In modern technological age buyers are able to see so much more online; from 3D virtual tours to aerial shots, walkthrough videos and more! Looking online for a home is easier than ever! This is a fantastic tool for buyers because they can get a good idea about what is available and helps them decide what they want before they spend a bunch of time driving around looking at homes. Once you have a good idea about how much you can afford and what you want then it is the to find a local Santa Rosa agent who can get you some appointments to go look at Santa Rosa Real estate.
Once you have found a home that you love it is time for you to submit an offer. Your agent will most likely use the California Association of Realtors form called the Residential Purchase Agreement, which is a standard contractual form widely recognized in Sonoma County and the surrounding areas. Your agent will help you determine how much to offer, what time frames you will need for inspections and possibly to get the appraisal and loan in order. Once the offer has been submitted it will either be rejected, accepted or countered. In the event that you are countered your agent will be able to help you field the negotiations relieving you of a great deal of unnecessary stress.
Once you have an accepted offer your agent will contact the title company and they will open escrow. The title company will hold funds for the transaction including the earnest money which is commonly referred to as the EMD and is a typically a small portion of the sales price that is held in escrow in the event that you release your contingencies and then decide not to follow through with your contractual agreement. In this case, the seller would get to keep the money as compensation. They will conduct a title search for any unpaid taxes, liens, easements, etc. that may be clouding the title and they will issue a preliminary title report which will list out anything they uncovered in their search. The title company is neutral acting only with the agreed instructions set forth by the buyer and the seller.
Once contingencies have been released then it is time to close escrow. Buyer and seller will both sign closing documents with the title company and they will issue Estimated Settlement Statements that your agent will help you review. Then they will send docs to the bank and the bank will fund the loan if there is one. Then the title company will go and record the title in the buyer's name at the county transferring ownership to the new owners. Finally, my favorite part. You will get to pick up the keys to your new home and move on in!