Tel: 415-867-6611

For Buyers

Buying your dream home in Marin County will be a notable accomplishment in your life! Throughout the buying process there are untold important considerations and documents that need to be managed, deadlines that need to be met, meetings that need to be coordinated, signatures obtained and decisions that need to be made. It is crucial to work with a real estate agent who is professional, responsive, intuitive and gives you a high degree of personal attention in order to have a successful, manageable transaction.

  1. Selecting your real estate professional:

    Building a trusting relationship with a real estate professional is crucial. We will be working closely with you to find the perfect home to meet your unique needs. We have extensive real estate and financing knowledge that provides our clients with an advantage in our extremely competitive market. We provide assistance and guidance from start to finish in the buying process-- from finding a home through the close of escrow and beyond: such as the selection of a home warranty policy, and guidance on strategic remodel projects to get the most bang from your invested dollar.

  2. Determining Your Budget and Getting Pre-Approved

    The first stage of the buying process is determining your purchase price budget. The best way to find a suitable mortgage that fits your budget and lifestyle is to work with a banker, financial advisor or a mortgage broker. Your mortgage broker will then pre-approve your for a loan that fits your needs and give you the confidence to make a strong offer once you find the home of your dreams. The pre-approval letter is very important in Marin-- in competitive biding situations, most sellers will not even consider an offer submitted without a pre-approval letter. Please contact us for referrals for good mortgage consultants in our area.

  3. Deciding how you will Take Title to your home

    Please see the attached document titled "Ways to take Title to your Home".

  4. Finding Your Perfect Home

    Now, with your mortgage pre-approval letter in hand, you are ready to get out there and find the perfect home! This is the first step in our working relationship-- we will show you the best neighborhoods, and nooks, crannies and homes within them, that fit your search criteria. The more details and preferences that you share with us, the more we will have to work with, and the more successful your search will be. Please ask for a demonstration of the tools on this website, and that provide you competitive advantage in our fast-paced market. Please don't despair, finding the right home can take some time. If you are searching with a spouse, try to make the process as enjoyable as possible by mixing your open-house tour with other activities like wine tasting, lunch, a hike or bike ride.

  5. Making An Offer To Purchase

    Once you find your dream home, we will draft a "purchase agreement", advising you on customary Marin practices, local regulations, and any important contingency issues and dead-lines. We then present your offer to the seller's real estate agent who reviews it with the seller. Strong offers in Marin typically include "an earnest money" deposit check, typically 1% to 3% of the purchase price, that is not deposited until the offer is accepted. In the past, The DuPont Group is repeatedly praised by other agents for our well-prepared offer presentations and professionalism in deal making-- a reputation which gives your offer an advantage over other similar, and in some cases-stronger offers.

  6. Reviewing The Seller's Response

    Together we will review the seller's response to your offer, and in many cases, negotiate a new offer-this is called a "counter offer". Our knowledge of this process combined our reputation and strong negotiating skills will help you navigate this process with style, leverage and power.

  7. Opening Escrow

    Once your offer is accepted by the seller, it becomes a "purchase agreement" and is signed by all parties, we will coordinate an "Escrow" account for you. The escrow agent is a neutral third party who manages your escrow account where your money and your lenders money is deposited and kept safe until "title" to the property is cleared, and all other terms of the deal are confirmed and executed according to pre-negotiated specifications.

  8. Entering The Contingency Period

    This time period is specified in your purchase agreement and is used to obtain the following items:

    • Physical Inspection of Property -completed by a licensed contractor
    • Property Pest Inspection
    • Property Appraisal- coordinated with your lender
    • Approval of Seller's Transfer Disclosure Statement
    • Preliminary Report Approval from a Title Insurance Company
    In addition, during this time period, you will be able to:
    • Satisfy any Purchase Contingencies
    • Secure a Lender
  9. Obtaining Homeowner's Insurance

    Your lender will often require obtaining homeowners insurance, and you will need to provide proof of your homeowner's insurance policy that is in effect by the close of escrow. The DuPont Group will work with your escrow company and insurance agent to ensure this is coordinated.

  10. Depositing Funds For Down Payment & Closing Costs

    The next step is wiring funds into the escrow account (or depositing a cashiers check) to cover both your down payment, closing costs, prorated property tax and related expenses. Your escrow officer will coordinate this and will answer any questions that you have regarding line item costs.

  11. Signing Loan Documents

    The next step is signing all the loan documents required by your lender. This is typically coordinated by an appointment set and directed by your escrow agent.

  12. Closing Escrow

    All conditions of the "purchase agreement" must be properly executed:

    • you must deposit the balance of your down payment and closing costs with the escrow company
    • your lender has approved your final loan documents
    • your lender will then deposit the balance of the purchase price into the escrow account
    • you will then sign all of the "closing documents"
    • Next, the County Recorder's office will record the deed.
    • Congratulations, now the home is yours!!!


Property Tax Defined

Local governments, usually at the county level, administer property tax. Tax rates vary from county to county and are based on a predetermined percentage of the assessed value of each individual property. Property taxes are paid in two installments each year. Tax levels vary from city to city and neighborhood to neighborhood depending upon supplemental taxes. You can figure on roughly 1.25% of the purchase price.

Property Tax and Escrow

Depending on when you close escrow on your new home, the way that you pay your first year of property taxes may vary. If your home is in escrow right after a deadline for submitting a tax payment, your real estate agent should request proof of that payment from the seller. The preliminary report may show that property taxes are still due because it can take up to six weeks for a property tax payment to post.

Important Property Tax Dates for California
February 12nd installment due
March 1Assessment Date
April 102nd installment delinquent
April 15Last day to file for Homeonwer's Exemption at 100% (file by December 1 for 80% exemption
July 1Beginning of Fiscal Tax Year
October (last week)Tax bills mailed
November 11st installment due
December 101st installment delinquent