Buying or selling a home?

With a little up-front planning, buying a home isn't that complicated, but the event can be stressful for many people. So they'll understand exactly what they can expect, I like to give buyers an outline of the whole deal. Here are my nine steps to buying a home. Should you have questions about any of this information or if you're prepared to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to buy a home
Prior to beginning your home search, there are plenty of things you'll want to consider. You'll probably want to create a check list of items you need to have, get a plan of what neighborhoods and school districts you want to live in, and begin working on your budget. A good rule of thumb to go by is that your mortgage payment should be less than 30 percent of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Contact a real estate agent in Concord
That's where I come in. I'd be more than happy to arrange a time to meet with you and speak with you about your real estate needs and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss the mortgage and housing industries, other economic factors that may affect your purchase today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and school districts in the Concord area.

In addition, I'll help you facilitate the loan process. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in Concord, and I work with a lot of them, so you're in great hands. They will assist you with determining which type of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin house-hunting
Following our initial meeting, I'll start looking for homes on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll preview most of the homes and throw out the bad ones, and then we'll book appointments to view the houses when it's convenient for you.

As we tour the homes, I'll call attention to good features and negative ones. I'll also ask you what things you like and dislike. It's pretty common for buyers to update their must-have list as we tour houses and some items become far more necessary than others. If that's the situation, I'll look through all the listings once again and narrow it down to the home you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Know the market
My knowledge of the Concord housing market is an essential component in your house search. I am familiar with all the schools and neighborhoods, and I will alert you to which areas are "hot" and demand prompt action and some that are "cold" and allow for more examination.

As we view houses, I'll let you know when the seller's asking price has room for bargaining and when I trust the house is "priced to sell." Any real estate agent will claim to know the market, but be on guard, and be sure to ask your agent a lot of questions. If it seems like they don't know everything, contact me at 7047921900 or e-mail me at , and I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have. My understanding of the market will help you stay a step above the rest throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been looking for
We'll find your dream home in the Concord area, 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 a lot of contingencies, such as getting financing, finishing the home inspection, and a clear title.

When sending in your offer, you'll probably want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a home seller to secure the offer to buy the property. The amount is often put towards the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days after. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most contracts aren't closed on the initial offer – it's very common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this alarm you. We'll discuss whether or not to take the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on.

How aggressively we negotiate the deal depends on the state of the market. In addition, we'll work within your budget. And at the end of the day, we'll assemble a deal that is best for you.

Step 7 – Get your loan
Once we sign the final sales contract, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-approved, this won't take long at all, but you'll want to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll take care of all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of receiving your application. The estimate rests on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements order that it has to involve all closing costs and be within a strict range of accuracy. 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 probably occur at a title company or escrow office and is often a smooth and pleasant 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 7047921900 or e-mail me at .

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