Buying or selling a home?

Buying a home intimidates many people, but with a bit of up-front planning, it isn't too difficult. I like to supply buyers with a road map of the whole deal so they'll understand exactly what they can expect. Below are my nine steps to buying a home. If you have any questions regarding this information or if you're ready to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase
There are many things you need to take into account before you look for a home. When you begin your search, you'll probably want to make an outline of items you need to have, get a plan of what school districts and neighborhoods you want to live in, and begin planning your budget. A good principle to follow is that your mortgage payment should be 1/3 of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent
That's where I come in. We can arrange a time to meet so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll talk about neighborhoods, school districts in the Kennesaw area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any other economic factors that may potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you begin the loan process. REMAX Unlimited partners with some of the best mortgage professionals in Kennesaw, so you're in great hands. They can assist you with choosing which kind of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

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

As we view the homes, I'll point out positive features and bad ones. And I'll ask you about things you like and dislike. Oftentimes, buyers change their wish list as we view houses and some features become more necessary than others. If that's the case, I'll go back through all the listings one more time and trim it down to the house you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Know the market
My knowledge of the Kennesaw home market is an essential factor in your house search. I'm conscious of all the schools and neighborhoods, and I can let you know certain districts are "hot" and warrant immediate action and the ones that are "cold" and allow for more consideration.

When we view houses, I'll be sure to tell you if the asking price has room for negotiation or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and make sure you ask lots of questions, as every REALTOR will convince you they truly know the market. If things don't add up, call me at (678) 388-1110 or e-mail me at , and I'll be glad to answer any questions you may have. My knowledge of the market will help you stay a step above the rest throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
I'm certain we'll find your dream home in Kennesaw. When we do, I'll precisely develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind and the home, including a lot of contingencies. A few examples are getting financing, completing the inspection, and a clean title.

Upon submitting your purchase offer, you'll likely want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to the home seller to secure an offer to purchase the property. The amount is usually put towards 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 enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Unfortunately most contracts don't close on the beginning offer – it's really common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this alarm you. We'll talk about whether or not to agree to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and move on.

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

Step 7 – Secure a loan
Once the deal is complete, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you're pre-qualified, it shouldn't take very long at all. But you need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll look after all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will supply you with a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) detailing closing costs within three days of accepting your application. You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) of your closing costs from your lender within three days of getting your application. This estimate is formed from the loan amount, and RESPA requirements require that it has to contain all closing costs and be within a narrow range of accuracy. I'll study the estimate and let you know if it all looks good.

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

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, just contact me at (678) 388-1110 or e-mail me at .