When you decide you're ready to take the leap and become a homeowner, there are about 10-steps to purchasing a home:


  1. Make Contact with Me (Elise Russo) Early - Well, you don't have to reach out to me early or even reach out to me ever.  I mean, I've known a few people that've just winged it.  What I saw was, them getting ripped off or into a neighborhood that's wasn't a good fit for them.
  2. Neighborhoods - In all seriousness, I've got resources to help you find the right neighborhood for you.  I read once, 74% of buyers loved their Realtor (even recommend them to friends and family) but most didn't use them again.  Oh my goodness!  I started to panic, I've been in the business since 1997, how come more people weren't calling me back to sell their homes?  My mind wheeled, did I drop the ball?  Ha!  I even called all of my past clients and asked if they're still loving their homes?  The ones that didn't call me back; I looked into public records to see if they still owned their home.  You know, I found nearly everyone used me as their Realtor again or were still in their homes, even today.  They love their neighborhoods, some even remodeled their homes to fit their needs.  I learned in those phone calls, you find the right neighborhood for you and then you create your forever home.  Finding neighbors you can see eye-to-eye with is priceless. I can't tell you how good it felt when I heard them thank me for helping them find those neighbors.  SOo people, let your freak fly high when you talk to me?  I want to be sure I place you with your kind of people!
  3. Pre Approval Letter and/or Proof of Funds - Note, unless you're paying cash, you can't qualify yourself.  You'll need to contact a qualified lender (parents can be qualified lenders; they'll need to show proof of funds).  Think about it this way, when you put your home onto the market to sell, you're not going to want to do a whorl wind deep cleaning for a lookie-loo.  You want to know, the people coming through your home are qualified to actually purchase it.  So, lets do an informational interview with a qualified lender:  You only want to pay X amount per month for your home?  She can tell you what your purchase price will be (with monthly taxes, HOA dues, insurance...).  You think your credit might not be good enough?  He can do an immediate credit check.  Credit Karma isn't what you'll need to rate your credit.  You're going to need a tri-merge FICO score.  The list goes on and on, let me give you a recommendation, so you can ask your questions - with no obligation to use that loan agent in the future.
  4. See Houses to Find "Home" - Once we have found your neighborhood and have your "Pre Approval Letter" or proof of funds, *eee* we can start seriously looking at homes!
  5. Pre Inspection - In a hot market, many sellers would like you to take a closer look, to make sure this is the home you really want, so they'll have a successful closing.  There's a good chance you'll need to budget for an inspector to help you do this.  This person is going to point out potential big ticket fixes, and you might decide to keep looking for the right home for you.  If you don't have an inspector, no worries, I'll recommend a good one.
  6. Win The Bid!! - Once you're comfortable with your choice for home, I'll write an offer and submit it into the running.  Before it's submitted and written, I'm going to do a bunch of research for you.  I'll pull public records, find out what's been selling in this neighborhood, look at census information and give you the tools you need to make an educated decision on value.  The asking price is only just this, an asking price.  Sometimes, it's just too low and sometimes it's way over priced.  After I'm done researching, you'll know the value and what you'd like to offer.
  7. Discovery - After we win the bid, you'll put a deposit of about 3% of the purchase price into an escrow account.  This money will later be used for your downpayment and closing costs.  The reason you need to deposit the 3%, is to show the seller you are serious about this purchase, and you need time to pull your money together and run maybe a few more inspections, before you close escrow.  
  8. Get through Escrow - If during this escrow/discovery period, you have questions, you have every right to get answers, and we will make requests.  Keep in mind, the seller also has every right to say no to your requests.  If you don't like what they have to say or you find something that doesn't sit well with you, we're going back you out of escrow, and we'll find the right home for you.  Oh!  Keep in mind, there are timelines for discovery, if you don't speak up during this process, you are at risk of loosing your deposit.  I have a really awesome transaction coordinator that will keep us on schedule.  Together, we will keep you informed of deadlines, so you are always aware, when you're at risk of loosing your deposit.
  9. Fund and Record - *Whew* Once you've made it through escrow, your loan will fund and/or you'll deposit the remainder of your purchase and closing cost money into escrow.  If this is a home you'll live in, and you're going to get a loan, the lender generally requires that you wait 3-days (in case you want to back out) before you close escrow.  If this is an investment or you're paying cash, you can close escrow right away.
  10. Move In! - When we get the (this home is on record in your name) thumbs up from the escrow agent, you're going to meet me at your new home, get the keys and write me a glowing review, because you know, I want more clients just like you :-)

~Elise Russo, your favorite Realtor (because I work hard to make your transaction a smooth one)