Buying or selling a home in Clearwater? Park Property Group can help.

Buying a home intimidates most people. However, with a little planning ahead of time, it isn't very confusing. I like to supply buyers with a road map of the entire deal so they'll understand exactly what they can expect. Here are my nine steps to buying a home. Should you have any questions regarding any of 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 start your home search, there are a lot of things you'll want to take into account. When you begin your search, you'll probably want to put together a checklist of features you need to have, get a plan of what neighborhoods and school districts you want to live in, and start working on your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than 1/3 of your net monthly income is a good rule to go by.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent
This is where I can help. We can schedule a time to meet so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll talk about neighborhoods, school districts in the Clearwater area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any additional economic factors that could affect your purchase today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you get started on your loan. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Clearwater, and I work with a lot of them, so you're in great hands. They can help you figure out which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start looking for a home
Following our initial meeting, I'll start looking for available houses on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the homes and reject the bad ones, and then we'll book appointments to view the homes whenever it's most convenient for you.

As we tour homes, I'll call attention to positive features and negative ones. And I'll ask you to point out what things you like and dislike. It's pretty common for buyers to update their wish list as we view homes and some features become far more substantial than others. If that's the case, I'll look through the listings another time and narrow it down to the house you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Understand the market
An agent's awareness of the Clearwater home market is a fundamental component in your house search. And I can assure you I'm acquainted with all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I'll communicate what neighborhoods are "hot" and warrant immediate action and others that are "cold" and allow for thoughtful analysis.

As we tour homes, I'll let you know when the seller's asking price has room for bargaining and also when I trust the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be careful and make sure you ask plenty of questions. Any real estate agent will tell you they comprehend the housing market. If things don't add up, just call me at or e-mail me at , and I'd be happy to answer any questions you have. My understanding of the market will keep you a step ahead throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home of your dreams
We'll find the home of your dreams in Clearwater, and when we do, I'll precisely create your home purchase offer. The offer will be made to suit your needs and the home. We'll include a lot of contingencies, such as acquiring financing, carrying out the inspection, and a clear title.

Upon submitting your purchase offer, most likely 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 typically put towards the closing costs. If the seller accepts the offer, 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 don't close on the initial offer. It's widely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it alarm you. We'll discuss whether or not to take the counter offer, submit 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 at the end of the day, we'll put together a contract that's best for you.

Step 7 – Obtain a loan
Upon completing the deal, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-approved, it won't be a long process at all, but you'll need to stay in close contact with your lender. And I'll care for 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) detailing your closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of receiving your application. This estimate is based on the loan amount. RESPA requirements dictate that it has to include all closing costs and fall within a strict range of accuracy, and I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if everything looks adequate.

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

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

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