A Buyers Guide To Houses In The Eastside Of Los Angeles
One important piece of advice to keep in mind: it’s best to not look at a home as only dollars and cents but instead as an investment in your life. If you decide to purchase, our Eastside L.A. Realtors are willing to be here with you every step of the way. Are you ready to pull the trigger?
We created this short guide to help you know what to expect in a usual 30-45 day escrow period when shopping for homes for sale. Whether you’re paying cash or getting a home loan, the below process is typical.
Step #1: Choose A Realtor that Knows the Eastside of L.A.
An exceptional and professional realtor can assist you in the home buying process, but they won’t be much help if they are not intimately familiar with the area. To ensure they know the area in-depth and have a good track record with their clients, you can always search for online testimonials such as Yelp and Zillow for reviews.
Additionally, meet with at least one or two realtors face to face before deciding on who you trust your home-buying journey with. Intuitively, if it feels right, give it a shot. The best aspect about it is that when working with a knowledgeable buyer’s agent, you typically pay nothing out of your own pocket. The agent representing the buyer is paid from the listing fee.
Hint: It doesn’t hurt to choose a real estate agent plugged into the area you’re searching to buy a property. Our agents mean that it doesn’t hurt to have an agent working for you that plays nicely in the sandbox with the other agents and brokers in the Eastside of L.A. area. Rivalry in the real estate market happens, but cut-throat tactics can hurt you in the long run, so keep that in mind.
Step #2: Get Pre-Approved
When you’re ready to search for houses, our agents recommend going down the pre-approval process with a lender before even meeting with a realtor. That is if you have a great relationship with your banker. Nowadays, a conventional bank (i.e Chase, Wells Fargo, or Bank of America) offers extremely competitive rates for first-time buyers, owner-occupied, multi-family, and jumbo loans.
Mortgage brokers are tech-savvy and should have access to conceivably more lending programs and definitely more resources at their disposal; however, lately, our realtors in L.A. have seen better rates and terms coming out of the big banks.
Step #3: Improve Your Focus
When searching for homes, know what you are shopping for. We also suggest that you narrow down your search focus to one or two property types with a distinct budget in mind. Having been pre-approved by this point, you’ll know a little more about your borrowing and buying power. In addition, we suggest that you ask your realtor to send you the best new listings on the market that fit your needs.
Hint: We all want more than what we can afford. Baby steps to success are my new motto. I am using this advice myself.
Step #4: View Properties
By this point, you should be reviewing property listings that your agent is sending you based on your search criteria. Once you find a few spots that meet your demands, have your agent set up tours and get a better sense of the market and neighborhoods. Walk the houses, kick tires. Ask questions. Get your agent working for their commission. Then, make your selection.
Step #5: Make An Offer
When you’ve discovered the right spot and are ready to pull the trigger on an offer, don’t be hesitant. You may need to act immediately depending on market conditions and whether it’s a hot property on the MLS or an off-market pocket listing. Trust your realtor to present the best offer for you and make you look like the best candidate in the sellers’ eyes.
Step #6: Negotiate Terms
Negotiating the terms is crucial, and it’s common to have counter-offers from the other side of the deal. Be prepared to be flexible on price, closing dates, appliances, repairs, and terms.
Hint: If you’re working with us, this process will be as stress-free as possible for you.
Step #7: Escrow & Inspections
Once our agent gets an accepted offer for you – generally within 72 hours – you’ll deposit 3% of the purchase price into an escrow account. That escrow will have a “neutral party” Escrow Officer in charge of the transaction and will assist us until closing day. Fees are nominal and vary from firm to firm.
Hint: Our buyer’s agents work with the least expensive escrow and title insurance companies in Los Angeles.
This is also our time to have the property structure and systems evaluated. An experienced, outside professional general inspector is worth every penny. It is also good to have a professional plumbing and electrical inspection. The goal is to leave no stone unturned so that you’re not hit with any surprise home repairs once you close the deal.
Step #8: Do A Thorough Walkthrough
Make sure you do a final walkthrough before the loan funding and close of escrow. This is practical to make sure everything you thought was included in the purchase agreement has remained on property… and that the house is still in one piece.
Step #9: Close
Step #10: Move In!
You need to make sure you turn on utilities and set up internet and cable or whatever else is your pleasure. Nothing is worse than waiting a week for the Wi-Fi to turn on.
We hope this little rant has been helpful. Feel free to contact us anytime you have questions about houses for sale in Los Angeles or want advice on selling the property you already have. The team at Shelhamer Real Estate Group is here to help you!