Buying or selling a home in Lakeland? Berkshire Hathaway Home Services can help.

For most people, purchasing a home can be a stressful event. However, with some planning ahead of time, it isn't very difficult. So they'll understand exactly what to expect, I like to supply buyers with a road map of the entire deal. Here are my nine steps to purchasing a home. Should you have any questions about any of this information or if you're ready to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to buy
Before you begin looking for a home, there are plenty of things you need to consider. You'll want to make an index of must-haves, get an idea of what school districts and neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and begin planning your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than or close to a third of your net monthly income is a good principle to adhere to.

Step 2 – Connect with a real estate agent in Lakeland
This is where Berkshire Hathaway Home Services comes in. I'd be happy to schedule a time to meet with you and communicate with you about your real estate needs and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about neighborhoods, school districts in the Lakeland area, the mortgage industry, and any additional economic factors that might affect your purchase today or in the future.

I can also assist you in getting started on your loan. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Lakeland, and I partner with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They can assist you with determining which type of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start looking for a house
After we meet, I'll begin finding available homes on the market that are good for you. I'll preview many of the houses and exclude the duds, and then we'll book appointments to view the houses when it's most convenient for you.

When we tour houses, I'll show you the positive features and negative ones. And I'll ask you to talk about things you like and don't like. It's pretty common for buyers to revise their list of must-haves as we tour houses and some items become more important than others. If that happens, I'll go back through all the listings one more time and narrow it down to the house you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the housing market
An agent's understanding of the Lakeland housing market is a necessary factor in your house search. And I can assure you I'm mindful of all the schools and neighborhoods, and I will alert you to some areas are "hot" and require immediate action and some that are "cool" and allow for careful consideration.

As we view homes, I'll make sure to communicate when the seller's asking price has room for negotiation and also when I believe the house is "priced to sell." Trust your instincts and be sure to ask your agent a lot of questions, as any REALTOR will tell you they understand the housing market. If things don't add up, call me at 863-602-6647 or e-mail me at , and I'll be happy to answer your questions. My knowledge of the market will keep you a step above the rest throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find your dream house
We'll find the home of your dreams in the Lakeland area, and when we do, I'll meticulously develop your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind and the home, including a lot of contingencies, such as getting financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clear title.

When we send in your purchase offer, you'll want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the seller to secure an offer to purchase the property. The amount is typically put towards the closing costs. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
A lot of deals aren't closed on the beginning offer – it's really common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it intimidate you. We'll discuss whether or not to consent to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on.

Market circumstances determine how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your financing budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll formulate a contract that works well for you.

Step 7 – Obtain financing
Once we sign the final deal, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-approved, it shouldn't be a long process at all. But you'll need to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll manage all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your lender will provide you with a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing your closing costs within three days of accepting your application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining your closing costs from your lender within three days of getting your application. This estimate rests on 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 analyze the estimate and let you know if it all looks good.

Then we'll close on your house. This will most likely occur at a title company or escrow office and will most likely be a smooth and hassle-free affair.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, make sure you call me at 863-602-6647 or e-mail me at .

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