Buying or selling a home?

For most people, buying a home can be an intimidating event. But with a little planning ahead of time, it's not too complex. I like to give buyers an overview of the entire deal so they understand exactly what to expect. Here are my nine steps to buying a home. When you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm glad to address any questions you have regarding this information.

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase a home
There are several things you should do prior to starting your home search. You'll want to put together a checklist of must-have features, get a feeling for what neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and begin planning around your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than 1/3 of your monthly income is a good principle to go by.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent
That's where I come in. I'd love to schedule a time to get together with you and communicate with you regarding your real estate needs and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss neighborhoods, schools in the Saint Cloud area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any other economic factors that may potentially affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I'll also assist you in getting started on your loan. Preferred Real Estate works with some of Saint Cloud's finest mortgage professionals, so you'll be in great hands. They'll help you figure out which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin your home search
After our initial meeting, I'll start looking for houses on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll preview most of the houses and throw out the duds, and then we'll schedule appointments to view the homes whenever it's convenient for you.

As we tour the homes, I'll point out good features, as well as bad ones. I'll also ask you about things you like and don't like. It's common for buyers to amend their must-have list as we tour homes and some features become far more substantial than others. If that happens, I'll look through all the listings one more time and trim it down to the home of your dreams.

Step 4 – Know the market
My awareness of the Saint Cloud home market is an imperative aspect in your house search. I am acquainted with all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I will communicate some areas are "hot" and require prompt action and the ones that are "cool" and allow for cautiousness.

When we tour homes, I'll let you know if the asking price has room for bargaining or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." Any REALTOR in Saint Cloud will convince you they understand the housing market, but beware, and make sure you ask your agent plenty of questions. If it doesn't seem like they know everything, contact me at (407) 791-3116 or e-mail me at , and I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have. My market expertise will help you stay a step ahead throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been looking for
We'll find your dream house in Saint Cloud, and when we do, I'll thoroughly develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind and the home, including some contingencies, such as acquiring financing, finishing the home inspection, and a clean title.

When we present your purchase offer, you'll likely need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the seller to secure an offer to buy the property, and it's typically put towards the closing costs. If the seller accepts your offer, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Unfortunately most contracts aren't closed on the beginning offer, and it's really common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this alarm you. We'll talk about whether or not to consent to the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and go on.

Market conditions determine how aggressively we negotiate the contract. In addition, we'll work within your financing limits. And at the end of the day, we'll compose a deal that is best for you.

Step 7 – Secure your loan
Upon finalizing the deal, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. This shouldn't be a long process at all if you've been pre-approved, but you'll need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll care for all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

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

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

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, be sure to contact me at (407) 791-3116 or e-mail me at .

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