Buying or selling a home? Big Bear Real Estate can help.

Buying a home is a stressful event for many people. However, with some planning ahead of time, it isn't all that complex. I like to give buyers an overview of the entire deal so they'll understand exactly what to expect. Here are my nine steps to purchasing a home. Should you have questions about this information or if you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to buy a home
Before you start searching for a home, there are a lot of things you need to take into account. You'll most likely want to make an index of must-have features, plan for what neighborhoods you want to live in, and begin working on your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than or close to 30 percent of your monthly income is a good rule of thumb to go by.

Step 2 – Contact a real estate agent in Troy
This is where I can help. We can book a time to meet so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll talk about everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the Troy area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that might affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I'll also help you start the loan process. Big Bear Real Estate works with some of Troy's best mortgage professionals, so you'll be in great hands. They will assist you in figuring out which kind of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

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

When we view the houses, I'll call attention to good features and bad ones. And I'll ask you to tell us about things you like and don't like. Usually, buyers change their must-have list as we view homes and some items become far more necessary than others. If that's the case, I'll look through the listings again and trim it down to the home you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Know the market
My knowledge of the Troy market is a fundamental component in your home search. I am acquainted with all the neighborhoods and schools, and I can alert you to some areas are "hot" and call for prompt action and some that are "cool" and allow for thoughtful consideration.

As we view homes, I'll let you know if the seller's list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." Be on guard and make sure you ask your agent a lot of questions, as every real estate agent in Troy will claim to truly know the market. If things don't add up, contact me at 802-744-6844 or e-mail me at , and I'll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. My market knowledge will help you stay a step ahead throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
I'm positive we'll find the home of your dreams in Troy. When we do, I'll carefully develop your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind and the home, including many contingencies, such as obtaining financing, finishing the home inspection, and a clean title.

Upon sending in your purchase offer, you'll need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to a home seller to secure the offer to purchase the property. The amount is usually applied to the closing costs. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Unfortunately most deals aren't closed on the beginning offer, and it's extremely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this discourage you. We'll talk about whether or not to take the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and move on.

Market conditions will play a part in how aggressively we negotiate the deal. We'll also work within your budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll create a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Obtain financing
Upon finalizing the contract, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-qualified, it won't be a long process at all. But you need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll care for all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will provide you with a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing closing costs within three days of getting your application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of taking your loan application. This estimate is formed from the loan amount. RESPA requirements dictate that it has to include all closing costs and be within a close range of accuracy, and I'll go over the estimate and let you know if everything looks okay.

Then it's time to close on your home. This will likely occur at a title company or escrow office and will most often be a smooth and hassle-free event.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, just contact me at 802-744-6844 or e-mail me at .

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