Buying or selling a home?

With some up-front planning, buying a home isn't all that confusing, but the event is intimidating for a lot of people. So they'll know exactly what to expect, I like to furnish buyers with an outline of the whole deal. Below are my nine steps to purchasing a home. Should you have any questions about any of this information or if you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Get ready to buy
There are several things you should consider before commencing your home search. It's likely that you'll want to assemble a checklist of items you want to have, plan for what neighborhoods and school districts you'd like to live in, and start planning your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than or around a third of your monthly income is a good guideline to adhere to.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent
This is where I come in. We can book a time to get together so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll discuss the mortgage and housing industries, other economic factors that may potentially affect your purchase today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and school districts in the Durham area.

I'll also help you get started on your loan. Seagroves Realty works with some of the best mortgage professionals in Durham, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They'll assist you in figuring out which kind of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start house-hunting
After our first meeting, I'll begin searching for available homes on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the houses and reject the bad ones, and then we'll schedule appointments to view the homes when it's most convenient for you.

When we view the homes, I'll show you the good features and bad ones. I'll even ask you to talk about things you like and don't like. For the most part, buyers amend their must-have list as we tour homes and some features become more substantial than others. If that happens, I'll go back through the listings once more and narrow it down to the house you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Know the market
My knowledge of the Durham market is a leading component in your home search. I am familiar with all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I'll alert you to what districts are "hot" and demand prompt action and others that are "cool" and allow for careful analysis.

As we tour homes, I'll make sure to communicate if the asking price has room for bargaining or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and make sure you ask lots of questions, as every real estate agent in Durham will convince you they comprehend the home market. If things don't add up, call me at 919-317-1115 or e-mail me at , and I'll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. My market expertise will keep you a step ahead throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been looking for
We'll find your dream home in the Durham area, and when that happens, I'll precisely develop your purchase offer. The offer will be made to fit your needs and the home. We'll include some contingencies, such as getting financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clean title.

When sending in your purchase offer, you'll likely want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the seller to secure an offer to buy the property. The amount is most often applied to the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted, we should close about 30 to 60 days after. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Unfortunately most deals aren't closed on the initial offer. It's pretty common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this alarm you. We'll talk over whether or not to take the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and move on.

Market circumstances will play a vital role in how aggressively we negotiate the deal. We'll also work within your financing limits. 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 signed, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're pre-qualified, it shouldn't be a long process at all, but you'll want to stay in close contact with your lender. And I'll deal with 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) outlining your closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of accepting your loan application. The estimate is based on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements require that it has to contain all closing costs and be within a precise range of accuracy. I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if it all looks okay.

Then it's time to close on your house. This will most often occur at a title company or escrow office and will most often be a smooth and comfortable event.

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

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