Attention First Time Home Buyers!

What you need to know as a first time home Buyer for a smooth transaction!

First time home buyers and your transaction!

1. Get Pre-Qualified

Contact a local lender to discuss your finances. You will need 2 years of tax returns, 2 most recent pay check stubs & 2 most recent bank statements. If you do not know a lender, I highly recommend Cary Pearce, he can be reached at 951-750-7555, cell 951-256-3715.  He has serviced many of my clients with smooth, stress free transactions.

2. Chose the right Real Estate Broker

Chose a Real Estate Broker with experience & a Broker that is familiar with the area, recent sales & active listings in the area where you wish to purchase a home. Your real estate Broke must have your best interest in mind when looking for a home and strong negotiating skills. Using a Broker vs. a Real Estate Agent is the difference in experience, education and more security for a buyer or seller knowing the liabilities throughout a transaction. Past Sales & My reviews

3. The internet –

It is an excellent source to find a home. The most common ones used today are Zillow, or Redfin. They all have valuable information, however not always accurate. This is where a real estate Broker can assist you with “Cross referencing” properties, found on the sites, in the local multiple listing service. This is a web site for licensed real estate Brokers and Agents only. It is where the Broker will list their active listings and has more accurate information about a property than county records, where most real estate web sites obtain their information from. Search homes from local Multiple Listing Service

4. Searching for your dream home

The web sites I listed above are great for your initial search and learning what homes are selling for in your desired area but finding a local Broker that is familiar with the area you are looking in is more beneficial. They should meet with you, discuss your likes and dislikes in a home, prepare several homes for you to look at in your qualified price range and then your search begins to find “Your Dream Home”.

5. Bank Owned listing VS. A Standard Sale –

A Bank Owned home for sale can be a bit more complicated and time consuming for a First Time Home Buyer. Keep in mind that you are not dealing directly with the bank but a negotiator that does not have the authority to make immediate decisions which can cause the negotiating process long and drawn out. The process from writing an offer, counter offers and maybe an acceptance a 3-10 day process. Patience are necessary when dealing with an institution sale. When writing an offer on a standard sale the listing agent is working directly with the seller which will make the negotiating process very quick from offer, to counter offer, acceptance and opening escrow, typically a 1-3 day process.

6. Writing An Offer

Before your real estate broker can write an offer you must receive a pre-qualification letter from your lender. After writing the offer you will be asked for a copy of a check made out to the requested escrow company and proof of funds that your down payment actually exist. You and your Broker will discuss the value of the home, that you are writing an offer on, according to the past sold homes in the area. Usually within the last 2-3 months and within a 1/2 mile radius of the home you are writing the offer for. Once you have determined the value of the home your real estate broker will write the offer and submit it to the listing agent. After the offer has been received and presented to the seller, the seller may request their broker to create a counter offer and the negotiations will begin.

7. Negotiations

After writing the offer and the offer has been submitted to the seller, the buyer will wait for a response from the seller this could be a 1-3 day period. Through the negotiation process many aspects of your original offer can be countered, whether it is price, terms etc.

8. Acceptance

Upon acceptance of your offer the contract will be signed by the buyer, seller and real estate broker/agents. It is not until bother buyer and seller have signed the contract that it is fully executed and accepted.

9. Your offer is accepted & Opening Escrow

Once your offer has been accepted a buyer will send their earnest money deposit to escrow, the escrow officer will open escrow, escrow instructions will be typed and sent out to all parties to be signed.

10. The Escrow Process

The escrow officer is a neutral party. Their job is to be sure the earnest deposit is received, typed escrow instructions, all paperwork has been completed by buyer and seller, contact and work closely with the lender, title company and prepare for loan documents to be received, from the lender for signing and prepare to close escrow.

11. Close of Escrow –

Upon confirmation of the close of escrow your real estate agent will gather the house keys and turn them over to the new owner. It is always recommended to change the locks to your new home, there are many keys that could be floating around from the home owner, family members, renters etc.

12. Broker VS. Agent

Experience the Difference! A real estate agent is licensed by the Bureau of Real Estate. A Real Estate Broker is also licensed by the Bureau of Real Estate but is required to have 2 years of full time real estate experience, attend a total of 8 real estate courses, if working independently and own their own company,  they will be required to purchase E & O insurance and liability insurance. A Real Estate Broker has more experience and education than the average real estate agent. So with that said always ask if the agent your working with is a real estate agent or if they have a real estate Brokers license.  A real estate Broker can be more valuable and informative to represent you and your transaction.

Keep in mind the process I describe above can vary from transaction to transaction. I quickly outlined the basic steps to a full transaction. Refer to your Real Estate Broker for any questions you may have.


Cary Pearce

Contact Cary Pearce with Provident Bank and get pre-qualified before you begin your House Hunting Search. Provident Programs


Below are several loans that a first time home buyer may consider


FHA/ VA 30 year fixed

House Hunter FHA/VA 30 year fixed

CALPATH FHA 30 year fixed

USDA 30 year fixed

Disclaimer: Call for updated rates as they change daily.




Provident Programs