Monica Mastroianni - REALTOR©

Home Buyers

Find Your Home Today

Basic First Steps to Buying a Home:

Buying a home can be very overwhelming. As an agent, who works with FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS a lot, I want to make this process as smooth, and informed as possible for you. I am happy to answer any and all questions you have. No question is a dumb question, as I have been in the same place you have been when I was buying my first home. 

Not sure what the first steps are for home ownership?  Let me help you get started! Call me today at 951-395-1848 and I will walk you through the entire process, and even get you in touch with the right people!

Follow this timeline to get an idea of what you need to know:


Talk to a Lender

60-90 Days Before You Would Like To Purchase A Home.

Begin by speaking with a Mortgage Lender immediately. The sooner you speak with a Lender, the easier the process will be for you. As a realtor, I have many connections and could recommend a few different lenders to you.

Speaking with a Mortgage Lender will allow you to lay the foundation that is necessary to start the home buying process. By speaking with a lender early in the process you accomplish the following:

  • Pre-approval for a loan amount – so you know exactly what price range you can shop for. Pre-approvals can be good for up to 90 days.
  • Get any credit issues in place so that you don’t  have to rush to try and fix any credit issues. There may be credit issues that may take a while to fix, so speaking with a lender can be beneficial. And if you’re credit is great, then this just helps to get a pre approval letter faster.
  • The lender can help you identify which loan program works best for your specific needs and finances. There are many programs, such as down payment or closing cost assistance, ect.
  • Know how much you will need for closing costs and down payments.  -This conversation with the lender will help you know almost exactly what amount of money you will have to have to be prepared to have. Sometimes it can be more or less than you originally thought it would be.
  • Allow any money you have to season (an amount of money needs to be in a bank account and accounted for before it can be used in a real estate transaction.  -For example, if you are depositing a large sum of cash.)


Meet with Me to start House Shopping

45-60 Days Before Closing Escrow.

Time for us to meet to find your dream home!

  • After speaking with you via email or over the phone, I will gather information on what homes best fit your needs and wants.
  • Once I have an idea of what you are looking for and what your budget is, we can go out and tour houses in your price range! It’s best to have that pre-approval letter from the lender before we start really looking. If you do find that home you love, we can submit an offer on it immediately, instead of waiting for the lender to approve you. That will give you an advantage over other buyers who are not yet qualified. 
  • It is important to set out some time to see homes in person, as it may not look the same in real life as in photos.  Finding your dream home could be as easy as touring the first home, or could require seeing many homes. So seeing the houses right away is essential. The key is to stay patient and know that the right home is out there for you!
  • Finding a home has to be right for you and  your family. It is my job to find a home that fits  YOUR NEEDS AND YOUR WANTS. I want you to love the home you are buying and will do everything in my power as a Realtor to make that happen for you!


Submitting and Negotiating Your Offer

30-45 Days Before Close Of Escrow.

You have found a home that you like and could see yourself living happily there,  and want to submit an offer!

  • After researching similar comparisons in the area and discussing the price you wish to offer, I will draw up the offer and send it to you electronically to sign. By looking over the comps you will have a better idea of where to price your offer.
  • I know the legal documents can be overwhelming, so I like to go over the offer with you page by page so that you are well aware of what to expect, and what you will be held contractually to. 
  • Once your offer has been submitted to the Seller’s agent, we wait for an acceptance. It is important to remember there could be other buyers that are potentially looking at the same homes you are.
  • If seller’s accept your offer we will open escrow, and the home becomes on its way to becoming yours!


It is important to remember that in this housing market in 2022, there are many buyers out there submitting offers, so being serious and ready to purchase will definitely give you that leverage.


Time for Due Dilligence

30-45 Days Before Close Of Escrow.

Your offer has been accepted and we have officially opened escrow! There are a few important things that need to be done:

  • Once your offer has been accepted you will start getting important paperwork to sign from my team, as well as our 3rd party neutral escrow company. Keep your eyes open for new emails daily!
  • Your Earnest Money (or good faith money) will be due to escrow in the first 3 days after we open escrow. This is usually about 1% of the purchase price of the home, but can be more or even less. Example: You purchase a $500,000 home –your earnest money would be around $5,000. This money will also be added toward your closing costs or down payment. 
  • You will want to set up the Home Inspection immediately. You can use any home inspector of your choice or I can provide you with information for different home inspectors. YOU are responsible for paying for the home inspection at time of service and it usually runs around $300-$500 depending on the size and location of the home. It is highly recommended to have a home inspection done.
  • Appraisal and survey of the home will be scheduled and completed. -Again this is cost usually the buyer, you, would pay for and usually runs around $500-$700
  • Negotiation of repairs, if any with our side and the selling side will take place after we receive the home inspection and appraisal reports.
  • Finish loan process with your lender
  • Start packing!


Pre-Closing and Title

10-15 Days before close of escrow.

We are getting to the final stages of the escrow process and soon the home will be yours!

  • We will confirm all repairs, if any requested, have been completed.
  • We will do a pre-closing final walk through of the home
  • Final funds for closing costs will be sent to escrow and title
  • You will purchase Home Owner’s Insurance during this period. We will help provide this info if needed
  • Lender will do final employment verifications  and any other paperwork that is requested. You will most likely be signing more paperwork during this time!
  • Keep packing and start thinking of scheduling movers,ect.


Closing on your New Home!

0-3 Days Before Close Of Escrow.

This is the FINAL stage of the escrow process. You are almost a New HOMEOWNER!

  • Review final closing statements from lender. Any last monies owed are due to escrow. This will be items such as closing costs, ect.
  • Sign closing documents -You will be signing paperwork and possibly even going into the office for signatures.
  • Once everything is complete paperwork wise, and  your loan is finalized and funded by the lender, we wait for the county to record the home in your name. (Usually it will be quiet on your end as everything is going on behind the scenes. Recording the home with the county can happen in the morning or up until  later evening) AS AN IMPORTANT REMINDER — YOU CAN NOT OFFICIALLY GET THE KEYS AND  MOVE IN UNTIL IT HAS BEEN RECORDED!!
  • Once recorded, with the county, the home is officially yours! YAY!
  • Now you get your keys! Usually, I will pick up keys from the Listing agent before this point and Now can offficially give them to you!
  • Time to move in! YOU ARE OFFICIALLY A NEW HOME OWNER!!!!!!

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