Buying or selling a home in Lakeland?

Purchasing a home is a stressful event for a lot of people. However, with some up-front planning, it's not that complex. I like to provide buyers with a road map of the whole deal so they know exactly what they can expect. Here are my nine steps to buying a home. Should you have 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 buy
There are plenty of things you need to take into account before beginning your home search. It's likely that you'll want to assemble a check list of features you want, get a plan of what neighborhoods you want to live in, and start working on your budget. A good guideline to adhere to is that your mortgage payment should be no more than 1/3 of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent
This is where Exit Realty of Lakeland can help. I'd be more than happy to book a time to get together with you and communicate with you about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the Lakeland area, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that could potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

I'll also assist you with getting started on your loan. I partner with some of the best mortgage professionals in Lakeland, so you'll be in great hands. They'll assist you with deciding which type of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start your home search
After our first meeting, I'll start looking for houses on the market that are good for you. I'll preview many of the homes and reject the duds, and then we'll book appointments to view the houses when it's convenient for you.

As we tour the houses, I'll call attention to good features, as well as negative ones. And I'll ask you to tell us about things you like and don't like. It's pretty common for buyers to update their must-have list as we view homes and some features become more substantial than others. If that's the case, I'll search all the listings another time and trim it down to the home you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Understand the housing market
Your agent's knowledge of the Lakeland market is an imperative aspect in your house search. And I can assure you I'm informed of all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I'll alert you to which areas are "hot" and warrant prompt action and some that are "cold" and allow for careful analysis.

As we tour homes, I'll let you know when the seller's list price has room for bargaining and also when I trust the house is "priced to sell." Every REALTOR will tell you they truly understand the market, but be careful, and be sure to ask plenty of questions. If it doesn't seem like they know everything, call me at (863) 688-2822 or e-mail me at , and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. My knowledge of the market will keep you a step above the rest through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been looking for
I'm positive we'll find the house of your dreams in Lakeland. When we do, I'll precisely develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs and the home, including a lot of contingencies, such as acquiring financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clear title.

When presenting your purchase offer, you'll want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to the seller to secure the offer to purchase the property. The amount is typically put towards the cost of closing. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close about 30 to 60 days after. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Unfortunately most contracts aren't closed on the initial offer – it's really common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it intimidate you. We'll consider whether or not to consent to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and go on.

Market conditions will play a part in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your financing budget. And at the end of the day, we'll compose a deal that's best for you.

Step 7 – Secure your loan
Upon completion of the deal, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. This won't take very long at all if you've been pre-qualified, but you'll want to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll care for all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will supply you with a Loan Estimate (LE) of closing costs within three days of taking your application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of accepting your loan application. This estimate depends on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements mandate that it has to involve all closing costs and be within a narrow range of accuracy. I'll examine the estimate and let you know if everything looks okay.

Then it's time to close on your house. This will likely occur at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and peaceful affair.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, just contact me at (863) 688-2822 or e-mail me at .

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