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Buyer’s Guide

Real estate is a smart investment, whether you intend to purchase a primary residence or a second home. At the same time, it is also a major commitment that you will want to be prepared for.

To help you have a smooth and seamless experience, here’s a brief guide to what the buying process entails:

  1. Prepare and plan

    Before taking the plunge, you need to have a plan. Decide what you need and want out of a home.

    • Do you need to live close to work or your place of business?
    • If you have children, are there good schools in the area?
    • Which amenities do you absolutely need and which ones can you live without?

    Once you’ve identified what you want in a home, you need to plan out your financing. Remember to take into consideration not just the purchase price, but also the property taxes, insurance, utilities and possible Homeowner’s Association (HOA) fees.

  2. Contact a real estate agent

    Working with an expert real estate agent is imperative. This will significantly increase your chances of finding the right home at the shortest time possible and provide you with a stress-free experience.

    These are the top things to look for in a real estate agent:

    • Knowledge of the local housing market
    • Experience
    • An impressive track record

    Extraordinary homes require extraordinary expertise, which is why you’ll want to work with an agent who has a deep understanding of the luxury
    real estate market.

    To protect the seller’s privacy, many luxury homes are not listed online. The best way to access the cream of the crop of luxury listings is through a real estate agent who has the right connections.

    Gerard Bisignano and his team at Vista Sotheby’s International Realty have the network and resources to match you with the perfect home. They have worked with Hollywood stars, professional athletes and successful business people, and provide top-level services to the most discriminating home buyers in the South Bay, LA area. Call them at 310-990-4727 or send an email to gerard(at)vistasir(dotted)com.

  3. Get financing

    If you’re not paying cash for the property, then you doubtless plan on getting a mortgage. The conforming loan limit for Los Angeles County in 2018 is $679,650, which means you will need to take out a nonconventional aka “jumbo” loan if the house is priced higher than that.

    Jumbo loans typically have stricter requirements so be ready to show extensive financial documentation. It’s a good idea to apply for a loan with your regular bank – they will already have an idea about the state of your finances.

  4. Search for your dream home

    Now, it’s time to go through listings and work with your Realtor on finding your next home. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, buyers typically spend 12 weeks searching for a new home and choose from among 12 homes on average.

    You can start your search right here on this website. Check out Gerard Bisignano’s listings of the finest homes for sale in the South Bay area.

  5. View the property

    No matter how beautiful or detailed the listing pictures are, there is no substitute for viewing a home in person. Much larger homes, in particular, are difficult to sufficiently showcase online. You might change your mind about the layout or workmanship once you’ve actually seen the home.

  6. Make an offer and negotiate

    After you’ve chosen the best home for you, it’s time to make an offer. Your Realtor will guide you in coming up with a competitive offer price based on comparable homes on the local market and other factors. Once you and the seller agree on an offer, you’ll enter into a legally binding contract and make an earnest money deposit, which goes into escrow.

  7. Close the sale

    The end of the buying process comes when your loan has been finalized and cleared and the funds are transferred to the seller. On closing day, you and the seller need to sign the necessary documents and pay the closing costs. The seller then gives you the keys to your new home! Congratulations!