How to Buy Your First Home in San Francisco

Preparing to buy a home can be an intimidating prospect, especially in an extremely competitive market like San Francisco. With a median sales price of $1.18M, hitting close to $1000 per square foot, prospective buyers have to be aware of all real estate nooks and crannies, both in terms of neighborhoods that best suit their needs, as well as market differences – the best first piece of advice? Find a great agent.

Find a Hyperlocal and Hyperaware Agent

“San Francisco is a different beast,” says Greg McDaniel, realtor in the Bay Area. “The MLS is wacky; some deals are done without ever hitting the market, etc. You really need a hyperlocal agent – someone with their finger on the pulse of what’s taking place in the market in the next couple months.”

Finding a great agent is a multi-tiered step as the research for your guide determines how well the home-buying experience will go. Here is a list of questions to ask real estate agents.

“The other thing I always recommend is that they need to get on some sort of listing feed like Trulia or get a direct MLS feed from their real estate agent so that they can get in tune with what’s on the market,” Alexander Clark, San Francisco agent adds. “The agent can also be aware of what you want and can give you the right expectations beyond the listings with their resources and network of brokers. But Trulia is an excellent source of listings as they get into the market.”

Assuming you’ve found a realtor that fits your needs and an idea of the kind of home you’re looking for, their first question to you should be, “have you been pre-approved?”

Pre-Approval and Buying Power

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