Are you ready to be a buyer in San Francisco? Here are 5 things to consider as you start the buying process:
1. Be Pre-Approved Getting pre-approved before you start searching for your new home is critical. It will be a guide to help you determine the kind and price of the property you will be searching for. Because our market is currently moving quickly, getting pre-approved will enable you to write an offer within hours of seeing a property. Your offer will not be competitive with others if you aren't fully pre-approved by a lender. I strongly recommend that you choose a local lender. Why? Our customs and timeframes are different in San Francisco--many real estate transactions are won not only on price, but on who can close the deal the fastest.
2. Be Informed Learn about the current market trends. Is the market rising? Are homes and condos getting multiple offers? If so, what will it take for you to be successful when purchasing your home? Or perhaps market activity is slower in the neighborhoods you are targeting. Should you bid over asking? Or under? Be informed and be in a dialog with your agent so that you are prepared to get your dream home at the best price and terms.
3. Be Available Many places in SF are open on Sundays and Tuesdays for Open House and Brokers Tour. Some listing agents and sellers are flexible and willing to show property by appointment. Some places are difficult to show by appointment, especially if they are tenant occupied or if there are children in the house. Remember few homes in San Francisco have lockboxes, so if you want to see a home at a time when now open house is scheduled, it involves coordinating several schedules--yours, mine, the listing agents and the sellers or tenants.
4. Be Realistic Ideally, the home you are purchasing would have everything that you want and more! You will likely need to compromise--be clear before you start what are the characteristics that are absolutely necessary and which ones you are willing to compromise on. For example, if parking is a must, don't look at homes without parking. You'll waste time and energy.
5. Be Flexible We might find the home that meets all of your needs in a neighborhood adjacent to your favorite neighborhood. Open to seeing it? Or perhaps the seller of your ideal home needs more time to close escrow and move. Perhaps offer a rentback.