Step # 1 – How Much To Spend?
Before you begin your home search with Brad, you need to decide on how much you want to spend. If you’re planning on an “all cash” purchase like so many Canadians are doing right now, it will be a relatively simple decision for you.
If you chose to finance your purchase, you need to be aware that mortgage financing in the U.S. for Canadians (and all foreign nationals) is very limited, and the availability of such loans and rates changes frequently. When available, it is often more expensive than Canadian-based financing. Many of Brad’s Canadian clients who chose to finance their purchase, secured financing in advance, in Canada. However, Brad can recommend several U.S. brokers who may provide financing to Canadian buyers.
If you’re financing, it is mandatory that you get “pre-qualified” or “pre-approved” in a “pre-approval” letter from your bank prior to looking for a property. This will help you understand the lender requirements, acquire an estimate of your payments, and therefore determine what you can afford or wish to spend.
If you’re paying cash, you will need to obtain a “verification of funds” letter from your bank verifying that you have adequate accessible funds in U.S. dollars for the amount needed to purchase the property.
Step #2 – Property Search
Begin your search! Once you’ve contacted Brad, he will establish a dialogue and a comfortable working relationship with you. With Brad’sassistance, you will decide upon a set of initial search parameters, and from that conversation, he will begin the search – selecting locations and properties that meet your purchase parameters.
At this point, if you are already here in the La Quinta/Palm Springs area, Brad will begin showing these properties to you. Through a back-and-forth process, you will be able to narrow the focus of your search, so that Brad will be showing you homes which closely meet your specific personal preferences.
If you are not yet in the La Quinta/Palm Springs area, Brad can e-mail property listings to you, chosen to fit your search criteria, so that when you do arrive here in the desert, he can provide a more targeted approach to your property search.
Step #3 – Your Offer
When you find the “right” property, Brad will prepare the written offer for you, have you sign it, and then present it to the Seller’s real estate agent.
As mentioned earlier, to accompany your offer, you will need to provide a “pre-approval” letter from your bank if you’re purchase is being financed, or “verification of funds” letter from your bank if paying with cash.
The seller may respond with a counter offer. If so, Brad will review the seller’s response with you. Brad’s experience, knowledge and skill as a negotiator will benefit you greatly in reaching a mutual agreement with the seller.
With your offer, you must also include a refundable good faith deposit. The local industry standard for a good faith deposit is 3% of the offered price. Upon acceptance of your offer, you will have three calendar days to wire transfer funds or to mail a bank-certified check directly to the chosen escrow company. All funds must be in U.S. dollars.
Step #4 – Offer Acceptance & Opening Escrow
Once your offer is accepted, the purchase process will move along to escrow. With Brad’s assistance and with the involvement of the seller’s agent, an escrow company will have been selected as part of the terms of the purchase agreement. If the property is a REO property, the holding bank will select the escrow company.
The purchase agreement, now signed and accepted by both the you and the seller, will be submitted to the escrow officer, and the escrow process will commence. Escrow serves as a neutral third party to the transaction and coordinates the working parts of the sale, along with the assistance of Brad and the seller’s agent, to bring the purchase to a successful close.