A Step by Step Guide

Whether you’re buying your first home, your upgraded dream home, or your tenth investment property, yours is a big investment and can be an emotional journey. I understand how important this transaction is to you.

Alongside the desirability of the areas I serve are very unique market conditions that require a highly skilled professional with hyperlocal expertise, boots on the ground experience and negotiating finesse.

With me as your agent, you have a trusted guide to advise your every move through the intricacies of the search, uncovering the best home and structuring a deal that will best serve your budget and lifestyle.

Initial Consultation

Initial Consultation - Selecting the Right Agent

Buying a property requires making many important financial decisions, understanding complex issues and completing a lot of paperwork.

It’s easy to locate properties through a combination of open houses and online searching however it’s in the client's best interest to align and partner with an experienced agent early in the process to ensure your advocacy, success and peace of mind throughout your real estate journey.

In our initial consultation we will identify your goals, establish a timeline and show you all procedures and costs up front so you’ll feel great about the process ahead.

Some things to consider for our discussion would be:

  • What is your ideal price range?
  • What type of property suits you best - Single Family Home, Condo, Townhome?
  • Where are your preferred neighborhoods?
  • If you have children, what amenities are important to you?
  • Do you have pets that need consideration?
  • Will proximity to a school, or schools, be a factor?
  • Will you be relying on public transport?
  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms suit you?
  • Do you want a pool or not?

Preparing to Buy

Preparing to Buy - Financing - The Importance of Pre Approval

Pre-Approval is a sign of readiness and is considered a prerequisite for serious consideration of your offer in Silicon Valley. Getting pre-approved by a local lender or mortgage broker and allows us to define the financial parameters of your home search as well as which neighborhoods to consider.  Compared to “Pre-Qualification”, which is essentially an opinion letter from a bank, “Pre-Approved” means the loan is set to go and provides buying leverage if you find a home you want.

Generally, you should begin the pre-approval process immediately after meeting with your agent. If any issues come up, such as inaccuracies that may negatively affect your credit score, you will have time to resolve them.

I am able to connect you with our network of trusted brokers and loan agents who will get you the best service and interest rate. I’ll advocate for you during this phase, answering questions and helping you every step of the way. My recommendations are completely free of any conflict of interest as I do not benefit monetarily from providing recommendations.

Things to Avoid During the Loan Process
I recommend you make every effort to avoid these actions at the risk of slowing down the process of financing your new home.

Best NOT To:

Buy or lease a new automobile

  • This is a good time to be mindful of anything that may affect your debt-to-income ratio. New payments, particularly large ones, may detrimentally impact your ability to obtain a loan.

Run a credit report on yourself (or your spouse, if applicable)

  • All inquiries must be explained in writing so it is advisable to avoid doing at this time.

Consolidate your bills prior to meeting with your lender

  • Speak to your lender first about any financial maneuvering to avoid delaying your loan approval.

Make major purchases, such as appliances or furniture

  • Purchasing anything at this time can potentially increase your debt and reduce your chance for an optimal loan.

Move your financial assets around

  • During this process, everything on your financial dashboard will be examined carefully. You must disclose and document everything you do so it is highly recommended that you keep your accounts free and clear of complications.

Pack or ship important loan documents

  • We recommend that you keep a file on hand with important documents like W-2 forms, Tax Returns, Divorce Decrees, and any other supporting information. It is wise to be prepared with these items right up to the close of escrow.

Change employment

  • The probationary period that often comes with new employment can jeopardize your ability to qualify for a loan.

Finding Your Home

Finding Your Home - Know the Neighborhoods & Marketplace

You may already have an initial idea of what cities and neighborhoods are of most interest to you. However, it’s important - and fun - to get a sense of what it would be like to live in the area and get a feel for the available properties by visiting them in person.

I will personally serve as your tour guide through the neighborhoods, give you an overview of the area, and show a few representative homes. We will look at each neighborhood, and compare and contrast homes by their individual and regional merits. More importantly, I will provide you with information about local schools, parks, and potential long term resale value of the properties you are considering. I believe my clients should not purchase a home until they are familiar with the neighborhoods and have seen enough properties to truly know when they find an excellent fit.

You can learn more about the neighborhoods I serve on my Communities Page.

Disclosures & Inspections

Disclosures & Inspections

Once you are serious about a particular property you want to purchase, carefully review the disclosures that the seller and listing agent provide.

Both the seller and listing agent are required to disclose all material facts they know about the property so you are aware of anything that might affect your decision to buy the home.

These disclosures are your opportunity to review general information regarding the property prior to writing an offer.

I carefully read each disclosure and provide you with a summary of the important issues to help in your review.

General Disclosures:

Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS)

  • Questionnaire completed by the Seller about the property.

Preliminary Title Report

  • Provided by the Title Company, this report shows ownership of the parcel, as well as any liens and encumbrances thereon which will not be covered under a subsequent title insurance policy.

Property Inspection Report

  • This report examines the overall functionality and condition of the home including appliances, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems.

Pest Inspection Report

  • This report examines structural damage due to wood boring beetles, termites, and dry rot.

Agent’s Visual Inspection Disclosure (AVID)

  • It is required for both the listing and selling agents to complete a visual inspection of the property.

Natural Hazard Zone Disclosure (Property ID or JCP Report)

  • This report details how the property might be affected by natural hazards like an Earthquake, Wildfire, Tsunami or Flood based on its specific location.

HOA Properties

 Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions (CC&Rs)

  • The CC&Rs are the rules of your HOA. They describe the requirements and limitations about what you can do with your property. The goal of the CC&Rs is to protect, preserve, and enhance property values in the community.

 Homeowners Meeting Association (HOA) Meeting Minutes

  • For the last 12 months

HOA Budget and Budget Reserve Study

  • An HOA commonly has an outside accountant prepare a “reserve study,” which sets out a long-term schedule of likely costs and repairs. The reserve study will, in most cases, estimate the cost and timing of the repairs and replacements to the common areas that will likely be needed over the next 20 to 30 years.

Condominium Certification Form

  • A Condominium Certificate Form is required by the buyer's lender. It assesses the financial and status of the HOA. The lender is looking for minimal risk in lending on a condo in an HOA. There are several things that could go wrong.

House Rules + Miscellaneous Communication

  • Will of course vary by HOA

Negotiating the Offer

Negotiating the Offer

An offer to buy depends on many factors, including market conditions, the neighborhood, your needs, the seller’s needs, what issues were revealed in the disclosures and inspections as well as the list price of the property.

As your advocate, I will speak with the listing agent ahead of time to learn the seller’s desires, interest level of other parties and ensure we draft your offer in a way that gives you the advantage over another offer.

A letter with your story, reasons why you love the house and true intention to close the deal can be helpful if there are multiple offers on the table. This act can elevate your position and indicates to the seller that you are genuine and have the ability to perform.

Regarding what price to offer, I provide you with the best information to help you make an informed decision by conducting a comparable market analysis, showing the selling price of recent comparable properties and what the market value is of the current property.

Our objective is to get you the lowest acceptable price and the best terms to optimize the situation for both you and the seller

Once you submit an offer to purchase, a seller has four choices:

  1. ACCEPT as written. If they do this, you are “in contract” to buy the property.
  2. REJECT the offer.
  3. Offer you a BACK-UP position behind an accepted offer which will put you in first place if the offer falls through or cancels.
  4. COUNTER your offer with a revised purchase price, length of escrow, contingency period or other terms. Once you receive this, you can then ACCEPT, REJECT or COUNTER the counter. This can go on until both parties come to an agreement.
  5. Once both parties come to an agreement, then a binding contract has formed and the escrow period begins.



Once the contract is signed, the escrow period begins. Escrow is the time period between your offer being accepted and close of escrow. Think of escrow as a neutral zone, like Switzerland. Funds are held by the Escrow company so that both parties have time to comply with the terms of the contract and the transfer of title can be prepared. The length is written into the offer and varies. Typically, escrow is 30-45 days however it can be much shorter in all-cash deals.

Why do we need Escrow?

It is important that no funds or property change hands until the instructions in the transaction have been followed and completed. This is for the protection of the buyer, seller, lender, and borrower. The escrow holder is obligated to safeguard the funds and documents while in their possession and disperse funds and convey title ONLY when all provisions of the escrow have been satisfied.

The escrow officer is a third and entirely neutral party and does not represent the interests of anyone in the transaction.

Several things need to be accomplished during a typical escrow and we’ll be by your side to interpret the documents and guide you through the process.

  • A refundable deposit (usually 3% of the purchase price) is placed and held by the escrow company.
  • Your lender prepares your loan documents and collects necessary information for approval.
  • Review and sign disclosures.
  • Any inspections mandated in the offer are performed.
  • Property appraisal completed by the lender.
  • All loan and title documents are signed by you when complete.
  • Due diligence performed by you. Remove contingencies to meet deadlines.
  • Escrow closes and the property transfers when all conditions have been satisfied.

Closing & Moving In

Closing & Moving In

On the day of closing, the escrow company transfers your funds to the seller and records the deed in your name with the county. Once you are on record with the county, I will provide you with the keys.

Congratulations! This is an exciting milestone worth celebrating, however my service to you does not end with close of escrow. It is my great privilege to assist in the search and purchase of the right home as well as being of service as you settle in and become a part of the community.

There can be a seemingly endless list of projects that go hand in hand with a new home. I’m here as your best resource and local point of contact to ensure all your needs are met so your home becomes your oasis.

Cleaning Services, interior and exterior

  • Handyman
  • Contractor
  • Landscaping
  • Interior Design
  • Solar Energy Resources
  • Plumber
  • Windows
  • Electrician
  • Carpenter

Other areas I might be of assistance:

  • Refinancing
  • Remodeling consultation to maximize your return on investment
  • How to buy investment properties
  • Assisting family members purchase or sell properties, even outside the area

Please reach out to make the transition easier and:

  • Discover local resources
  • Connect to important community information
  • Find necessary comforts to make you feel at home

Work With Mark

Residential Real Estate sales representing buyers and sellers. Hyperlocal knowledge and love for this beautiful enclave of Silicon Valley.

Follow Me on Instagram