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northern california Buyer’s Guide


Northern California is one of the most desirable real estate markets in the world, and we understand that navigating the property buying process can seem challenging. However, with the expertise and breadth of knowledge of your Compass agent, you are in trusted hands. We will guide and advise you during every step of the buying process that help you find the perfect home that fits your needs, budget, and lifestyle.

It is with great pleasure that Linda Lam welcomes you to Northern California, and to her website. With years of experience in the market, she knows how crucial it is for you to find relevant, up-to- date information. The search is over. Her website is designed to be your one-stop shop for real estate in Northern California.

Let me show you why I am the right agent for you.

When you work with me, you will get
  • Honesty, Transparency and Responsiveness
  • Off-market/coming soon/private exclusive listings
  • Resources such as: lenders, attorneys, and vendors
  • Negotiation
  • Strategies on how to submit a compelling offer
The Home Buying Process
Find A Realtor
Why? They answer your
questions, represent your best
interest vs. the sellers
and it’s FREE for you.
Meet with a lender to
determine the max loan
amount you are approved for.
Prelim documents required:
W-2s, pay stub, bank
statements & tax returns
Find A Home
Communicate your wants &
needs to your Realtor, so
that they can show you
homes that fit your current
Make An Offer
Your Realtor will negotiate on
your behalf to get your offer
Open Escrow
Your lender will work on getting
your loan approved, while your
Realtor takes care of the rest.
Prepare to read & sign many
Professional home appraiser
will determine the value of the
home. This is important, as it
can potentially affect your
Contingency Removal
All contingencies for this
sale will be removed. Loan
approval will be one of
these contingencies,
confirming that you are
ready to close.
Final Walk-Through
Walk through the property with
your Realtor to ensure
that It is in the same
condition and repairs have
been made
Close of Escrow
You are officially a NEW
homeowner and your Realtor will
deliver you your keys!
  • Save & submit all future pay stubs
  • Save & submit all completed future
    bank statements
  • Keep copies of all documents
    submitted to processing
  • Continue to pay all of your debts &
  • Make any cash deposits
  • Make any large purchases on your
    credit cards
  • Co-sign a loan for anyone
  • Change bank accounts
  • Apply for new credit cards
What Is Escrow?
Escrow is a set time during the home buying process where an impartial 3rd party (escrow company) conducts the exchange of payment for property, in order tofinalize the transaction. The Escrow Period is typically around 30 days from acceptance of offer to close of escrow.
Day 1–3
Initial deposit is to
be paid to escrow
Day 10-12
Loan and Appraisal
contingency is to be
Day 25–28
Buyer’s closing funds
are delivered to escrow.
Meet with escrow to
sign documents.
Schedule Buyer's Final
Walk through of the
Day 29
Lender delivers the
funds for the loan to
Day 30
Escrow closes, title is
recorded and
keys are delivered.
  • Continue to pay all of your debts & loans
  • Continue to pay all of your debts & loans
  • Make any large purchases on your credit cards
  • Change bank accounts
  • Make any cash deposits
Key Terms
Assessment of the property’s
market value, for the purpose
of obtaining a mortgage
and performed by a
licensed appraiser.
Assessed Value
Value placed upon property for
property tax purposes by the
Tax Collector.
Closing Costs
Expenses incidental to a sale of
real estate, such as loan fees,
appraisal fees, title insurance
and escrow fees.
Closing Statement
The statement which lists the
financial settlement between
Buyer & Seller, and the costs
each must pay.
Certain criteria that have to be
met in order to finalize the sale.
Conventional Mortgage
A mortgage or Deed of Trust
not obtained under a
government insured program
such as FHA or VA.
Money given to a buyer from a
seller through escrow or closing.
A neutral third party that
handles the transfer of any
money during the sale of a
home from initial deposit to
final funding and closing.
Earnest Money
Buyers in California usually
deposit 3% of the purchase
price to show that the buyer
is serious about purchasing the
home. It is usually refundable in
the event a contingency in
the sales contract cannot be met.
Fixed Rate Mortgage
A loan on which the interest
rate and monthly payment do
not change.
Home Warranty
A policy that covers certain
repairs (e.g. plumbing/heating)
of a newly purchased home for
a period of time, typically
one year.
Preliminary Title
A report showing the condition
of title before a sale or loan
transaction. After completion
of the transaction, a new title
insurance policy will be issued.
Title Insurance
Insurance to protect the buyer
and lender against losses
arising from disputes over
the ownership of a property.
Recording Fees
Money paid to the lender for
recording a home sale with the
local authorities, thereby making
it part of the public records.
Why Compass
Compass Tools & Programs to Help You Find Your Next Home
Collections lets you compare
multiple properties—their
size, neighborhood, amenities
—within a visual workspace.
Monitor market activity in
real time, stay in constant
contact with your agent, and
invite collaborators to join in
on the discussion.
Compass Search lets your
agent filter and sort by a wide
range of features and
amenities. Plus, discover
exclusive Compass listings you
won’t find anywhere else and
receive real-time notifications of
new homes with customized
Saved Searches!
Closing Costs
Compass Bridge Loan
Services provides access
to competitive rates and
dedicated support from
industry-leading lenders, with
the exclusive option to get up
to six months of your bridge
loan payments fronted when
you sell your home with a
Compass agent.
Coming Soon
What buyer isn’t looking for
an edge over the
competition? Browse unique
properties that are only
viewable on
with your agent and discover
your future home before it
hits the market.
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