There are a lot of voices out there, some online and others actually telling consumers – that you can buy a home in San Francisco or Marin without an agent helping you. That it’s easy to do on your own, you can use the Internet to guide you, or even a realtor syndicate like an online brokerage to handle. Some stretches of research can surely be handled on your own, especially in the initial stages of seeking out a home. In fact, doing your own homework is recommended, such as learning about neighborhoods, schools and amenities that are in proximity, etc. But when it’s time to be serious and actually land the home you want, there is no replacement for a good agent representing you. Many buyers are averse to using an agent to buy home because they are hearing/reading it can be done without one. While that may be true, unless you have a real estate or legal background, there are surely areas where the counsel and advice from an experienced agent is going to prove invaluable. Others try to acquire property on their own because they feel that an agent offers no real value to them. Like with anything when it comes to offering a service, there are average professionals and there are exceptional ones. A great real estate agent will provide insight and value to you well beyond the transaction, and in most all cases (as a buyer) they cost you absolutely nothing to use. Their compensation is paid by the selling party.
There are three requirements when you buy a home:
- An offer and acceptance
- Purchase agreement (in writing)
- Consideration (or, money being exchanged for the property)
These items are walked through or executed with the help of a good agent.
When you’re ready to pull the trigger on a home, you need to make an offer. Your agent will help put this together and present it in the best possible way that will make you look strong as a buyer. That is where I come in to help, which is ensuring that your approval is in place and well documented for your offer. (Click here to get pre-approved and underwritten). Once accepted, you and the seller will then sign a ratified agreement or contract, thus finalizing your offer and making it legally enforceable in San Francisco or whichever city in the Bay Area you purchase in. While oral offers can be made, they are difficult to enforce and prove, and most selling agents in San Francisco will not accept them.
The purchase agreement in San Francisco is also referred to as a real estate contract. This is the official agreement between you (the buyer) and the seller to conduct the real estate transaction. This agreement spells out terms that both sides have agreed to, including:
- Closing Date
- Key deadlines in the contract period for appraisal, offer expiration and closing
- Deposit (or Earnest Money)
- Details about who pays for what, adjusting utilities, property taxes and other fees.
Lastly, in San Francisco, is the “consideration.” This refers to the actual item of value that each party brings to the transaction. For the seller, this means the real property or house/condo itself. For the buyer, it means the purchase price being paid. This could come in the form of cash, proceeds of the loan, or even other real property.
Again, in the Bay Area (which includes San Francisco of course, a well as the East Bay, Marin, South Bay) the use of a good and reliable realtor will prove to be a strong resource for you in in guiding you through the offer process and ensuring that your interests are protected during the course of the transaction. For help on connecting with an exceptional agent or to get pre-approved, please email me here.