Buying or selling a home?

Purchasing a home is intimidating for a lot of people, but with a little planning ahead of time, it's not all that complicated. I like to supply buyers with a road map of the whole deal so they'll know exactly what they can expect. Here are my nine steps to buying a home. Should you have questions regarding this information or if you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to buy a home
Before you start your home search, there are several things you should take into account. When you start your search, you'll probably want to assemble a checklist of features you want, plan for what school districts and neighborhoods you want to live in, and start planning your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than a third of your net monthly income is a good guideline to follow.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent in Saint Cloud
That's where I can help. We'll schedule a time to meet so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll talk about everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the Saint Cloud area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that may affect your purchase today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you begin the loan process. Preferred Real Estate partners with some of Saint Cloud's best mortgage professionals, so you'll be in great hands. They'll help you decide which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start house hunting
After our initial meeting, I'll start looking for homes on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll research most of the houses and ignore the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to view the homes at a time that's convenient for you.

When we tour the homes, I'll show you the positive features and negative ones. I'll even ask you to point out what things you like and dislike. For the most part, buyers revise their list of must-haves as we tour homes and some things become more essential than others. If that's the case, I'll search all the listings one more time and trim it down to the house you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Understand the market
My awareness of the Saint Cloud home market is a crucial factor in your house search. I am acquainted with all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I'll communicate certain areas are "hot" and demand prompt action and the ones that are "cold" and allow for thoughtful analysis.

When we view houses, I'll be sure to tell you if the asking price has room for bargaining or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and make sure you ask a lot of questions, as every real estate agent in Saint Cloud will tell you they understand the home market. If things don't add up, just call me at (407) 791-3116 or e-mail me at , and I'd be glad to answer any questions you might have. My knowledge of the market will keep you a step ahead throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
We'll find the house of your dreams in the Saint Cloud area, and when that happens, I'll precisely develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind and the home, including several contingencies, such as obtaining financing, completing the inspection, and a clean title.

When sending in your purchase offer, most likely you'll need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the home seller to secure an offer to buy the property, and it's typically put towards the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted, we should close about 30 to 60 days after. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most deals don't close on the initial offer – it's widely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this discourage you. We'll talk about whether or not to consent to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and go on.

How aggressively we negotiate the deal depends on the state of the market. In addition, we'll work within your financing constraints. And when it's all said and done, we'll formulate a deal that's best for you.

Step 7 – Obtain a loan
Upon completion of the contract, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-approved, this won't take much time at all, but you'll want to stay in close contact with your lender. And I'll manage all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining closing costs from your lender within three days of taking your loan application. The estimate depends on the loan amount. RESPA requirements order that it has to involve all closing costs and fall within a narrow range of accuracy, and I'll examine the estimate and let you know if everything looks okay.

Then we'll close on your house. This will probably happen at a title company or escrow office and will most likely be a smooth and peaceful occasion.

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 contact me at (407) 791-3116 or e-mail me at .

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