With all the news of how competitive the San Francisco Bay Area’s housing market can be, taking your first few steps into homebuying can be intimidating. Here are three simple steps to ensure your first home buying experience goes well. 

Get Preapproved

Speak to more than one lender to find the best rate and the loan program that best fits your needs. Requirements and rates are different from bank to bank. Check with multiple banking institutions to find a lender that best represents you. 

Getting preapproved is important because it lets you know exactly how much you can afford. It will also give you an idea of your monthly mortgage payment. Being comfortable with your monthly mortgage is crucial because it dictates how the rest of your monthly spending will unfold.  

Find an Agent You Trust

Similar to finding a lender you trust, interview multiple realtors. Keep an eye out for personality fit, market knowledge, and accessibility. Working with a Realtor who has helped a friend or family member in the past is a great way to find your agent because they will come highly recommended by people you trust.

For the next three to six months, you and your agent will be working diligently to find you a place to call home. Having someone you know is putting your financial interest first is a cornerstone of a flawless purchase. Trusting your agent’s ability to represent you is important because it is their job to keep you out of litigation.

Understanding the Process

Speak with your real estate agent and lender to clarify what the next steps are. Often, they both will have informative materials to guide you along the way. Understand how the offering process works in your unique neighborhood. This will allow you to move confidently and feel comfortable when it comes time to put an offer in on a house.

In a competitive market, a home can go into contract in a matter of days. Hesitating during the offering process can be the difference between winning or losing your dream home.

Understanding the flow of buying a home is critical because it keeps you focused on the next step. Understanding how disclosures, contingencies, and liquidated damages protect you will give you peace of mind as you proceed to invest in one of your largest assets.

By Zack Sit