Buying or selling a home in Fort Worth?

Buying a home is a stressful event for a lot of people, but with a little up-front planning, it's not too hard. I like to furnish buyers with a road map of the whole deal so they'll know exactly what to expect. These are my nine steps to purchasing a home. If you have any questions regarding any of this information or if you're prepared to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Get ready to buy a home
Prior to starting your home search, there are many things you need to consider. When you start your search, you'll probably want to put together an outline of items you need to have, get a feeling for what neighborhoods you want to live in, and begin planning your budget. A good rule to follow is that your mortgage payment should be less than or around 30 percent of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent
This is where I come in. I'd love to schedule a time to meet with you and communicate with you regarding your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll talk about neighborhoods, school districts in the Fort Worth area, the mortgage industry, and any other economic factors that may affect your purchase today or in the future.

I can also help you get started on your loan. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in Fort Worth, and I work with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They will assist you in choosing which kind of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start your home search
After our first meeting, I'll begin looking for houses on the market that are a good fit for you. I'll research many of the houses and eliminate the bad ones, and then we'll schedule appointments to view the houses whenever it's most convenient for you.

When we view houses, I'll point out positive features, as well as bad ones. I'll even ask you what things you like and don't like. Oftentimes, buyers revise their wish list as we view homes and some items become far more necessary than others. If that's the situation, I'll look through all the listings once more and trim it down to the house you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Understand the market
My knowledge of the Fort Worth housing market is an essential agent in your house search. I am mindful of all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I'll alert you to certain neighborhoods are "hot" and warrant prompt action and some that are "cold" and allow for careful consideration.

When we view homes, I'll make sure to communicate if the list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and be sure to ask plenty of questions. Every real estate agent will tell you they truly understand the housing market. If it appears they don't know everything, just call me at (682) 667-5556 or e-mail me at , and I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have. My knowledge of the market will keep you a step ahead through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been looking for
We'll find your dream house in the Fort Worth area, and when we do, I'll thoroughly develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored exactly to your needs and the home, including some contingencies, such as acquiring financing, completing the inspection, and a clean title.

When we present your offer, you'll probably want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the seller to secure an offer to purchase the property. The amount is usually put towards the cost of closing. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close within 30 to 60 days after. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

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

Market circumstances determine how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your financing budget. And at the end of the day, we'll formulate a deal that is best for you.

Step 7 – Get financing
Upon completing the contract, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. This won't take long at all if you've been pre-approved, but you need to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll look after 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) detailing your closing costs from your lender within three days of getting your loan application. The estimate depends on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements order that it has to involve all closing costs and fall within a strict range of accuracy. I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if it all looks adequate.

Then it's time to close on your home. This should happen at a title company or escrow office and is often a smooth and relaxing occasion.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, just call me at (682) 667-5556 or e-mail me at .

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