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Real Estate Made Easy

Nov 25, 2007
For many people, owning a home is a sign of accomplishment. But, like any other worthwhile venture, there are steps you must complete before you get the payoff. Buying a home is no easy task, but if you follow these seven steps, you can take some of the hassle out of the process.

First, you need to decide on what you want and need in your house and neighborhood. Creating a list of what you do (and don't) want makes house and neighborhood selection easier for you. For your real estate agent, your "wish list" lets him or her know what to consider and what to pass by.

Next, you should handle the financial aspects. Getting preapproved or prequalified is a detailed process. You don't want to wait to get this done. When you are preapproved or prequalified, sellers are more likely to want to do business with you. (Being preapproved is more desirable than being prequalified because it means you've been through the necessary checks and lenders are willing to work with you.)

Third, start looking for a house. Between you and your realtor, finding a house shouldn't be a monstrous headache. Now that you know exactly what you're looking for and what you can afford, buying a home that fits those needs is a much more streamlined effort.

Fourth, it's time for you to make an offer on a property. This, you should not do alone. With your agent, you should take a look at other, recently sold properties comparable to what you're looking for. Be sure to consider the size, amenities and qualities of a home when you create an offer.

At this point, your agent will draft a contract to show the seller. Once both parties agree, it is a binding document. However, if the seller changes any terms, you (as the buyer) must agree to those changes before it again becomes a legal document. This part can be have pitfalls, so be certain you review all counteroffers with your agent.

Once you've made an offer, the next step is making a deal. This is typically the negotiation period. As the seller and buyer, the two of you can negotiate on many aspects of the home. Some of those things include price, closing costs, financing, repairs and other property maintenance and move-in date. Always try to negotiate based on information you have and your personal criteria. Never function on assumptions or guesses, or you may run into trouble down the road.

You're almost through the process now. Of course, once you've made your deal, the next step is to prepare for the closing. Closing is a very big deal in buying a home, so there are some things you need to do before the paperwork is finalized.

Together, you and your real estate agent will go over the list of what you have agreed to do prior to buying a house. First, you need to inspect the house. Taking a property sight unseen opens you up to a lot of problems in the future. Also, you should have a third party do an appraisal, get your financing finalized and get your insurance. That way, you start off with everything in place. And, lastly, you need to shop around for a home warranty. Any delays in finishing these tasks could derail your closing. For these little "pre-closing" jobs, make use of your realtor. He or she should be able to give you all the information and direction you need.

Step seven, the final step, is the closing itself. In this stage of the process, the home ownership is transferred legally from the seller to you. It's a formal occasion. Most of the people involved in the deal will meet at the company or lawyer's office to witness the closing. A closing officer oversees the document signing, collecting and disbursing of necessary monies. Your lender will send a closing statement. Review this with your realtor and don't forget to bring all necessary documents to the closing.

These seven steps can help you be successful in buying a home. It is a lot of work, but when you have a plan, everything flows smoothly.
About the Author
Many people jump into buying a home without preparing for the task. Organizing yourself with seven simple steps can make the Hendersonville, NC real estate market easier to manage. Visit the professionals at Preferred Real Estate to get started. http://www.preferredrealestatecenter.com
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