The 12 Things I Recommend You Do Before You Remove Contingencies

You've successfully negotiated a contract to purchase a home in San Diego!

What's next? (A lot!...)

You will want to allow as much extra time as possible this week and the next to do your "due diligence" on the home. The hours you spend now will be well worth it in the long run. If there is a reason not to buy this home, you want to know now (not a year after you buy it). As your exclusive buyer's agent, I've made sure you negotiated certain terms to protect your earnest money (good faith) deposit and to look out for your best interests throughout this purchase.

You have the right to do your "due diligence" regarding this property, and we've built in certain contractual contingencies to allow you to perform professional inspections, review disclosures and reports, and do your own investigation of the property (unless you decided beforehand to waive certain contingencies).

You and I work as a team. My job is to help you find (and get) the home, negotiate the terms, and guide you through the investigation/escrow process (all the while keeping your best interests in mind). You are the one buying the home, so right now is the time for you to do everything in your power to make sure that you truly do want to purchase this home.

I'll help you back out of the contract if you find something wrong, so now is the time to dig in. Be sure to be thorough. You hired me, so you're the boss. I'm here to help you through all of this, but in the end it's your money and your decision.

In a nutshell, you have a certain amount of time to do your due-diligence before you may be contractually obligated to remove the agreement's contingencies or cancel the transaction. Be sure to check with me if you're not sure how much time you have. Time is of the essence, so it's imperative that you start your investigation of the property right away.

If you are purchasing a short sale, these may not apply to you, so be sure to check with me before scheduling appointments, etc.

Here's a list of things I recommend you start doing after you receive a copy of the fully executed contract:

(1) Send in Your Deposit Funds

Wire the funds to Escrow or send a check to the agreed-on Escrow Company (if you're not sure where to send it, ask me). Your contract most likely requires the funds to be at Escrow within three days of receiving the fully executed contract. 

Read Also: How to Protect Yourself Against Wire Fraud

(2) Secure Your Financing

Make sure that your financing is lined up for a prompt closing. If you are paying cash, you will need to take certain measures to liquidate your assets and accomodate the transfer of funds. Depending on your situation, this could take longer than a week to coordinate.

If you are obtaining a loan to help with the purchase, then you need to inform your lender immediately about the accepted offer, and have them get the ball rolling right away for your final loan approval. This will most likely take more than two weeks to get completed, and if you plan on closing escrow in 30-45 days (and if you have 10-20 days to remove your loan contingency), then every day counts. Your lender needs information about the property, a copy of the fully executed contract, updated information from you, and also needs to order an appraisal ASAP. Make sure you have a lender who is easy to reach and who is on the ball. He/she can make or break your closing.

(3) Schedule Your Property Inspection(s)

Order a property inspection by a qualified property inspector (and review the report). Check with me regarding a good time to schedule the appointment. Someone will need to be there to let you in. Ordering a property inspection is not required by law, but I advise all my clients to purchase one. If you decide not to, you are acting against my advice. You've already seen and signed the disclosures about the importance of property inspections, so you are informed about how crucial they can be. 

I can provide (on request) a list of inspectors that some of my past clients have used, and I recommend that you hire the inspector you feel the most comfortable with. Be sure the inspector is on good terms with the California Real Estate Inspector Assocation (CREIA) or with another another highly-rated trade association (such as InterNACHI). 

If at all possible be sure to schedule your inspection at a time where you can also attend. You will surely learn something important about the home as you follow the inspector around for a couple hours. I believe it's even worth it to pay the inspector a little more for their time if they let you tag along. See the Buyers Inspection Advisory (C.A.R. Form BIA) for a list of inspections you may want to perform on the property.

Also, make sure the inspector will email you a complete report with color photos. Most likely, you'll need to contact several inspection companies before you find one that's available when you want them. If you'd like my help with booking your inspections, I'm here to help you.

Further Reading: The Buyer's Inspection Advisory (BIA)

(4) Schedule a Termite/Wood-Destroying Pest Inspection

Order a wood-destroying pest inspection (and review the report). Again, not required by law (and the seller has probably already ordered one - be sure to review a copy of the seller's termite report), BUT I recommend that you hire your own inspector just to be on the safe side.

Read Also: More About Termites

(5) Review Disclosures

Shortly, you will receive disclosures from the seller (I will be forwarding them to you via email as I receive them from the seller's agent). Review the seller disclosures about the home. Tell me about anything that raises a red flag for you. In some cases, the seller may not be obligated to provide disclosures (for example, you may not receive seller disclosures if you're buying a bank-owned foreclosure). If you do not receive disclosures, the property inspection process becomes even more important for you to find out anything that might affect the value of the home in your own mind. If you get the disclosures before meeting with the property inspector, be sure to review any red flags from the disclosures with the inspector at the time of the property inspection.

See Also: The Transfer Disclosure Statement: Seller Disclosures for San Diego Home Buyers

See Also: The Seller Property Questionnaire: How Much Do You Want to Know About the Home You're Buying?

See Also: The Seller Property Questionnaire Addendum: Even More Disclosures!

We can schedule a phone call to go over any of the documents you have questions about during your investigation period. 

(6) More Disclosures and Investigation

Shortly, you will receive more disclosures about the property/area.

  • Review the Natural Hazard Disclosure report to see what natural hazards may be near the home.
  • Review the Local Area Disclosures from the San Diego Association of REALTORS® (SDAR) to see if there are any disclosures for the area the home is located in. 
  • Check what the current owner pays in property taxes to make sure it's what you expected. Find the link to the assessor's website and more about property taxes at: How much will I pay in property taxes?
  • Review all the terms of the purchase contract.
  • I also recommend that you check with the local municipality to review permits for the property. You are the one who needs to make the phone call, but I can certainly help you find the appropriate department to contact, and I can even go with you to an appointment if it's needed. This may not apply to you or your transaction, so let me know how you would like me to help.
  • If room sizes or lot sizes are important to you, you can go to the property to take your own measurements. Sometimes, the information that listing agents put in the MLS (or that shows up in the tax records) can be inaccurate. Take your own measurements if that's important to you. I may need to schedule an appointment for that, so let me know (or you can do it during your property inspection). 

(7) Yet More Investigation You Can Do

These are all things you can do in a relatively short amount of time to make sure you truly like the area. Do everything you can think of to get as familiar with the area as possible:

  • Get to know the area around the home. 
  • Walk and drive the area at different times of the day (and night). 
  • Check out the home's Walk Score. 
  • Talk to neighbors. Ask questions. 
  • Search online for community forums with information about your specific neighborhood. 
  • Go to the local schools. 
  • Research the schools online (some clients like a website called, OR you may want to visit the school district website for local information and school testing scores). 
  • Research the crime in the area. 
  • Take a look at the Megan's Law (sex offender) Database

(8) Review the Preliminary Title Report

Shortly, you will receive a copy of the Preliminary Title Report (PR). Review the PR to make sure there are no unexpected liens that go with the home. Call the Title Officer (his/her name and phone number will be listed on the Preliminary Title Report you receive) and review the entire report to make sure there are no red flags (I can help you schedule this call). If the title officer will not review the report with you, be sure to let me know. I can refer you to another title officer from a different company who would be happy to review the title report with you to show you what to look out for. Some buyers like to have a real estate attorney review the PR. If you've reviewed the report with two title officers from different companies, and both tell you that there is nothing out of the ordinary on the report you are probably safe. It never hurts, however, to shell out a small amount of money (in the big picture) up front to have an attorney review the report to look for red flags.

(9) Request for Repairs

In most cases you are allowed to issue a Request for Repairs to the seller. If you are interested in doing this, you should let me know right away. Of course, there are instances (such as with some bank-owned properties OR when it's a strong seller's market) in which you've been informed from Day 1 that the seller will not make any repairs. Sellers are not obligated to perform any of the requests on the Request for Repairs (unless they agreed to specific repairs in the original contract you both already signed - in fact, if you know there are repairs you want done before you write the offer, it's a good idea to include them in the original offer).

That being said, there are many times that a buyer learns something (from their inspections) that hadn't been considered before writing the offer. In these cases, it's totally appropriate to ask a seller to fix something (or give you money for it). If they say, "No," you'll have to decide if you want to move forward with the purchase, but you are allowed to ask, either way. And I'll be helping you with drafting a Repair Request during your investigation period. 

(10) Review the HOA Documents (if any)

Review Home Owners Association (HOA) documents (if applicable). Be careful to review each aspect of the HOA docs. Make sure that you are OK with all the rules and regulations, with the budget and forecasted budget (and reserves) of the HOA, and be sure that you are OK with any pending litigation the HOA might be involved in. I can help you look at the HOA documents, and I even hold a designation called Certified Condo/HOA Specialist from professional training I've taken on this topic. If there are red flags or legal concerns, I recommend you hire a real estate attorney or CPA who has a lot of experience in reviewing HOA documents, etc. 

(11) Further Inspection

If an inspector recommends further inspection of any part of the property by a more specialized inspector, be sure to have it done as quickly as possible.

(12) Secure Insurance for the Property

Your lender may require you to have some sort of insurance policy for your home, and you may also wish to look at other insurance options (such as flood insurance, earthquake insurance, etc.). Call your insurance agent (and others) to get the best plan and rate for your home. Be sure to communicate the name and contact information of your insurance agent to the escrow company and to your lender. If, heaven forbid, you find out the property is uninsurable, you will be glad you took care of this prior to removing your investigation contingency. Read this article for more detailed tips on finding the right insurance.

*NOTE: If you are buying a condo, you most likely only need to purchase an HO6 policy. This is a less expensive policy similar to renters insurance (since your HOA most likely has a master insurance policy for rebuilding the structure if the building burns down). Ask your loan officer what type of policy your lender requires, and be sure to still customize the policy to the specific upgrades and belongings that are in the condo.

As I've said before, this is a team effort, and I will (of course) be there to help you through ALL of the phases of the transaction. I'll be monitoring the status of your transaction, and I'll remind you of important dates, etc. I'll also be coordinating with the seller's agent to get you all the reports and disclosures as quickly as possible for your review. Never hesitate to call/text me at any point with questions. I'm here for you!

Justin Gramm, Broker
Globella Buyers Realty
Ph: 858.437.2662
CA 92102 US
CA DRE License # 01714813
What is an EBA? When to Hire an Agent Buying a Home in 2024 How My Schedule Works Buyer Strategy Session How I Work When to Buy? Part 1 Globella Questionnaire About Globella Why Hire Justin? Buyer Representation Helpful Buyer Links How I Get Paid Buyer's To-Do List Location = Lifestyle First-Time Homebuyers About Justin Gramm VIDEO: Meet Justin Luxury Buyers 10 Best School Districts How to Write an Offer Paperwork North Cty vs. San Diego What is Dual Agency? Testimonials/Reviews Relocating to San Diego New Construction About Buyer Agency Dog-Friendly Buildings The Informed Buyer Paperwork Explained Home Buying FAQ Help for Luxury Buyers Buying a Condo The Dual Agent Trap Retiring in San Diego 3 Investing Strategies The Globella Difference 5 Reasons to Rent Buying Foreclosures 5 Reasons to Buy Agency 101 Accredited Agent (ABR) 1031 Exchange Tips Privacy Policy Avoid Moving Twice Agency Disclosure Preapproval Questions Choosing a Lender Negotiation Expert Agent Ethics Buyer Agent Interview Foreclosures Buying a New Home Hiring an Inspector Top 1% of Realtors Second Home Expert Negotiating Your Loan Avoiding Wire Fraud Termites! Buyer Services Free Buyer Reports Get a Home Warranty Hot vs. Cold Market Hazard Insurance Tips Free Investor Reports Checking HOA Health Earthquake Insurance Condo Litigation SD Weather Tips Property Taxes Cost of Granny Flat Vesting as LLC or Trust Buying with a VA Loan Investor Services Buyer Resources Code of Ethics About the Name Contractor List Home Investigation Tips Moving Checklist The Grande: Downtown Condos Seven on Kettner Treo Beech Tower Citymark at Cortez Hill Park View Gaslamp City Square Watermark 235 on Market Atria Brickyard Columbia Place Harbor Club Island Lofts Angove Lofts Jacaranda Studios Rowhomes on F Bella Via Columbia & Fir Lofts Date Street Townhomes Ecco Lofts Finestra Lofts Hawthorn Place Kettner Rowhomes Lusso Lofts The State The Waterfront Victorian House Aperture Preparing a Short Sale Offer How A Short Sale Lender Analyzes an Offer Short Sale Lenders Approval Options Different Short Sale Lenders Act Differently Loss Mitigation vs. Foreclosure Departments Short Sale Defined The Ideal Short Sale Seller Why Do Banks Even Consider Short Sales? Some Listed Short Sales Are Not Closeable La Jolla Del Mar Point Loma Rancho Santa Fe Pacific Beach Coronado Downtown San Diego Contact Us Communities Buying Short Sales FAQ International Buyers First-Time Buyers Vacation-Home Buyers Move-Up Buyers Downsizing Buyers 1031 Exchange Buyers Luxury San Diego Real Estate Fair Housing Investment Buyers San Diego Photos New-Home Buyers Testimonial Chuck Smith Testimonial Downtown Steve What's Exciting! How We Work Short Sale Testimonial Investing Buying a Home Footer Links Local Restaurant Reviews SD Restaurant Reviews Things to Do in SD SD Eatery Reviews Paperwork How We Work About Our Name How We Get Paid Before Writing Offer Before You Write an Offer Before Writing an Offer Del Mar Buyers Agent 92101 Buyers Agent Loan Doc Signing Tips Testimonial - Samantha Z. How I Work Review from Melanie & Michael Review from Erica M. Buying in 2014 Spring Home and Garden Show 2014 at Del Mar Fairgrounds Review from Daniel E. Review from Steve and Chi Buying in 2015 Spring-Home-Garden-Show-San-Diego-Del-Mar-Fairgrounds Buying a Home in 2016 Review from Michael I. Review from John and Wendy Review from Allison H. Review from Frank S. Broken-Landing-Page San-Diego-Spring-Home-and-Garden-Show-2016 Your Ivy at Carmel Valley Exclusive Buyer's Agent Your Sea Cliff Exclusive Buyers Agent Your Avery Pointe at Veridian Exclusive Buyer's Agent Your Lanai in Carlsbad Exclusive Buyer's Agent Your Pacific Gate San Diego Exclusive Buyers Agent Your SummerHouse Carlsbad Exclusive Buyers Agent 2016 San Diego Market Your-Park-at-Bankers-Hill-Exclusive-Buyers-Agent Your Aura Exclusive Buyers Agent San Diego Buyer Agent Review from Mary R. San Diego Buyer Agent Review from Dan B. Your Estates at Del Sur Exclusive Buyers Agent San Diego Buyer Agent Review from Ken and Cindy Three Reasons to Buy a Home in Hillcrest, San Diego Three Reasons to Buy in Bankers Hill San Diego Your Elms at Carmel Valley Exclusive Buyers Agent When to Buy? Part 2 San Diego Buyers Agent Review from Kevin C. Three Reasons to Buy in Encinitas San Diego San Diego Buyer Agent Review from Natacha S. Is Fall a Good Time to Buy a New Home? Your Elms at Carmel Valley Exclusive Buyers Agent Your Canterra Exclusive Buyers Agent Three Reasons to Live in Normal Heights, San Diego San Diego Buyer Agent Review from Renaud P. Buying a Home in 2018 Your Estancia at Cielo Exclusive Buyers Agent Your Upper Cielo Exclusive Buyers Agent Three Reasons to Buy a Home in La Mesa Your-Cottages-at-St-Cloud-Exclusive-Buyers-Agent Your Harmony Grove Exclusive Buyer Agent Three Reasons to Live in Kensington, San Diego 8 Home Maintenance Tips for Spring Federal Interest Rate Hike and San Diego Homebuyers Review from Stewart H. Review from Roland M. Review from Duane and Nancy Review from Natacha S. Review from Shandi and Michael Your Savina Exclusive Buyers Agent Your Escaya Exclusive Buyers Agent Your Terraces at Robinson Ranch Exclusive Buyers Agent Your Signature Exclusive Buyers Agent Your Garrison Landing Exclusive Buyers Agent Review-from-Joseph-C Review from Kara S. Review from Martin and Jackie 2018 Market Update Three Reasons to Live in South Park San Diego Review-from-Adam-W. New Granny Flat Law in San Diego Why Buy at Civita Review- from-Randy-F. Review-from-Oline-C Buyer's Privacy Rights Review from Alex M. Three Reasons to Live in Tierrasanta Review from Greg C. Review from Kenjie S. Review from L.T. Review from Mike L. Sandicor Statistics Videos Market Statistics Contact VIP Home Finder Request a Buyer Strategy Session / Interview Welcome Subscribe Site Map