Buying or selling a home?

Buying a home can be stressful for most people. However, with a little up-front planning, it isn't too complicated. I like to provide buyers with a road map of the entire deal so they'll know exactly what they can expect. These are my nine steps to buying a home. If 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 purchase
Before you begin your home search, there are several things you'll want to do. When you start your search, you'll want to put together a list of must-have features, get a feeling for what neighborhoods and school districts you want to live in, and begin working on your budget. A good rule of thumb to adhere to is that your mortgage payment should be around 30 percent of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Connect with a real estate agent in Cleveland
This is where Partnership Properties can help. I'd love to schedule a time to meet with you and speak with you about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss neighborhoods, school districts in the Cleveland area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any additional economic factors that may affect your purchase today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you facilitate the loan process. I work with some of the finest mortgage professionals in Cleveland, so you'll be in great hands. They will assist you with choosing which kind of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin looking for a home
After we meet, I'll start searching for available houses on the market that meet your needs. I'll research most of the homes and throw out the duds, and then we'll set up appointments to view the houses when it's convenient for you.

As we view houses, I'll call attention to positive features, as well as bad ones. I'll also ask you to talk about things you like and dislike. For the most part, buyers change their must-have list as we view homes and some things become more important than others. If that happens, I'll go back through all the listings once again and trim it down to the home of your dreams.

Step 4 – Understand the market
My knowledge of the Cleveland home market is a leading aspect in your home search. I am mindful of all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I can let you know some areas are "hot" and require prompt action and the ones that are "cool" and allow for more analysis.

When we tour homes, I'll make sure to communicate when the seller's asking price has room for bargaining and when I trust the home is "priced to sell." Be mindful and be sure to ask lots of questions, as any real estate agent will convince you they know the market. If it doesn't seem like they know everything, just call me at (662) 843-8850 or e-mail me at , and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you have. My knowledge of the market will help you stay a step ahead through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find your dream home
I'm positive we'll find your dream home in the Cleveland area. When we do, I'll thoroughly develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored exactly to your needs and the home, including many contingencies, such as acquiring financing, carrying out the inspection, and a clean title.

When we submit your purchase offer, you'll want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to a seller to secure the offer to buy the property. The amount is most often applied to the cost of closing. If the seller accepts your offer, we should close about 30 to 60 days after. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Most deals aren't closed on the first offer – it's really common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it intimidate you. We'll talk over whether or not to take the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on.

Market conditions determine how aggressively we negotiate the deal. We'll also work within your budget. And at the end of the day, we'll compose a deal that's best for you.

Step 7 – Obtain your loan
Once we sign the final contract, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. It won't take much time at all if you've been pre-approved, but you should to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll manage all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining your closing costs from your lender within three days of taking your loan application. The estimate rests on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements dictate that it has to include all closing costs and be within a strict range of accuracy. I'll review the estimate and let you know if everything looks all right.

Then we'll close on your house. This will probably occur at a title company or escrow office and will 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 need anything or have any questions, simply call me at (662) 843-8850 or e-mail me at .

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