Buying or selling a home? Coldwell Banker High Country Realty can help.

Buying a home is intimidating for most people. However, with some planning ahead of time, it isn't all that confusing. I like to supply buyers with an outline of the whole deal so they'll understand exactly what to expect. Below are my nine steps to buying a home. Should you have questions regarding any of this information or if you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase a home
Before you start looking for a home, there are plenty of things you need to do. When you start your search, you'll probably want to put together an index of features you need, get an idea of 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 around a third of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent
This is where Coldwell Banker High Country Realty can help. I'd be more than happy to arrange a time to get together with you and speak with you about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll talk about neighborhoods, school districts in the Murphy area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any other economic factors that may affect your buying decision today or in the future.

In addition, I'll assist you in getting started on your loan. I partner with some of the best mortgage professionals in Murphy, so you'll be in great hands. They will help you choose which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start your search
After our initial meeting, I'll begin looking for available homes on the market that meet your needs. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the homes and exclude the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to view the houses at a time that's convenient for you.

As we tour the homes, I'll point out good features, as well as negative ones. And I'll ask you to point out what things you like and don't like. Frequently, buyers update their list of must-haves as we view houses and some items become more crucial than others. If that's the case, I'll search the listings another time and narrow it down to the home you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Understand the housing market
Your agent's awareness of the Murphy home market is a crucial aspect in your home search. And I can assure you I'm informed of all the neighborhoods and schools, and I can let you know certain areas are "hot" and require prompt action and some that are "cool" and allow for thoughtful consideration.

As we view houses, I'll let you know if the seller's asking price has room for bargaining or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and make sure you ask plenty of questions, as any real estate agent in Murphy will tell you they truly understand the market. If it doesn't seem like they know everything, call me at 828-835-8500 or e-mail me at , and I'll be happy to answer your questions. My understanding of the market will help you stay a step ahead throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been looking for
I'm sure we'll find your dream house in Murphy. When we do, I'll carefully develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs and the home, including a lot of contingencies. A few examples are obtaining financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clean title.

When we turn in your offer, you'll want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a home seller to secure the offer to purchase the property and is typically put towards the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted, we should close within 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 initial offer – it's pretty common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this discourage you. We'll talk about whether or not to agree to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on.

How aggressively we negotiate the deal depends on the state of the market. In addition, we'll work within your financing budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll formulate a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Obtain your loan
Upon finalizing the contract, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you're pre-approved, this shouldn't take very long at all. However, you'll need to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll care for all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of getting your application. The estimate rests on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements mandate that it has to involve all closing costs and fall within a narrow range of accuracy. I'll examine the estimate and let you know if it all looks okay.

Then we'll close on your home. This should happen at a title company or escrow office and will most likely be a smooth and easygoing event.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, make sure you contact me at 828-835-8500 or e-mail me at .

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