Buying or selling a home?

Buying a home is intimidating for most people, but with a bit of up-front planning, it isn't that difficult. I like to give buyers a road map of the entire deal so they know exactly what they can expect. Here are my nine steps to buying a home. Should you have questions about this information or if you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Get ready to buy a home
There are several things you'll want to do before starting your home search. It's likely that you'll want to form a list of items you need to have, plan for what school districts you'd like to live in, and start planning your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than a third of your net monthly income is a good rule to follow.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent in Auburn
This is where I can help. We'll schedule a time to get together so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll talk about neighborhoods, school districts in the Auburn area, the mortgage industry, and any additional economic factors that may affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I'll also assist you in getting started on your loan. I partner with some of Auburn's best mortgage professionals, so you'll be in great hands. They can help you choose which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start your search
After our initial meeting, I'll begin finding available homes on the market that suit your needs. I'll research most of the houses and throw out the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the homes whenever it's most convenient for you.

As we tour houses, I'll identify good features, as well as bad ones. And I'll ask you what things you like and don't like. It's common for buyers to update their wish list as we tour homes and some features become far more necessary than others. If that happens, I'll go back through all the listings another time and narrow it down to the home you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Know the housing market
An agent's awareness of the Auburn market is a crucial agent in your house search. And I can assure you I'm acquainted with all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I will communicate certain neighborhoods are "hot" and demand prompt action and the ones that are "cool" and allow for thoughtful analysis.

As we tour homes, I'll make sure to communicate if the seller's list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be careful and make sure you ask plenty of questions, as any REALTOR will tell you they know the market. If things don't add up, contact me at (315) 258-9147 or e-mail me at , and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. My market knowledge will help you stay a step above the rest throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
I'm positive we'll find your dream house in Auburn. When we do, I'll carefully develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind and the home, including many contingencies. A few examples are acquiring financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clean title.

Upon sending in your offer, you'll need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the seller to secure an offer to purchase the property, and it's usually put towards the closing costs. If the offer is accepted, we should close within 30 to 60 days after. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most deals aren't closed on the initial offer – it's extremely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it alarm you. We'll discuss whether or not to take the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on.

The state of the market will play a vital role in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your financing budget. And at the end of the day, we'll put together a deal that's best for you.

Step 7 – Get financing
Once we sign the final sales contract, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you're pre-qualified, it won't take much time at all. However, you'll need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll look after all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will supply you with a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining closing costs within three days of receiving your loan application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of accepting your loan application. This estimate rests on the loan amount. RESPA requirements mandate that it has to include all closing costs and be within a strict range of accuracy, and I'll go over the estimate and let you know if everything looks okay.

Then we'll close on your house. This will probably take place at a title company or escrow office and will most often be a smooth and relaxing occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, be sure to call me at (315) 258-9147 or e-mail me at .

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