Buying or selling a home?

For a lot of people, buying a home can be a stressful event. But with a bit of up-front planning, it's not all that confusing. So they know exactly what to expect, I will give buyers an outline of the entire deal. These are my nine steps to buying a home. Should you have any questions about any of this information or if you're prepared to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Get ready to buy
Before you start looking for a home, there are plenty of things you'll want to take into account. When you begin your search, you'll probably want to put together an outline of features you need, get a plan of what school districts you want to live in, and begin planning around your budget. A good guideline to follow is that your mortgage payment should be less than or close to a third of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent in Point Reyes Station
That's where I come in. I'd be more than happy to arrange a time to get together with you and communicate with you about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss the mortgage industry, other economic factors that might affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and schools in the Point Reyes Station area.

I'll also assist you with getting started on your loan. West Marin Real Estate works with some of Point Reyes Station's finest mortgage professionals, so you'll be in great hands. They will help you figure out which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin house-hunting
After we meet for the first time, I'll start finding houses on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the homes and remove the bad ones, and then we'll schedule appointments to tour the homes whenever it's most convenient for you.

When we view homes, I'll identify good features, as well as negative ones. And I'll ask you to talk about things you like and dislike. For the most part, buyers change their list of must-haves as we tour houses and some features become far more substantial than others. If that's the case, I'll go back through all the listings once again and trim it down to the house of your dreams.

Step 4 – Understand the housing market
My knowledge of the Point Reyes Station market is a leading factor in your home search. I'm acquainted with all the schools and neighborhoods, and I can let you know certain areas are "hot" and demand immediate action and some that are "cool" and allow for thoughtful analysis.

As we tour homes, I'll make sure to communicate if the list price has room for bargaining or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and be sure to ask lots of questions. Every REALTOR in Point Reyes Station will tell you they truly understand the home market. If things don't add up, just call me at 4156638281 or e-mail me at , and I'll be glad to answer any questions you may have. My understanding of the market will keep you a step above the rest throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been looking for
We'll find your dream house in Point Reyes Station, and when that happens, I'll carefully develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored exactly to your needs and the home, including a lot of contingencies. A few examples are obtaining financing, completing the inspection, and a clean title.

Upon turning in your purchase offer, you'll probably need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the home seller to secure the offer to buy the property. The amount is often put towards the cost of closing. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close on the home about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Most deals don't close on the initial offer. It's really common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this intimidate you. We'll consider whether or not to accept the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and go on.

How aggressively we negotiate the deal depends on the state of the market. In addition, we'll work within your budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll put together a contract that is best for you.

Step 7 – Obtain financing
Upon signing the deal, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-qualified, this shouldn't take very long at all, but you'll need to keep in close contact with your 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 lender within three days of accepting your loan application. This estimate depends on the loan amount. RESPA requirements order that it has to contain all closing costs and be within a strict range of accuracy, and I'll go over the estimate and let you know if everything looks adequate.

Then it's time to close on your home. This will probably happen at a title company or escrow office and is often 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, be sure to contact me at 4156638281 or e-mail me at .