Buying or selling a home? Tom Rochford Real Estate Company can help.

Purchasing a home is a stressful event for a lot of people, but with a little up-front planning, it isn't very complex. So you'll know exactly what to expect, I like to give my buyers a road map of the entire deal. Below are my nine steps to buying a home.

Should you have any questions about this information or if you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at

Step 1 – Prepare to buy
There are a lot of things you'll want to take into account before commencing your home search. It's likely that you'll want to form an index of features you want to have, get a feeling for what neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and start planning around your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than a third of your monthly income is a good principle to adhere to.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent
This is where Tom Rochford Real Estate Company comes in. We can plan a time to get together so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss the mortgage industry, other economic factors that could affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and schools in the area.

I can also help you facilitate the loan process. There are some very good mortgage professionals, and I work with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They'll assist you with figuring out which kind of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start looking
After our initial meeting, I'll begin looking for homes on the market that suit your needs. I'll get a sneak peek of most of the homes and throw out the duds, and then we'll book appointments to tour the houses whenever it's convenient for you.

As we tour homes, I'll show you the positive features, as well as negative ones. I'll even ask you to tell us about things you like and dislike. It's pretty common for buyers to revise their must-have list as we tour houses and some items become far more crucial than others. If such is the case, I'll search the listings another time and trim it down to the house of your dreams.

Step 4 – Know the market
My awareness of the market is a valuable advantage in your search. I am acquainted with all the schools and neighborhoods, and I will let you know some districts are "hot" and warrant immediate action and others that are "cool" and allow for careful consideration.

As we view homes, I'll let you know when the seller's list price has room for bargaining and when I know the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and make sure you ask a lot of questions, as any REALTOR® will claim to understand the market. If it seems like they don't know everything, just call me at (925) 299-2371 or e-mail me at, and I'll be glad to answer your questions. My knowledge of the market will keep you a step ahead throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home of your dreams
I'm sure we'll find your dream house in the area. When that happens, I'll carefully create your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored exactly to your needs, including many contingencies. A few examples are obtaining financing, finishing the inspection, and a clean title.

Let Tom Rochford Real Estate Company guide you through finding your dream home in Moraga When presenting your offer, you'll likely want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to a home seller to secure an offer to buy the property, and it's often applied to the closing costs. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close on the home about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Unfortunately most contracts don't close on the initial offer. It's very common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this intimidate you. We'll figure out whether or not to agree to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

Market circumstances determine how aggressively we negotiate the deal. We'll also work within your financing constraints. And at the end of the day, we'll put together a contract that's best for you.

Step 7 – Get a loan
Once the contract is finalized, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. This shouldn't take very long at all if you've been pre-qualified, but you'll need to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll manage all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will furnish you with a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) of closing costs within three days of taking your loan application. You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) outlining closing costs from your lender within three days of taking your loan application. This estimate rests on the loan amount. RESPA requirements require that it has to contain all closing costs and be within a close range of accuracy, and I'll review the estimate and let you know if everything looks adequate.

Then it's time to close on your home. This will probably occur at a title company or escrow office and will likely be a smooth and easygoing occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
Success! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, make sure you call me at (925) 299-2371 or send me an e-mail.