Buying Journey With Michael

Unlock the door to your dream home in the Bay Area with Michael Katwan guiding every step of your journey. Michael's stellar reputation for navigating buyers through the complexities of the real estate market, ensuring they land their dream home efficiently, stands unmatched. He prides himself on a strategy that sees most of his clients' offers accepted on their first attempt, a rarity in the fiercely competitive Bay Area landscape. With Michael, you gain exclusive access to off-market listings and insights that circumvent traditional hurdles, paving the way for a smoother, more advantageous purchase.

Process to Buy a Home

Navigating Your Dream Home Purchase with Michael

Michael's commitment extends beyond just finding you a home; he's dedicated to securing the best price and terms, embodying the true essence of buyer representation. From the initial meet-up to the moment you step into your new home, Michael's tailored approach ensures your buying experience is not only rewarding but truly exceptional.


Step 01

Select Your Agent

Choose a Top-Rated Real Estate Agent

Michael emphasizes the need for pre-approval right at the start. It's not just paperwork; it's your ticket to a smoother buying process. With pre-approval, you show sellers you're serious and ready to buy, which can be a game-changer in negotiations.

A close up of the back of a laptop with icons that appear to be a hologram in front of the user of the laptop.

Step 02

A closeup of papers with a sticky note saying "mortgage pre-approval". There are a blue and yellow highlighter next to them.

Get Pre-approved

The Importance of Pre-Approval

Michael emphasizes the need for pre-approval right at the start. It's not just paperwork; it's your ticket to a smoother buying process. Here's what being preapproved can help with:

  • Gaining a clear understanding of your financial situation
  • Knowing your home affordability range
  • Enhancing your purchasing power when making an offer

With pre-approval, you show sellers you're serious and ready to buy, which can be a game-changer in negotiations.

The Pre-Approval Process

To get started with the pre-approval process, you will need to provide your lender with the following documents:


  • Current pay stubs (last 2 months)
  • W-2s or 1099s (last 2 years)
  • Tax returns (last 2 years)


  • Bank statements
  • Investment/brokerage firm statements
  • Net worth of businesses owned (if applicable)


  • Credit card statements
  • Loan statements
  • Alimony/child support payments (if applicable)
Closeup of a stack of documents that says mortgage application documents.

Step 03

A photo of a kitchen in a luxury home. The counters are marble with a black pentagon tiles backsplash. The cabinets are white. You can see the living room with a nice fireplace with black tile.

Begin Home Search

With Michael, searching for your home goes beyond scrolling through listings online. He'll hand-pick properties that match what you're looking for and walk you through them, sharing his insights on each. It’s about finding the right place in the right area at the right price.

Step 04

Making Offers

When it's time to make an offer, Michael's expertise becomes invaluable. He knows the Bay Area market inside out.

Factors that Influence the Market Value of a Home:

  • Time on the market
  • Price reductions
  • Comparable market analysis
  • Multiple offers
  • Included items in the sale
  • List-to-sale price ratio
  • Seller's reasons for selling
  • Assumable loan or financing

He'll guide you on how much to offer and what terms to set, aiming to make your offer as attractive as possible to the seller without overshooting your budget.

Papers, calculator, pen and a pair of glasses next to documents that say offer to purchase real estate.

Step 05

A woman is giving guidance to another woman that is signing papers to complete a real estate transaction.

Enter Contract

After your offer gets the green light from the seller, it's time for a small celebration because Michael will let you know you're now officially on the path to homeownership, with a contract in hand! This kicks off the loan process and the clock starts ticking on meeting any conditions, known as contingencies, that were part of your agreement. These might include getting the home inspected, appraised, and your financing fully approved. During this critical period, your earnest money deposit is safeguarded until you're confident all conditions have been satisfactorily addressed.

Step 06

Loan Submission

Once your offer is accepted and the contract is signed, Michael will coordinate with the lender to review your contract. As you move into the escrow phase, Michael will guide you through paying any required fees and submitting your earnest money deposit. This deposit shows you're serious about the purchase and goes towards your down payment. He'll also help you understand the process of locking in your mortgage rate and walk you through the lender's disclosure forms. These forms will cover legal information about your loan, the terms, and any closing costs or prepayments you need to know about. Once everything is signed, your lender will prepare your loan application for the final review.

A closeup of a person hovering over a submit button on a keyboard

Step 07

A chalk board with a blue border that has some drawn out designs with the text property value. There is a coffee cup next to it.

Home Appraisal

Once your purchase agreement is in place, Michael will ensure the lender orders an appraisal for the property. He's on top of this step, ready to speed things up if necessary. You'll be expected to cover the cost of the appraisal ahead of time. When the appraisal is done, and the value of the property assessed, you'll receive a detailed report. This comes your way along with any insights from the lender, usually just a few days post-inspection. Michael will go through this report with you, clarifying any points and answering questions. Following this, the appraisal details, along with all your loan documents, are forwarded to the Underwriter for the final check.

Step 08

Underwriting of the loan

The Underwriter will take a close look at all your financial information to evaluate the overall viability and risk of your loan application. This review will include an examination of your credit history, your assets, your income, and your debt-to-income ratios, comparing them against the standards set by both the lender and any relevant investors. Once the Underwriter has thoroughly assessed your loan documents, they will make a decision to either approve or reject your application. If you receive approval, the lender will outline a set of requirements you must meet to finalize the loan. These requirements often involve confirming your tax records with the IRS, verifying your employment details, and reviewing the appraisal report of your future home. It's crucial to address and return these conditions swiftly to the lender, allowing the Underwriter to complete their final review and move forward with your loan.

A house keychain on a clipboard that contains papers saying mortgage application form

Step 09

A person with a pen writing something on papers on a flat surface that looks like a table.

Signing Documents

After the Underwriter approves your documentation and the appraisal of the home, they'll give the go-ahead for closing. The lender will then finalize your loan's details and prepare the necessary documents for your signature. Michael will arrange for you to meet with the Escrow Officer or a certified notary to sign these documents, marking one of the final steps in your home-buying journey.

In the days leading up to the closing, you'll have the chance to do one last inspection of the property. This final walk-through ensures that the home is exactly as you expected, including the completion of any repairs the seller agreed to make.

With all conditions of the sale met, the Escrow Officer collects and organizes your closing documents into what's known as the funding package. This package is then sent back to the lender for a final review. Upon approval, the lender's Funder finalizes everything by sending the closing funds to the Escrow Officer. These funds are then distributed to finalize the purchase. At this point, the transaction is complete, paving the way for you to take ownership of your new home.

Step 10

Making Offers

After the loan for your new home is funded, the crucial step of filing your loan documents with the county takes place, typically the following day. Michael will be the one to share the great news with you as soon as everything is officially recorded, marking the moment you become the new homeowner. This transition from buyer to owner is a major milestone, and arranging to collect your keys from Michael is the final step. He'll ensure you know exactly when and where to meet, turning the key collection into a small celebration of the journey you've undertaken together. It's more than just receiving keys; it's about stepping into a new chapter of your life with excitement and a sense of achievement. Congratulations on reaching this moment and becoming the owner of your new home!

A couple getting keys to their new home. They look happy
Properties available now

Featured Bay Area Listings

Discover Your Next Home with Michael. From family residences in Danville to upscale condos in San Jose, these listings showcase the diversity and vibrancy of the Bay Area real estate market. Michael is dedicated to assisting you through every step of finding your perfect home. Explore his listings and reach out with any questions or to schedule a viewing. Your dream property awaits.

Track Record of Success

Success in Numbers

"Success in Numbers" delves deeper into Michael's proven track record within the competitive Bay Area real estate market. His achievements are not just a testament to his skill but also to the trust and relationships he's built. With a significant sales volume and numerous satisfied clients, Michael's statistics reflect his commitment to excellence and personalized service.


Million In Sales


Happy Clients

Top 1%

of Agents Nationwide

what Michael's clients say

Real Stories, Real Results

Hear firsthand from those who've experienced Michael Katwan's exceptional service and dedication. Client testimonials highlight the personalized attention and unwavering commitment Michael brings to every real estate transaction. These stories and reviews reflect his dedication to excellence, providing insight into the experience of partnering with him for Bay Area real estate needs.