Housing Trust is proud to work with all REALTORS® to help first-time homebuyers interested in down payment assistance programs available in Santa Clara County. If you are a REALTOR® be sure to join the REALTOR® Contact List.
Getting your buyers started
First-time homebuyers contact Housing Trust homebuyer programs staff by completing the online intake form. Our staff will respond via email outlining the steps the homebuyer must take to apply for the requested down payment assistance program.
After pre-qualifying, the homebuyers are referred to program approved lenders. Lenders interested in participating in Housing Trust down payment assistance programs and becoming a program approved lender must follow the steps outlined in the Lending Partners section above.
At lender pre-approval, homebuyer contacts Housing Trust directly to set up an eligibility application submission appointment. After a review of application documents, Housing Trust will determine eligibility of the homebuyer and issue a program eligibility determination letter which is good for 90 days from issue date.
Program eligible first time homebuyers can update their program eligibility determination letter by providing Housing Trust up to date documentation.
How can a REALTOR® help?
Learn about down payment assistance program
Learn about down payment assistance program by attending a local real estate board association class. Housing Trust also presents at the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR). Topics covered at the workshops are:
- Benefits of down payment assistance programs (i.e. – Empower Homebuyers SCC and HELP)
- Program eligibility process for first time homebuyers
- Working and building a network with program approved Certified or Preferred Loan Officers
- A look at local affordable housing options- City of Santa Clara Below Market Purchase (BMP) program
Familiarize yourself with the Housing Trust website
Familiarize yourself with the Housing Trust website, Homeownership Assistance Programs and its application forms. Check out the Steps to Homeownership handout – feel free to print and hand out to buyers. View the Homebuyer Calendar for upcoming homebuyer classes and workshops you can recommend to homebuyers.
Work with a Certified or Preferred Loan Officer
Certified and Preferred Loan Officers attend training to learn about Housing Trust down payment assistance programs and pass an exam. Preferred Loan Officers take additional training and have experience with secondary financing. A REALTOR® can verify with Housing Trust if a Mortgage Loan Originator is certified or request a copy of the Preferred Loan Officer list from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Encourage your buyers to complete the Eligibility Application
Encourage your buyers to complete the Eligibility Application and gather all necessary documents pending the Lender’s Pre-Approval Letter. At receipt of the Pre-Approval Letter from the Lender, buyers must contact Housing Trust staff for an appointment. Buyers can attach the business card of the REALTOR® they are working with to the application for easy reference.
Letter issued to the buyers
Once Housing Trust has determined buyers are qualified, a Housing Trust Program Eligibility Determination Letter will be issued to the buyers naming the program, estimated down payment assistance, and expiration date of the letter. A REALTOR® then assists the buyers in finding and making an offer on a property within the program’s market area. Upon ratification of the purchase agreement, Housing Trust is notified by the REALTOR® and Lender.
Lender downloads the Loan Application
Lender downloads the Loan Application, gathers the required documents and delivers Purchase Loan Application package to Housing Trust. Upon loan approval, notification is sent to the lender and the borrowers. Loan document request is sent to Lender and Housing Trust prepares the loan documents. Buyers sign loan documents at Housing Trust and the documents are sent to the Title Company. Housing Trust works directly with the Title Company to facilitate in the funding of its loan and closing of the transaction.