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

For a lot of people, purchasing a home can be a stressful event. However, with a little up-front planning, it isn't all that difficult. I like to supply buyers with a road map of the whole deal so they understand exactly what to expect. Here are my nine steps to buying a home. When you're ready to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm glad to address questions you have regarding this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to buy a home
There are plenty of things you should contemplate before commencing your home search. When you begin your search, you'll probably want to form an index of items you want, get a plan of what neighborhoods and school districts you'd like to live in, and start working on your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than or around 30 percent of your monthly income is a good rule to follow.

Step 2 – Get in touch with a real estate agent
This is where Coldwell Banker High Country Realty can help. We can plan a time to get together so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, schools in the Murphy area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that could potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

I can also assist you in getting started on your loan. There are some great mortgage professionals in Murphy, and I partner with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They'll assist you with figuring out which type of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

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 research many of the houses and throw out the bad ones, and then we'll book appointments to tour the homes whenever it's convenient for you.

When we view homes, I'll identify good features, as well as negative ones. And I'll ask you to tell us about things you like and dislike. It's common for buyers to update their list of must-haves as we tour houses and some items become more important than others. If such is the case, I'll look through the listings once again and narrow it down to the house you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Understand the housing market
My understanding of the Murphy housing market is a fundamental agent in your home search. I'm mindful of all the schools and neighborhoods, and I will communicate certain areas are "hot" and demand prompt action and some that are "cool" and allow for more analysis.

As we tour homes, I'll let you know when the asking price has room for negotiation and when I know the home is "priced to sell." Be careful and make sure you ask your agent lots of questions, as every REALTOR will tell you they truly know the housing market. If it seems like they don't know everything, contact me at 828-835-8500 or e-mail me at , and I'll be glad to answer your questions. My understanding of the market will keep you a step ahead throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find your dream house
I'm sure we'll find your dream home in the Murphy area. When that happens, I'll precisely create your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be made to fit your needs and the home. We'll include some contingencies, such as getting financing, finishing the home inspection, and a clear title.

When we present your offer, you'll need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to a seller to secure an offer to buy the property. The amount is usually put towards the closing costs. If the seller accepts your offer, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
A lot of deals aren't closed on the beginning offer – it's widely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this alarm you. We'll figure out whether or not to take 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. We'll also work within your budget. And at the end of the day, we'll formulate a contract that's best for you.

Step 7 – Get a loan
Upon completion of the deal, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're pre-qualified, this won't be a long process at all. But you'll want to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll sort out all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing your closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of accepting your application. This estimate depends on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements mandate that it has to contain all closing costs and be within a narrow range of accuracy. I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if everything looks adequate.

Then we'll close on your house. This will likely take place at a title company or escrow office and will probably be a smooth and peaceful occasion.

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

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