The very first thing you should do when you are ready to seriously start your home search is to reach out to a trusted and well known loan agent (or two) to begin the formal pre-approval/full credit approval process. It’s important to work with a lender who is known in the local marketplace, has a track record of delivering on their contractual timelines, and regularly closes real estate loans in San Francisco and/or Marin County. Ideally, you want to work with a lender/financing institution that has a brick and mortar location in San Francisco or Marin. Out of town lenders who are not known in the local marketplace and who can’t compete on contractual timelines (finance contingency or close of escrow timelines that are the norm in our marketplace) will not put you in the most competitive position, especially when you are competing with other buyers.
Once your pre-approval/full credit approval process is complete, you will have certainty about your purchasing power, and that will inform our real estate search, both in terms of price points and product types. Additionally, it is standard practice in San Francisco and Marin to submit your pre-approval/full credit lender approval letter with your offer; this demonstrates to the seller that you are not just a serious buyer ready to move forward and close escrow, but that you are also a qualified buyer. We are happy to assist you with lender recommendations.