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Buying process

Home buying process - what to expect - home interiorThe home buying process has changed considerably over the years, and how we work with our home buyer clients has changed, too.

We will help you prepare so that Santa Clara County sellers perceive you as a preferred buyer, help you locate and assess properties for sale that match your specifications, and help you through the myriad details attending the actual process of purchasing a Silicon Valley home.

Basic home buying process steps

In a nutshell, the home buying process includes these steps:

  • we’ll have an initial consultation
  • helping you to get pre-approved with a good lender so that you will be perceived as a preferred home buyer
    • using an online or non-local bank or other lender can hurt your odds because the listing agent is likely to feel less confident about your loan
    • we will work with any lender you choose, but also can share with you a list of lenders we have positive experiences with and for whom there’s a known track record
    • important: it isn’t just the bank or credit union who matter, it’s also the individual loan officer who may be more or less skilled, diligent, and responsive compared to others
  • we will help you with the process of finding the right homes to view
    • we will discuss with you your wants, needs, budget, timing, and everything else that matters to you and work with you to narrow your areas of interest since too broad of a search will make it harder for you to find the right property and the home buying process is more efficient and more pleasant all around
    • we will set you up with an MLS search from MLS Listings, which is the only way to get ALL of the available properties as about 15% don’t get syndicated to the big portals
    • we will also look on the MLS for homes that appear to be a good fit, and will sometimes throw the net just a little bit wider in case a really close match would be ideal
  • if you or we pinpoint a property that looks like a prospect, Clair and I will do some research to provide feedback to you so that you get a little more information before spending time on trips to houses that may or may not work.
    • for example: if you tell us you don’t want to be near power lines, but we can tell or otherwise know that they are nearby, we’ll let you know.
    • if you’ve expressed a concern about privacy, we will do a little research to see if that home is surrounded by 2 story houses
    • perhaps  you don’t want to be in this or that natural hazard zone or environmental hazard zone – we will check to see if it’s in or near those area
    • generally, we’ll try to spot any red flags upfront
  • ordinarily, we will show you homes ourselves at private appointments since that way we can speak privately at the property
    • if there’s a scheduling challenge, you may prefer to view a property during the open house
  • an important step in the buying process will be the contract review, which we do after you’ve seen a few homes so that you can learn about the paperwork before there’s pressure to decide on all of the contractual items (this can take an hour or two for most people)
  • when you’ve selected a home to bid on, we will
    • check in with the listing agent about any offer due date or anything we need to know for your home buying process
    • provide the disclosure package to you
    • review the disclosures with you (all of us will read it, and we’ll discuss the concerns and points of interest)
    • provide you with comparable sales, or “comps”  and do our best to also learn the sale prices for the pending sale
    • as part of the buying process we will also get you information on current market conditions
    • work with you to draft the purchase agreement and related forms with the price and terms you choose
    • assist you with getting digital signatures on all required paperwork
    • obtain from you the Proof of Funds (bank statements – we ask you to black out account numbers before submitting them to us)
    • pull together everything needed to create a comprehensive buyer offer package and submit it as required to the listing agent
  • if your offer is rejected, we will do our best to learn what type of offer the seller did accept (price and terms) – some listing agents will share a lot, some not much
  • if your offer is accepted, the next step in the buying process will be to get you a list of “what comes next” to make sure that your escrow is flawless!


Related reading

Evaluating your priorities (on this site)

What are typical buyer closing costs in Silicon Valley? (on, our main blog, aka the Valley of Heart’s Delight blog)

Transparent pricing (on

Location research (on