Buying or selling a home in Durham?

With a little planning ahead of time, buying a home isn't too complicated, but the event can be stressful for a lot of people. So they'll know exactly what they can expect, I will give buyers an overview of the whole deal. These are my nine steps to purchasing a home. When you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm happy to address questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to buy
There are plenty of things you should do before you start searching for a home. You'll probably want to make an outline of must-haves, plan for what neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and begin planning your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than or around 30 percent of your monthly income is a good principle to go by.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent in Durham
That's where I can help. We'll plan 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, school districts in the Durham area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any additional economic factors that could potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

I can also help you start the loan process. I work with some of the finest mortgage professionals in Durham, so you'll be in great hands. They can help you determine which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start looking for a house
After our initial meeting, I'll begin searching for available homes on the market that are a good fit for you. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the houses and eliminate the duds, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the homes at a time that's convenient for you.

As we tour the houses, I'll show you the positive features, as well as negative ones. And I'll ask you what things you like and don't like. Generally, buyers amend their wish list as we view houses and some items become more substantial than others. If such is the case, I'll search the listings one more time and trim it down to the house of your dreams.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the market
An agent's understanding of the Durham market is an imperative element in your house search. And I assure you I'm informed of all the neighborhoods and schools, and I'll let you know certain neighborhoods are "hot" and demand immediate action and the ones that are "cool" and allow for careful examination.

As we tour houses, I'll make sure to communicate if the seller's asking price has room for bargaining or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be careful and be sure to ask lots of questions, as every REALTOR will tell you they understand the home market. If things don't add up, just call me at 919-317-1115 or e-mail me at , and I'll be glad to answer your questions. My knowledge of the market will help you stay a step above the rest throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been looking for
I'm certain we'll find the home of your dreams in the Durham area. When we do, I'll meticulously develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs and the home, including some contingencies. A few examples are getting financing, finishing the inspection, and a clean title.

When submitting your purchase offer, you'll want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a home seller to secure the offer to purchase the property. The amount is typically put towards the closing costs. If the seller accepts your offer, we should close within 30 to 60 days after. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most contracts aren't closed on the initial offer – it's pretty common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it discourage you. We'll talk about whether or not to consent to the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on.

Market conditions will play a large role in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your financing constraints. And when it's all said and done, we'll create a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Obtain your loan
After we sign the final deal, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-approved, it shouldn't take much time at all, but you'll need to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll take care of 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) of your closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of taking your loan application. The estimate rests on the loan amount. RESPA requirements mandate that it has to involve all closing costs and fall within a strict range of accuracy, and I'll study the estimate and let you know if it all looks good.

Then it's time to close on your home. This will most often occur at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and hassle-free affair.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, make sure you call me at 919-317-1115 or e-mail me at .

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