Steps to Buying a Property

Ready to purchase a property!  Make sure to review the “Steps to Buying a Property” and then contact East Valley Market

1) Plan and prepare

A successful buying experience can rely heavily on the quality of preparation you do prior to beginning your search. Here are some important elements to carefully think through and decide upon.

A) Property– There are many different types of properties on the market, each that lend different pros and cons to a buyer. The most popular to consider are condos, town homes, duplex’s or single family homes. Your preference may depend on the space you need, the stage of you life may be in (e.g. preparing to have a family vs. bachelor pad), or frequency of outdoor living.

B) Non-negotiables– Every individual has elements of a living environment that they must have. It is important to know ahead of time what are your non-negotiables. This type of ‘list’ will help guide our partnership in finding you a property that fits your bill. It is also crucial to understand the difference between a non-negotiable and a preference. A non- negotiable is something within a property that you must absolutely have (e.g. a large backyard or a home office). A preference is something that would be great to have on your property (e.g. a fire place or a walk-in closet) however you wouldn’t rule out a space just because it doesn’t have those elements. You will come across a number of properties and having these two lists will greatly help you in your decision making. It will also help guide our partnership, in narrowing down the inventory of properties to view. Keep in mind that the larger the number of non-negotiables, the smaller the inventory of properties available.

C) Neighborhoods– Make sure you take some time to peruse the website sections on various neighborhoods available in the East Valley. It will not only be important to have a geographic area in mind, it would be important to know what you need in a neighborhood. For example, being close to eateries and shops may be important to you. Or, you may want a property that is quiet and away from the bustle of a shopping area. It may be important to have a good school system by your property or perhaps a neighborhood park. Think about the lifestyle that you currently have that works for you or a lifestyle that you wish to have. This will guide you in deciding what type of neighborhood will work best.

D) Budget – While property searching can be fun, it will only be fruitful if you are only looking at properties that you can afford. Know ahead of time what your income and expenses are, what you can afford and what would be out of reach. Are you paying in cash, or will you need a loan? If it is the latter and you need a mortgage broker, we can connect you to one easily. They will prepare a Loan Status Report (LSR) that will tell you the highest purchase price for which you qualify, however do not feel pressured to seek a property at the high end of your LSR. You need to work with your financial advisor to understand what you can afford as a down payment and a monthly mortgage. The goal is to not only set you up with the best possible property but a healthy and sustainable financial investment. Know your price range and only see properties that are within that budget. Seeing properties that are a higher price point can be dangerous territory.

 2) Viewing properties

Let the fun begin! Once you have clearly identified what you are seeking, we will set you up with a daily feed that will send new properties to your email that fit your requirements. Most have pictures however some do not. Communicate ones that you would like to explore further. Keep in mind that any property that is under contract is not a viable property to view.

If property is occupied, I will ensure that an appointment is set up at a time that works for everybody’s schedule. The realtor/owner may or may not be at the property at the time of the visit. Take a camera and a note pad with you. You may want to take notes of things you like/dislike and/or questions. You may also want to take pictures of the property to be able to review at a later date. Viewing the property together may take between 5-20 minutes and any questions you may have, I will seek to get you answers in a timely manner. Making an offer on a property may be contingent on this, so it is my priority to ensure you have all of the information to make your decision.

 3) Submitting an offer
It is an exciting feeling to decide to put an offer on a property. Together we will review the sale price and what you are prepared to offer. This depends on the nature of the housing market as well as what properties in the same area are comparatively selling for (these are called ‘comps’). I caution my clients against offering too high or too low as that will either yield a rejection by the seller or a terrible deal for you. Using my expertise in the East Valley market, I will guide you in what would be the best offer price. Submitting an offer does require paperwork and signature – this is called a purchase contract. I will often seek signature within 24 hours or less from notification from you that you are ready to move forward. The offer is then sent to the seller’s realtor.

Responses can take anywhere between a couple hours and several days. Yours may be the only offer, or the seller may have several offers to review. Responses may be one of the following.

  •  Accepted offer – this is where your offer is accepted at the price you offered and is the most preferable scenario.
  • Rejected offer – the seller rejects your offer
  • Negotiation – the seller counter-offers at a high price and together we will decide whether to accept, reject or counter-off back. This will again depend on the value of the home, your budget and your comfort level
  • Best and final offer – the seller may ask all potential buyers to submit their best and final offer. Together we would decide what would make you the most comfortable and be the best purchase price to submit. The seller then reviews all of the ‘best and final’ offers and hopefully accepts yoursA quick note: Your first rejected offer may be disappointing, however do not get discouraged. Properties come available and we will continue the search.

 4) Escrow Process

Once the seller has accepted your offer, both buyer and seller will sign the contract paperwork. I will deliver your earnest money check to the title office, who will in turn open an escrow. The title company acts as a third party that holds the check, while securing the deed of the property from the buyer.

As soon as the contract paperwork is signed, we will seek out a home inspection. The timeline for the completion of this is identified in the contract and generally is done within 10 days of the contract date. A home inspection company will take about 4-6 hours to complete the on-site inspection and provide a report to the buyer. The report will be an in-depth analysis of the property and provide you an insight in to the ‘health’ of the home. It may be that there is a significant roof issue that may deter you away from the property or there may nothing significantly wrong with the property. The buyer is responsible for the cost associated with the home inspection however do not let this veer you away from completing a home inspection report otherwise you may find yourself in a position where you own a home that has significant issues.

The seller is responsible for supplying you with a Sellers Property Disclosure Statement, commonly referred to as the SPuDS report where they are obligated to report on any problems with the property. Both the SPuDS and the home inspection report will be vital tools to assessing the property. As the buyer, you might request that something be fixed in order to move forward with the purchase. The seller may agree or may not. This is part of the negotiation process – one which I will be integrally involved in to best represent your needs and requests.

5) Closing Time 

Close of escrow – The final step of the process is to close! This is generally 30 days from the contract date, however it can be pre-decided in the contract as later/early than 30 days. The title company will ensure that the deed is transferred to you and ensure that your funds are transferred to the seller. On the day of close, you will attend an appointment at the title company to sign the deed and you will generally receive the key that same day. Make sure you celebrate your purchase before you begin your plan to move in!