Buying or selling a home? Jason Compton can help.

Purchasing a home can be stressful for a lot of people, but it's not very difficult with a bit of up-front planning. I like to give buyers an overview of the entire deal so they'll know exactly what to expect. Below are my nine steps to purchasing a home. When you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm happy to address questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase
There are several things you need to contemplate before beginning your home search. You'll most likely want to create an index of items you want to have, get an idea of what school districts and neighborhoods you want to live in, and begin planning your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is around a third of your monthly income is a good rule of thumb to follow.

Step 2 – Contact a real estate agent in Lexington
This is where I come in. We'll set up 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 the mortgage industry, other economic factors that might affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and school districts in the Lexington area.

I'll also assist you in getting started on your loan. There are some great mortgage professionals in Lexington, and I work with a lot of them, 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 looking
After we meet for the first time, I'll begin finding available houses on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll preview most of the homes and eliminate the bad ones, and then we'll schedule appointments to view the homes whenever it's most convenient for you.

As we view the houses, I'll point out good features and bad ones. I'll even ask you what things you like and don't like. Oftentimes, buyers revise their must-have list as we view homes and some items become far more necessary than others. If such is the case, I'll go back through the listings once again and trim it down to the house you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Know the market
My understanding of the Lexington housing market is a fundamental factor in your home search. I am familiar with all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I can alert you to some areas are "hot" and warrant prompt action and some that are "cold" and allow for thoughtful analysis.

When we view houses, I'll let you know when the list price has room for bargaining and also when I think the home is "priced to sell." Any real estate agent will convince you they comprehend the market, but be wary, and be sure to ask a lot of questions. If things don't add up, call me at (803) 957-5566 or e-mail me at , and I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have. My market knowledge will keep you a step above the rest through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been waiting for
We'll find the house of your dreams in Lexington, and when we do, I'll carefully develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be made to fit your needs and the home. We'll include many contingencies, such as acquiring financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clean title.

When turning in your purchase offer, you'll need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the home seller to secure the offer to purchase the property and is often put towards the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted by the seller, we should close about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Unfortunately most deals don't close on the first offer, and it's extremely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this alarm you. We'll talk over whether or not to agree to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

Market circumstances determine how aggressively we negotiate the deal. We'll also work within your financing constraints. And at the end of the day, we'll put together a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Secure financing
Once the contract is finalized, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you're pre-approved, this shouldn't take long at all. However, you should to stay in close contact with your lender. And I'll look after all the property information your mortgage lender will need 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 accepting your application. The estimate depends on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements order that it has to include all closing costs and be within a precise range of accuracy. I'll go over the estimate and let you know if it all looks permissible.

Then it's time to close on your house. This should take place at a title company or escrow office and will likely be a smooth and pleasant event.

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

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