Buying or selling a home? Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage can help.

With some up-front planning, purchasing a home isn't very confusing, but the event is intimidating for a lot of people. I like to supply buyers with an outline of the whole deal so they understand exactly what they can expect. These are my nine steps to purchasing a home. If you have questions regarding any of this information or if you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to buy a home
Before you commence your home search, there are plenty of things you'll want to do. You'll most likely want to make a list of features you need, get a feeling for what neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and begin working on your budget. A good guideline to follow is that your mortgage payment should be less than or around 30 percent of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent
This is where Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage comes in. We'll schedule a time to get together so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll talk about the mortgage and housing industries, other economic factors that could affect your purchase today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and schools in the Englewood area.

I'll also help you get started on your loan. I work with some of Englewood's best mortgage professionals, so you're in great hands. They will help you figure out which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start house-hunting
Following our initial meeting, I'll begin looking for houses on the market that best suit you. I'll get a sneak peek of most of the houses and remove the duds, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the homes at a time that's convenient for you.

When we view homes, I'll call attention to positive features, as well as bad ones. And I'll ask you to talk about things you like and don't like. It's common for buyers to change their list of must-haves as we tour houses and some items become far more crucial than others. If that happens, I'll search all the listings once again and narrow it down to the home you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the housing market
An agent's knowledge of the Englewood housing market is a fundamental agent in your house search. And I can assure you I'm conscious of all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I can let you know some neighborhoods are "hot" and require immediate action and some that are "cool" and allow for more examination.

When we tour houses, I'll let you know if the list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." Every REALTOR in Englewood will tell you they truly understand the home market, but trust your instincts, and be sure to ask your agent a lot of questions. If things don't add up, call me at (303) 843-1545 or e-mail me at , and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. My market knowledge will help you stay a step above the rest through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find your dream house
We'll find your dream house in the Englewood area, and when we do, I'll carefully develop your purchase offer. The offer will be made to fit your needs and the home. We'll include a lot of contingencies, such as obtaining financing, completing the home inspection, and a clean title.

Upon turning in your purchase offer, you'll need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the home seller to secure an offer to buy the property and is often 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 contracts don't close on the beginning offer – it's widely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it discourage you. We'll consider whether or not to agree to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and go on.

How aggressively we negotiate the deal depends on market circumstances. We'll also work within your financing budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll compose a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Get financing
Once the contract is complete, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. This shouldn't take much time at all if you're already pre-qualified, but you need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll deal with all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your lender will supply you with a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining closing costs within three days of getting your loan application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining your closing costs from your lender within three days of getting your loan application. The estimate rests on the loan amount. RESPA requirements mandate that it has to involve all closing costs and fall within a narrow range of accuracy, and I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if it all looks adequate.

Then it's time to close on your home. This will probably take place at a title company or escrow office and will likely be a smooth and stress-free occasion.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, simply call me at (303) 843-1545 or e-mail me at .

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