Deciding to Buy

Deciding to Buy

Purchasing a property is most likely the biggest financial decision you will ever make. Whether this is your first purchase or you are an experienced buyer, this decision must be made thoughtfully and with the guidance of a seasoned professional.

Have you outgrown your current home? Are you looking for an investment property? Are you looking for a rental property or a second home? Would you like a larger yard or to live in a different neighborhood? Maybe you are beginning to explore the option of moving from a home to a condominium. I have excellent experience helping buyers in all stages of their real estate journeys. From first time homebuyers to buyers of multi-million dollar and waterfront properties I have helped people purchase in a wide variety of price ranges and property types.

Property ownership is an excellent investment; whether you are looking for your dream home, a rental property, or to expand your investment portfolio. Owning real estate is one of the least risky ways to build equity or to obtain a greater return on your initial investment.

Preparing to buy

Preparing to buy

Before you start shopping for your property, it is a good idea to make some preparations. If you will be obtaining a loan – organize your documentation.

You will need many important financial documents in order to secure financing for your property. Some of the documents that you may need are:
• Financial statements
• Bank accounts
• Investment statements
• Credit card or other loan statements
• Recent pay stubs or 1099s
• Tax returns for the past two years
• Copies of leases for investment properties
• 401K statements, life insurance etc.

If you are self-employed your lender may require additional information.

Your credit score will have a significant impact on what type of financing you can qualify for and what you can spend on a property. A lender can help you to research your credit ratings from the three credit reporting agencies; Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. I am happy to recommend several experienced, knowledgeable lenders. Each lender I recommend has worked for other clients of mine and has established a track record of professional and communicative service with me and my clients.

Cash buyers often need to be prepared to submit evidence of their ability to pay cash along with an offer or after mutual acceptance of their offer. This can be done in a way that protects the clients’ privacy and security.



Buying a property requires making many important financial decisions, understanding complex issues and completing complicated and important contract paperwork. It helps to have an expert in your corner when undertaking such a large purchase. As a former CPA and very seasoned professional I can guide you through this process.


One who is college educated, has significant business experience and experience completing transactions similar to yours.

Be sure that your broker is familiar with the area in which you are interested in buying.

Ask how much time the broker will have for you, and if they are available at night and on weekends.

Ask about their credentials and education.

Ask about the broker’s communication style.

Ask for a list of properties the broker has sold.

Ask for a list of client testimonials from past clients.

Don’t pick a broker purely on the basis that they are a friend or family member. Select your broker based on their experience and professionalism.

Choose a broker who listens attentively to your needs and concerns. Pick a broker, with whom you feel comfortable.



Once those preparations are out of the way, it is time to find the right property for you. If you are familiar with the area, you may have earmarked a neighborhood where you would like to live. If you are not familiar and/or are from out of the area it is important to get to know the neighborhoods that interest you.

One of my favorite parts of my job is helping people understand our wonderful and diverse communities. As a Seattle native this is something I am particularly good at and I would welcome the opportunity to introduce you to our many fine neighborhoods. Sometimes visiting a few homes in a neighborhood and also enjoying a walk and a cup of coffee in the community is a great way to become more acquainted with the area.

I will also assist you in evaluating the potential long-term resale value of the properties you are considering. I can provide you with reports and information on historic appreciation in the neighborhoods you are considering and sales history on a particular property. I will arm you with the information and data that you need to make your buying decision.

Once you have picked out the property you want to purchase, I will help you make an offer that the seller will accept. Our market is competitive at times and I can help you to craft your offer in a way that gives you the advantage over other offers.



In most purchases you will likely want and need to have a licensed property inspector inspect the property. Normally this is done once the seller accepts your offer, within the time frame that was agreed upon in your purchase and sale agreement. In some cases, when a property is anticipated to receive multiple offers, you may want to have your inspection done prior to writing your offer. This is called a “pre-inspection” and is done ahead of the offer to allow you to write a “clean” offer without an inspection contingency.

You may elect to have different inspectors inspect the property especially if recommended by the general inspector. These may include professional opinions from inspectors who specialize in specific areas (roof, or furnace/HVAC for example). In Seattle, we often also recommend a sewer inspection be completed to be certain that the sewer is not compromised by tree roots or cracks or offsets. This can help avoid costly repairs down the road.


Depending on the outcome of these inspections, one of three things may happen. You may be satisfied with the outcome of the inspection(s) and remove our inspection contingency, you may find deficiencies significant enough to request a renegotiation of the terms of contract by either requesting the seller to make repairs or a renegotiation of the purchase price. In rare cases and inspection may result in you terminating a purchase agreement if the issues uncovered cannot be addressed appropriately to make you comfortable moving forward with a purchase of the property.

If you are obtaining a loan for the property it is imperative that you keep in close communication with your lender, who will let you know when additional documents are needed to approve your loan application and fund your loan. If the agreement is conditional upon financing, then the property will be appraised by a licensed appraiser to determine the value for the lending institution, via a third party. This is done so that the lending institution can confirm their investment in your property is accurate. Appraisers are specialists in determining the value of properties, based on a combination of square footage measurements, building costs, recent sales of comparable properties, operating income, etc.

If the property that you are purchasing is conditional upon an association approval, request the rules, regulations, and other important documents from the seller as soon as you have an effective agreement to purchase. Make sure that the application documents and processing fees are submitted to the appropriate person at the association by the required time.

Either a title company or an attorney will be selected as the closing agent, whose job is to examine and insure clear title to real estate. After researching the complete recorded history of your property, they will certify that 1) your title is free and clear of encumbrances (e.g. mortgages, leases, restrictions, liens) by the date of closing; and 2) all new encumbrances are duly included in the title.



Final Walk-Through

Often buyers like to do a final walk through prior to closing. You can visit the property to verify that all is in working order, everything is the same as when you last viewed the property, that there are no extra items left behind and that everything included in your purchase is still at the property.

I will provide you with a list of useful numbers for the activation of home services and utilities after the closing occurs.

Escrow will schedule a signing time with you to sign your closing documents. If you are obtaining a loan for the property you will be signing all the lender documents as well. Escrow and your lender will advise you further regarding the closing process. Possession of the property typically happens upon closing unless a post-close possession period is agreed upon in your contract. Typically I like to attend your signing appointment with escrow. I will also deliver keys to you upon closing.

Work With Lisa

With unwavering tenacity, dedication, class, integrity and an enthusiastic, positive personality that makes her a pleasure to work with, resulting in long-standing client relationships built on trust and confidence. Lisa brings a refreshing level of professionalism to real estate.

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