FREE Home Buyers Guide from Greenleaf Real Estate


This is our short, FREE Home Buyers Guide from Greenleaf Real Estate, we have also written an in-depth 20+ page buyers guide that goes into great detail. For any homebuyer, this is important! If you would like a FREE copy and also learn about our program that credits you moving costs please fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page.

As a home buyer, it is important that you are prepared and understand the process before making offers. Here are a few things you should think about and discuss before making offers on homes.

  1. Don’t buy a home on the price you are approved for, buy a home that has a monthly payment you are comfortable paying.
  2. Verify 5 of the most important “MUST HAVES” in the home and focus on those
  3. Research the area you like and understand Taxes/HOA/ Mello Roos. (Taxes can skyrocket your payment)
  4. The average homeowner stays in a home for 7 years, this should definitely impact the home you purchase. (We can go over this)
  5. If you want a pool, try and buy a home with a pool. (Ask me why)
  6. Drive times are always important in California, take those into consideration
  7. Understand that buying a home will be both exciting and stressful. Find an agent that understands the process, has great negotiating skills and can keep calm throughout the process.

Offer Accepted! Now What?

  1. Your offer is signed by both parties and sent to your lender, Escrow and transaction coordinator (ask about our Free Transaction Coordinator)
  2. You will need to set up a time to wire, drop off, or mail your earnest money deposit. (On Page 1 of the RPA or purchase contract)
  3. Our transaction coordinator will set up reminders for important due dates (per contract) for the escrow
  4. We get on the phone with the lender and verify they have everything they need to start the loan.


  1. Home Inspection- You have the option of calling your own home inspector or use Greenleafs. This cost is up-front, not paid through escrow. Usually $350-$700 depending on the size of house
  2. Appraisal-Appraisal is ordered by your lender and this is also paid upfront. (Ballpark $500-$1000 ) Depends on the house.
  3. If the contract requires we verify that the Termite Inspection has been scheduled and/or repairs have been completed. (We want a clear Termite Report ASAP)
  4. 4. Review Inspection, Termite and Appraisal Reports.
  5. Draft a request for repairs disclosure for the seller. The request for repairs will include both Home Inspection and Appraisal report required and recommended repairs. (When an appraiser calls out a repair it usually has to be completed before the loan closes.)
  6. Once repairs are requested and signed off on by the seller we will oversee that the work is completed properly.

Licensed professionals will be required on electrical, structural, roof and plumbing issues etc. We will use our judgment. We will not require licensed professionals for small items like door handle replacement or a drywall hole.

The Home Stretch

The most hectic time in an escrow is the first week and last week. The first week because it is filled with inspections and paperwork. The last week because people procrastinate and rush around in the final week. (We don’t roll like that)

We make sure all paperwork is signed properly by both buyer and seller We verify the lender is on track to close on time and make sure they have everything needed.

We Set up a final walkthrough to inspect the house and make sure repairs are completed and nothing has changed since the original offer.

Make sure you have a moving company set up and utilities changed over

Review your final closing statement and verify figures for accuracy before closing.

Check to make sure home warranty is in place if requested

Meet at the house with the keys and have a drink HA!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who pays the buyers agent?
What is a dual agent?
Zillow vs MLS
Can I work with more than one agent?
What if I am unhappy with my agent?
Who pays the buyers agent?

Typically the seller pays both the buyers agent and the listing agent

What is a dual agent?

A dual agent is when one agent represents both the seller and the buyer. There are many different thoughts on this situation and it’s really a case-by-case basis. in general, my feeling is that it’s hard to represent both parties equally. if I was buying a home I would want my agent to be looking out for my interests and my interest only.

Zillow vs MLS

Depending on the market, time is often of the essence and very important for a buyer. In our opinion, the MLS has the most up-to-date information available. You will receive a daily/weekly home search, depending on preference, I suggest daily. You can look at Zillow/Trulia/ but often times the information is misleading. Zestimates are often way off and many times homes are active on these platforms but pending on the MLS. That being said, we have no problem with you looking for homes on any platform. We just verify it through the MLS

Can I work with more than one agent?

Nothing is more frustrating to an agent than a buyer who is working with multiple real estate agents. Without a commitment from you, it’s not likely that an agent will do their best work for you. The exception to this situation is a buyer who is looking in a large geographic area. If you are looking for property outside the market area your agent specializes in, ask them for a referral to an agent in another area(s). That way, both agents are in communication during the home search, allowing them to partner in finding you the right property.

What if I am unhappy with my agent?

Our policy on both listings and purchases is if the client isn’t happy we have no problem canceling any contract. This is not the case with every brokerage.

Buying Process Overview


1. Getting Pre-Approved for a Home Loan

2. Determining your wants and needs

3. Begin the search

4. Previewing Properties

5 Find a home you love

6. Determine Your Offer Price

7. Write the offer

8. Negotiating With The Sellers

9. Inspections

10. Appraisal

11. Signing the paperwork

12 Closing

13. Possession

If you would like our in-depth 20+ page buyers guide that walks you through the process step by step please input your info below