1. Select a Realtor and establish a relationship – Finding the right Realtor is important, as you want to find someone that you feel comfortable spending time with while looking for a property. You also want someone who will be the best advocate on your behalf, will make sure that you have all the necessary documentation, inspections and disclosures, and who is knowledgable about the market and availbable properties. Robin Glazer is a full-time, professional Realtor with extensive market knowledge and a law degree. She is also personable and easy to work with. If you choose Robin as your Realtor, she will work closely with you to find the right home at the best price.
2. Evaluate your needs and resources with your Realtor – Once you and Robin establish your needs, Robin will provide guidance to financial institutions where you can obtain information in order to get the best financing available. You will meet to discuss your needs and analyze your resources. There are some recommended resources on this website for financing including Jeff Smith, Opes Advisors. Robin highly recommends getting a pre-approval letter before you start looking for properties, so you know what you can afford, and you can make an offer right away if you find the right property, particularly if there are multiple offers involved.
3. Identify properties in which you are interested – Robin will show you homes based on the criteria that you establish. The more precise and direct you are with her, the more successful the search will be. You can search for properties on this website and sign up for email updates for properties that meet your criteria. Robin also has access to off-market properties through Top Agent Network and Marin County Buy/Sell meetings, so these are valuable resource for buyers. Robin will preview properties that you select and will set up appointments to show you properties at your convenience until you find the home that you are interested in buying.
4. Determine the seller’s motivation – Once you have found the home you wish to purchase, Robin will do all the necessary research to help you structure an effective offer. This might include how long the property has been on the market, whether it is a distress sale, whether there are other offers, how much is owed on the property, and what are the seller’s plans.
5. Write an offer to purchase – Robin will draft the Purchase Agreement for you, advising you in protective contingencies, customary practices, and local regulations. At this time you will need to provide an “earnest money” deposit, usually from 1-3 percent of the purchase price. (This deposit is not placed in escrow until your offer has been accepted by the Seller.)
6.Present the offer – Robin will present your offer to the Seller and the Seller’s Agent. The Seller has three options: they can accept your offer, reject your offer, or make a counter offer. Robin’s personal knowledge of your needs and qualifications will enable her to represent you in the best way possible.
7. Evaluate the Seller’s response – Robin will review the Seller’s response with you. Her negotiating skills and knowledge will benefit you in reaching a final agreement.
8. Open the escrow – When the Purchase Agreement is accepted and signed by all parties, Robin will open escrow for you with Arlene Van Craeynest, Stewart Title in Mill Valley, or a local escrow/title company and officer of your choice. At this time your earnest money will be deposited. The escrow or title company will receive, hold, and disburse all funds associated with your transaction.
9. Contingency periods – This is the time allowed in your Purchase Agreement to obtain financing, perform inspections, and satisfy any other contingencies to which your purchase is subject. Typical contingencies include:
• Approval of the Seller’s Transfer Disclosure Statement and other Disclosures.
• Approval of the Preliminary Title Report.
• Loan approval, including an appraisal of the property.
• Physical inspections of the property, including Pest, General Contract, Roof, sewer and other necessary inspections. Robin can provide resources for these inspections, set them up and be physically present for the inspections.
10. Obtaining Homeowner’s insurance – Homeowner’s insurance is required by lenders for at least the amount of the loan, so you will need to provide evidence of this before closing. Robin can also provide you with resources for insurance companies.
11. Downpayment of funds – The remainder of the funds including the approved loan will be deposited into escrow shortly before closing, and you will sign closing papers.
12. Close of escrow – Once the title company has received all payments and recorded the deed, the property will be closed. For more details see Escrow and Closing.