Buying or selling a home?

Buying a home is intimidating for a lot of people, but it's not that hard with a bit of planning ahead of time. I like to furnish buyers with an outline 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, just contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm glad to answer any questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Prepare to buy a home
There are plenty of things you should do before commencing your home search. It's likely that you'll want to form an index of must-have features, get a feeling for what neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and begin working on your budget. A good principle to go by is that your mortgage payment should be less than or close to 1/3 of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent
This is where I can help. We'll plan a time to meet so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss the mortgage industry, other economic factors that could potentially affect your purchase today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and schools in the Ocala area.

I can also help you get started on your loan. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Ocala, and I work with a lot of them, so you'll be in great hands. They'll assist you with determining which type of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin your home search
After our initial meeting, I'll start searching for homes on the market that are good for you. I'll preview many of the houses and exclude the bad ones, and then we'll book appointments to tour the houses when it's most convenient for you.

As we view homes, I'll identify good features and negative ones. I'll also ask you to point out what things you like and dislike. It's widely common for buyers to update their must-have list as we tour homes and some items become far more necessary than others. If that happens, I'll go back through the listings once more and trim it down to the house you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Comprehend the market
An agent's understanding of the Ocala housing market is a fundamental component in your house search. And I assure you I'm familiar with all the schools and neighborhoods, and I'll let you know what areas are "hot" and call for prompt action and the ones that are "cold" and allow for thoughtful consideration.

When we tour houses, I'll make sure to communicate if the asking price has room for bargaining or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." Any REALTOR will tell you they understand the housing market, but take notice, and be sure to ask your agent a lot of questions. If it appears they don't know everything, contact me at 352-237-4343 or e-mail me at , and I'd be glad to answer your questions. My market knowledge will help you stay a step ahead through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
I'm certain we'll find your dream house in the Ocala area. When that happens, I'll meticulously create your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored exactly to your needs and the home, including some contingencies, such as getting financing, carrying out the inspection, and a clean title.

When submitting your purchase offer, you'll need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to the home seller to secure an offer to purchase the property, and it's often applied to the closing costs. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close within 30 to 60 days after. This allows sufficient time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Unfortunately most contracts aren't closed on the beginning offer – it's pretty common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this discourage you. We'll consider whether or not to consent to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and go on.

Market conditions determine how aggressively we negotiate the contract. In addition, we'll work within your financing budget. And at the end of the day, we'll assemble a contract that is best for you.

Step 7 – Obtain a loan
Once we sign the final sales contract, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. This shouldn't take much time at all if you're pre-qualified, but you should to stay in close contact with your lender. And I'll sort out all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing closing costs from your lender within three days of accepting your loan application. The estimate rests on the loan amount. RESPA requirements order that it has to include all closing costs and fall within a precise range of accuracy, and I'll go over the estimate and let you know if it all looks adequate.

Then we'll close on your home. This will probably occur at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and pleasant occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, be sure to call me at 352-237-4343 or e-mail me at .

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