Buying or selling a home in Atlanta?

Purchasing a home is intimidating for a lot of people, but it's not that complicated with a little up-front planning. I like to supply buyers with an outline of the entire deal so they know exactly what they can expect. These are my nine steps to purchasing a home. When you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm happy to address questions you have regarding this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase
Before you start searching for a home, there are several things you'll want to consider. When you begin your search, you'll want to form an outline of must-have features, get a feel for what school districts and neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and start planning your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than or around a third of your monthly income is a good rule of thumb to go by.

Step 2 – Get in touch with a real estate agent
That's where I come in. We'll 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 everything from neighborhoods, schools in the Atlanta area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that may potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you get started on your loan. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Atlanta, and I partner with a lot of them, so you'll be in great hands. They'll assist you with figuring out which kind of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin looking
Following our initial meeting, I'll start looking for available houses on the market that meet your needs. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the houses and remove the duds, and then we'll book appointments to tour the houses at a time that's convenient for you.

When we view houses, I'll identify positive features, as well as bad ones. And I'll ask you about things you like and dislike. Most often, buyers change their list of must-haves as we view homes and some features become far more necessary than others. If that happens, I'll look through the listings another time and narrow it down to the home you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Know the housing market
My understanding of the Atlanta housing market is a leading component in your home search. I am conscious of all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I will communicate certain neighborhoods are "hot" and demand immediate action and others that are "cool" and allow for careful analysis.

When we view houses, I'll let you know if the seller's asking price has room for bargaining or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." Be on guard and be sure to ask a lot of questions, as every real estate agent will claim to understand the housing market. If things don't add up, just call me at (404) 419-3500 or e-mail me at , and I'd be happy to answer your questions. My market knowledge will help you stay a step above the rest through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home of your dreams
We'll find the house of your dreams in the Atlanta area, and when we do, I'll thoroughly create your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind and the home, including some contingencies. A few examples are obtaining financing, completing the inspection, and a clean title.

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

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

The state of the market determines how aggressively we negotiate the deal. We'll also work within your financing constraints. And when it's all said and done, we'll assemble a deal that is best for you.

Step 7 – Get your loan
Once we sign the final sales contract, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. It shouldn't take long at all if you're already pre-qualified, but you need to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll deal with all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.

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

Then we'll close on your house. This will most often take place at a title company or escrow office and will probably be a smooth and easygoing occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, simply contact me at (404) 419-3500 or e-mail me at .

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