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Tips for buyers

Get to know the market and explore our neighborhoods.
Even if you have lived in San Francisco for years, looking at the city through a buyer's eyes is a new experience. Begin by considering what your lifestyle choices are. Do you drive or take public transportation? Do you enjoy quiet or prefer a more active neighborhood? What are your needs of the neighborhood you live in? Almost every neighborhood of our city has a unique "vibe". Market conditions also vary by neighborhood. You may be able to get more for your money in certain locations. Is this important or would you choose to live in a more established neighborhood? These are a few of the things to consider when thinking about buying. The best way to learn the market is to spend time enjoying our many wonderful neighborhoods. Have fun learning!

Know your credit score and what you can afford.
Unless you are paying all cash for your property you will want to fully understand your credit report and the steps involved in getting a loan. Get copies of your credit reports and know your score. Your credit score will be an important factor in your qualifying for a loan and getting a good interest rate. By knowing your score early on you will have the ability to raise it if need be. Speak with a qualified and well respected mortgage banker or bank and learn about available loan programs. Understanding the various mortgages will help you in understanding the costs involved with owning real estate.

Get pre-approved for a loan.
Our market is competitive and once you find a property you like, acting quickly can be essential to making a successful offer. In San Francisco when presenting an offer it is customary to include a pre approval letter. This letter shows the seller that you are a serious and qualified buyer with the ability to purchase the property. Losing out on your dream due to not having been pre-approved is unfortunate, so make getting pre-approved a priority. You will be happy you did!

Be realistic and know what you "need" and what you would "like" to have in a property.
It would be nice to get everything you hope for in a property and maybe it will happen but it is a good exercise to determine what amenities you absolutely need and which you are willing to give up. Very few properties are perfect and looking for the perfect one may lead to stress and frustration - two emotions we all like to avoid.

Make a commitment to viewing properties and be ready to make an offer.
Sometimes we find our dream home on our first day out looking and sometimes it can take a while. The best consumer is the person who understands the inventory. By looking at property you will be educating yourself and so when you see something that you really like you will be ready to move forward. Being ready to make an offer is of course essential to being successful in buying. The property you see may be taking offers later that same day and you don't want to miss out.

Be enthusiastic, it helps!
How exciting! You are looking to buy real estate in San Francisco. Not only are you living here and enjoying all our city has to offer but now you will also be reaping the financial rewards of the decision to own. Approaching the buying process with enthusiasm will help keep you positive throughout the process and increase your joy and pride once you buy.

If you would like to speak with Erica about buying and receive her Market Report please fill out her questionnaire!

Finding the right realtor is all about finding someone who takes the time and effort to understand...more >