Buying or selling a home?

For a lot of people, buying a home can be a stressful event. But with a bit of planning ahead of time, it's not very hard. So they'll understand exactly what they can expect, I'll supply buyers with a road map of the whole deal. Here 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 glad to answer any questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase a home
Before you start your home search, there are a lot of things you should consider. When you start your search, you'll want to make an index of must-haves, get a feeling for what school districts and neighborhoods you want to live in, and begin working on your budget. A good guideline to follow is that your mortgage payment should be a third of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent
That's where I can help. We can schedule a time to get together so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss neighborhoods, schools in the Lexington area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any other economic factors that might affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I'll also help you get started on your loan. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in Lexington, and I work with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They can help you figure out which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin house hunting
After our initial meeting, I'll start finding available houses on the market that are good for you. I'll preview most of the houses and remove the bad ones, and then we'll schedule appointments to view the houses when it's most convenient for you.

As we tour the houses, I'll show you the good features and negative ones. And I'll ask you to talk about things you like and dislike. It's widely common for buyers to change their must-have list as we view homes and some features become more necessary than others. If that happens, I'll look through all the listings again and trim it down to the home you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Understand the housing market
An agent's awareness of the Lexington market is an imperative factor in your home search. And I can assure you I'm mindful of all the schools and neighborhoods, and I'll alert you to some neighborhoods are "hot" and warrant immediate action and others that are "cold" and allow for careful consideration.

When we tour homes, I'll make sure to communicate if the seller's asking price has room for negotiation or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be careful and make sure you ask a lot of questions. Every real estate agent in Lexington will claim to comprehend the housing market. If it seems like they don't know everything, just call me at (803) 957-5566 or e-mail me at , and I'll be more than happy to answer any questions you have. My market expertise will help you stay a step ahead through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been looking for
I'm certain we'll find your dream home in the Lexington area. When we do, I'll precisely develop your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind and the home, including some contingencies. A few examples are obtaining financing, finishing the home inspection, and a clean title.

When turning in your offer, most likely you'll want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to the home seller to secure an offer to purchase the property and is often put towards the closing costs. If your offer is accepted, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days after. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Unfortunately most contracts don't close on the first offer – it's very common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this intimidate you. We'll consider whether or not to take the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and go on.

Market conditions will play a vital role in how aggressively we negotiate the deal. In addition, we'll work within your budget. And at the end of the day, we'll create a contract that is best for you.

Step 7 – Secure a loan
Upon signing the contract, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-qualified, this won't take long at all, but you'll want to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll handle all the property information your lender needs 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 taking your application. The estimate depends on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements order that it has to include all closing costs and fall within a precise range of accuracy. I'll go over the estimate and let you know if everything looks permissible.

Then it's time to close on your house. This will likely happen at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and hassle-free event.

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

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