one or more parties being out of town; an estate or probate situation; or other complications that may involve legal assistance and a REALTOR®’S expertise.

Step Seven: Determine what inspections are needed.
After negotiations, your REALTOR® can help you undertake appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which inspections are recommended or required and offer you a list of providers he or she knows and trusts. Your REALTOR® also provides due diligence during the evaluation of the property and must point out things like the roof condition, septic tank and well tests, faulty structure, dry rot, land survey results and other things you must be aware of and may need to inspect before closing.

Step Eight: Make sure financing is in place and secure the title and insurance.
If the inspection period passes and the property is in good condition, you will finalize the financing and review the Preliminary Title Report to the property. The report indicates ownership of the property and can sometimes be confusing depending on status of past owners or rights of access. Titles to some properties may also have limitations, such as easements or access rights for utilities. During this step your REALTOR® and title company will help you resolve any issues. This is also when final approvals take place regarding the property, title and financial conditions to make sure everything is in place. Additionally, your mortgage lender will require homeowner’s insurance, which protects you from loss in the event the house is damaged or destroyed. You may also want to consider purchasing a homeowner’s warranty, which protects against certain defects in your home.

Step Nine: Final walk-through  and signing.
Usually around 72 – 24 hours prior to actual title transfer (closing) the REALTOR® will walk through the property with you one last time. If during this final walk-through you find major problems or violations of the purchase contract, you have the right to hold up the settlement until things are fixed. At the closing meeting (signing), a title insurance company will make sure all of the required paperwork is complete. At this time you may also bring a certified check for any funds needed for closing that you were supposed to bring to closing. Lastly, your REALTOR® and title insurance company representative will go over the last of the paper work and help you officially sign off on your new Redding home.

Step Ten: Move into your new home!
On the day of the actual closing you will receive a call from your REALTOR®  that you are now a homeowner and to make arrangements to get you the key to your new home!  Your REALTOR® should also make sure you have obtained all the contact information you may need for third parties in the future and ensure you don’t need any additional help with any move-in needs you may have.

Step Eleven: Receive your Escrow CD and feedback form
About a week after closing you will receive your Escrow CD from our office containing all documents signed at our office, to include your purchase agreement, addendums, disclosures and inspections.  This is important to keep as your final closing statement from the title company will be included for tax purposes.  You will also receive a feedback form that we use to continuously improve our services so we are the best in the Redding area!

If you are thinking of purchasing your FIRST HOME we have great information to help you out!  Just Click Here to review our first-time homebuyer resources!

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