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Buying or selling a home?

Purchasing a home is an intimidating event for most people, but it's not too complicated with some planning ahead of time. I like to give buyers a road map of the entire deal so they'll know exactly what they can expect. Here are my nine steps to buying a home. Should you have any questions about this information or if you're prepared to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to buy a home
Before you begin searching for a home, there are plenty of things you need to consider. It's likely that you'll want to put together an index of items you need, plan for what neighborhoods and school districts you want to live in, and begin planning around your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than or around 1/3 of your net monthly income is a good rule of thumb to go by.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent
This is where I come in. I'd love to book a time to get together with you and communicate with you about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss 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 Delray Beach area.

I can also help you get started on your loan. I work with some of the best mortgage professionals in Delray Beach, so you're in great hands. They can assist you with deciding which kind of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start house-hunting
After we meet for the first time, I'll start looking for available homes on the market that meet your needs. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the homes and remove the duds, and then we'll schedule appointments to tour the houses when it's convenient for you.

As we view houses, I'll point out positive features and negative ones. And I'll ask you to talk about things you like and don't like. Oftentimes, buyers change their wish list as we tour homes and some items become far more important than others. If such is the case, I'll go back through all the listings another time and trim it down to the home you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Know the housing market
An agent's knowledge of the Delray Beach housing market is a leading aspect in your house search. And I can assure you I'm informed of all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I will let you know certain districts are "hot" and call for immediate action and others that are "cold" and allow for more consideration.

When we view houses, I'll be sure to tell you when the seller's list price has room for negotiation and also when I believe the home is "priced to sell." Be on guard and make sure you ask your agent lots of questions, as every real estate agent will convince you they know the home market. If things don't add up, contact me at (561) 212-3347 or e-mail me at , and I'll be glad to answer any questions you have. My market knowledge will help you stay a step ahead through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find your dream home
I'm confident we'll find your dream house in the Delray Beach area. When we do, I'll precisely create your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs and the home, including some contingencies. A few examples are obtaining financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clean title.

When we turn in your offer, you'll need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the home seller to secure the offer to buy the property and is often applied to the closing costs. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close on the home about 30 to 60 days after. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
A lot of deals aren't closed on the beginning offer, and it's extremely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it intimidate you. We'll discuss whether or not to consent 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 deal. In addition, we'll work within your budget. And at the end of the day, we'll create a deal that's best for you.

Step 7 – Secure a loan
After we sign the final sales contract, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-qualified, it won't take long at all. But you need to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll sort out all the property information your lender needs 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 getting your loan application. The estimate is formed from the loan amount. RESPA requirements mandate that it has to include all closing costs and fall within a close range of accuracy, and I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if it all looks good.

Then we'll close on your home. This will most often take place at a title company or escrow office and will probably be a smooth and calm occasion.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, just contact me at (561) 212-3347 or e-mail me at .

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