Buying or selling a home?

Purchasing a home is a stressful event for most people, but with a little up-front planning, it isn't very complicated. I like to supply buyers with an overview of the entire deal so they'll understand exactly what to expect. Below are my nine steps to purchasing a home. Should you have any questions regarding this information or if you're prepared to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase a home
Prior to starting your home search, there are several things you'll want to contemplate. You'll probably want to form an outline of features you need to have, get a feeling for what school districts and neighborhoods you want to live in, and start planning around your budget. A good principle to follow is that your mortgage payment should be close to 30 percent of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent
This is where Realty Executives of Cape County can help. We can arrange a time to get together so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss neighborhoods, school districts in the Cape Girardeau area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any other economic factors that may affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I'll also help you start the loan process. Realty Executives of Cape County works with some of the finest mortgage professionals in Cape Girardeau, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They will assist you with choosing which type of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin house-hunting
After our first meeting, I'll begin finding houses on the market that are a good fit for you. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the houses and exclude the bad ones, and then we'll book appointments to view the homes when it's most convenient for you.

When we view the houses, I'll call attention to good features and bad ones. I'll even ask you to point out what things you like and dislike. It's common for buyers to amend their list of must-haves as we view houses and some things become more necessary than others. If such is the case, I'll look through the listings once again and trim it down to the house you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Comprehend the housing market
Your agent's knowledge of the Cape Girardeau market is a leading component in your house search. And I can assure you I'm mindful of all the schools and neighborhoods, and I can communicate certain districts are "hot" and demand prompt action and others that are "cool" and allow for careful consideration.

When we view houses, I'll be sure to tell you if the list price has room for bargaining or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and be sure to ask a lot of questions. Any real estate agent in Cape Girardeau will tell you they truly know the home market. If it seems like they don't know everything, call me at (573) 335-8111 or e-mail me at , and I'd be more than happy to answer your questions. My knowledge of the market will keep you a step above the rest through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been waiting for
I'm certain we'll find your dream house in Cape Girardeau. When that happens, I'll meticulously create your purchase offer. The offer will be made to fit your needs and the home. We'll include several contingencies, such as getting financing, carrying out the inspection, and a clean title.

When turning in your offer, you'll likely need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to a seller to secure an offer to buy the property and is typically applied to the closing costs. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most deals don't close on the initial offer. It's widely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this intimidate 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 move on.

The state of the market determines how aggressively we negotiate the deal. We'll also work within your financing budget. And at the end of the day, we'll formulate a contract that's best for you.

Step 7 – Secure your loan
After we sign the final contract, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-qualified, this won't take much time at all. But you'll want to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll sort out all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of taking your loan application. The estimate depends on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements mandate that it has to contain all closing costs and fall within a close range of accuracy. I'll examine the estimate and let you know if everything looks good.

Then it's time to close on your home. This should take place at a title company or escrow office and will most often be a smooth and comfortable affair.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, just call me at (573) 335-8111 or e-mail me at .

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