Buying or selling a home in Clearwater?

Buying a home is an intimidating event for many people. However, with a little up-front planning, it's not too difficult. I like to provide buyers with 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. 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 regarding this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase a home
Before you begin searching for a home, there are several things you need to contemplate. You'll probably want to assemble a checklist of must-haves, plan for what neighborhoods and school districts you'd like to live in, and begin working on your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment around 30 percent of your monthly income is a good rule of thumb to follow.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent in Clearwater
This is where I can help. We'll plan a time to meet so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss neighborhoods, schools in the Clearwater area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any other economic factors that may affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I'll also help you begin the loan process. I work with some of Clearwater's best mortgage professionals, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They'll help you figure out which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start looking
After we meet for the first time, I'll begin finding houses on the market that are great for you. I'll get a sneak peek of most of the homes and throw out the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to view the homes at a time that's convenient for you.

When we tour the homes, I'll identify good features, as well as bad ones. I'll even ask you to talk about things you like and don't like. Generally, buyers amend their must-have list as we tour homes and some items become more necessary than others. If that's the situation, I'll go back through all the listings again and narrow it down to the house you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the market
My understanding of the Clearwater home market is a necessary component in your home search. I'm conscious of all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I will let you know which neighborhoods are "hot" and require immediate action and others that are "cool" and allow for cautiousness.

As we view homes, I'll make sure to communicate when the seller's asking price has room for negotiation and also when I know the house is "priced to sell." Every REALTOR in Clearwater will claim to comprehend the home market, but be wary, and make sure you ask lots of questions. If it seems like they don't know everything, contact me at or e-mail me at , and I'll be more than happy to answer your questions. My understanding of the market will keep you a step above the rest through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find your dream house
We'll find your dream home in Clearwater, and when we do, I'll meticulously develop your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind and the home, including some contingencies, such as getting financing, finishing the inspection, and a clean title.

Upon presenting your purchase offer, you'll need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the seller to secure the offer to purchase the property and is usually applied to the cost of closing. If the seller accepts your offer, we should close within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Unfortunately most contracts aren't closed on the first offer, and it's widely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it discourage you. We'll talk about whether or not to agree to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

How aggressively we negotiate the contract depends on market conditions. We'll also work within your financing budget. And at the end of the day, we'll compose a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Get your loan
Upon completing the contract, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're pre-approved, it shouldn't take long at all, but you'll need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll handle all the property information your 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 getting your loan application. This estimate rests on the loan amount. RESPA requirements order that it has to contain all closing costs and fall within a tight range of accuracy, and I'll review the estimate and let you know if it all looks permissible.

Then it's time to close on your house. This will most likely occur at a title company or escrow office and will probably be a smooth and comfortable occurrence.

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

Looking to Buy?

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