Buying or selling a home?

Buying a home is an intimidating event for a lot of people, but with a little planning ahead of time, it's not very complicated. I like to furnish buyers with a road map of the whole deal so they know exactly what they can expect. Below are my nine steps to buying a home. If you have any questions about this information or if you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase
Before you start your home search, there are several things you'll want to contemplate. When you start your search, you'll probably want to make a checklist of items you want, get a plan of what neighborhoods and school districts you'd like to live in, and start working on your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than or around a third of your monthly income is a good guideline to adhere to.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent in West Palm Beach
This is where I come in. I'd like to arrange a time to get together with you and speak with you about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll talk about the mortgage and housing industries, other economic factors that could potentially affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and schools in the West Palm Beach area.

In addition, I'll help you facilitate the loan process. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in West Palm Beach, and I partner with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They can help you choose which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start looking for a home
After our initial meeting, I'll start searching for available homes on the market that meet your needs. I'll get a sneak peek of most of the homes and exclude the bad ones, and then we'll book appointments to view the homes at a time that's convenient for you.

When we tour the houses, I'll call attention to good features, as well as bad ones. I'll even ask you to tell us about things you like and dislike. For the most part, buyers amend their must-have list as we view homes and some items become far more crucial than others. If that's the case, I'll go back through the listings another time and narrow it down to the house you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the market
My knowledge of the West Palm Beach housing market is an essential element in your home search. I'm familiar with all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I can communicate which areas are "hot" and call for prompt action and some that are "cool" and allow for careful examination.

When we tour homes, I'll be sure to tell you if the list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be on guard and make sure you ask lots of questions. Every REALTOR will tell you they know the home market. If things don't add up, just call me at 561-688-1316 or e-mail me at , and I'll be happy to answer any questions you have. My knowledge of the market will help you stay a step above the rest throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home of your dreams
We'll find your dream house in West Palm Beach, and when that happens, I'll precisely develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be made to suit your needs and the home. We'll include several contingencies, such as obtaining financing, finishing the home inspection, and a clear title.

Upon turning in your offer, you'll probably need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the home seller to secure an offer to purchase the property. The amount is often put towards the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
A lot of deals aren't closed on the initial offer, and it's really common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it intimidate you. We'll consider whether or not to accept the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and go on.

Market circumstances will play a part in how aggressively we negotiate the deal. We'll also work within your financing budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll create a contract that's best for you.

Step 7 – Get financing
After we sign the final sales contract, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you're pre-qualified, it won't take much time at all. But you'll want to stay in close contact with your 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) outlining closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of receiving your application. This estimate is formed from the loan amount. RESPA requirements mandate that it has to contain all closing costs and fall within a narrow range of accuracy, and I'll review the estimate and let you know if it all looks good.

Then it's time to close on your house. This will most often occur at a title company or escrow office and will most likely be a smooth and easygoing occasion.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, be sure to call me at 561-688-1316 or e-mail me at .

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