Buying or selling a home?

Buying a home is a stressful event for many people, but with some up-front planning, it isn't too complex. So they know exactly what they can expect, I'll provide buyers with an outline of the entire 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 – Get ready to purchase a home
Before you start looking for a home, there are plenty of things you'll want to consider. It's likely that you'll want to create an outline of must-have features, get a plan of what school districts you'd like to live in, and start planning your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than or close to a third of your net monthly income is a good rule to adhere to.

Step 2 – Contact a real estate agent
This is where I come in. We can arrange a time to get together so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about everything from neighborhoods, schools in the Lexington area, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that might affect your buying decision today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you facilitate the loan process. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Lexington, and I work with a lot of them, so you'll be in great hands. They will help you decide which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin your search
After we meet, I'll begin searching for homes on the market that suit your needs. I'll preview many of the homes and throw out the bad ones, and then we'll schedule appointments to tour the homes when it's convenient for you.

When we tour houses, I'll show you the good features and negative ones. I'll even ask you what things you like and dislike. It's widely common for buyers to change their must-have list as we tour homes and some things become far more substantial than others. If that's the case, I'll search the listings once again and narrow it down to the house you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Understand the housing market
My awareness of the Lexington housing market is a necessary agent in your house search. I'm conscious of all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I will communicate certain districts are "hot" and warrant prompt action and the ones that are "cold" and allow for more consideration.

As we tour houses, I'll be sure to tell you if the seller's list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." Any real estate agent in Lexington will convince you they understand the market, but keep an eye out, and make sure you ask a lot of questions. If things don't add up, just call me at (803) 957-5566 or e-mail me at , and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. My understanding of the market will keep you a step ahead throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
We'll find the home of your dreams in Lexington, and when that happens, I'll meticulously develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be made to suit your needs and the home. We'll include many contingencies, such as obtaining financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clean title.

When sending in your offer, you'll likely want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the seller to secure the offer to purchase the property and is usually applied to the closing costs. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows sufficient time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Unfortunately most contracts don't close on the beginning offer – it's pretty common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it alarm you. We'll discuss whether or not to agree to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and go on.

The state of the market determines how aggressively we negotiate the contract. In addition, we'll work within your financing constraints. And when it's all said and done, we'll put together a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Get financing
Upon completion of the contract, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-approved, this shouldn't take much time at all. But you need to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll manage all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your lender will send you a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining your closing costs within three days of taking your loan application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining your closing costs from your lender within three days of accepting your loan application. The estimate is formed from the loan amount. RESPA requirements dictate that it has to contain all closing costs and be within a precise range of accuracy, and I'll review the estimate and let you know if it all looks all right.

Then we'll close on your house. This should occur at a title company or escrow office and will most often be a smooth and relaxing event.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, make sure you contact me at (803) 957-5566 or e-mail me at .

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