Author: Lise Vanass
Author: Lise Vanass


My wife and I are ready to make our first home purchase. We’ve chosen an agent, have loan pre-approval and are ready to go. What can we expect from the home purchase process?


Great question. There are ten simple steps to purchasing your home: 1-Receive lender pre-approval and know your price range. 2-Find a buyer’s agent. 3-Tour houses and locate your home. 4-Make an offer, negotiate and enter into a contract. 5-Approve seller’s disclosures. 6- Pay for home inspections, approve the physical condition. 7-Get the home appraisal. 8-Your loan is approved! Sign the lender’s documents. 9-The home’s grant deed is transferred into your name. 10- Move in and start a great life in your very own home.

That’s the short story, but we all know life is not that simple. A home purchase can become complicated because there are just so many human variables and personalities involved in the process. And we all know the saying about cooks in the kitchen…

Buyers sometimes mistakenly believe that once a contract price is reached the negotiation process if over. Nope! Negotiations are involved in every step of the home purchase; it’s an ongoing process. This is why personalities play such a crucial role in every real estate transaction.

There are the buyers and the sellers. Then there are the buyers’ agent and the sellers’ agent. The agents work for a company with managers who oversee their actions. There is the lender. Your friendly accommodating lender has a back office with underwriters who are paid to vet buyers and their finances.

Don’t forget the escrow officer, a neutral third party agent in charge of collecting documents from all parties in the transaction. There is also the title officer who works to ensure all loans and liens are removed so the buyer will acquire a clear title to the property.

Next are the inspections. The home inspector scrutinizes from the foundation to the roof. If he suspects an item needs further inquiry he’ll recommend a more specialized inspection such as a roof, sewer, mold or myriad other probes.

All these characters bring different elements into the transaction. What if the buyers’ and sellers’ agents don’t get along? What if lender’s underwriter is overly picky? Maybe the escrow officer went on vacation and key deadlines were overlooked. Or the home inspector tends towards hyperbole and exaggerates every little flaw in the 50-year-old home.

Yet all these moving parts will come together and the deal will close. Santa Barbara homes are bought and sold every single day of the year and first time homebuyers move into their home. Your purchase won’t be any different. So relax, take a deep breath and enjoy the ride.

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