Buying or selling a home in Upper Marlboro? RE/MAX Specialists can help.

Buying a home is an intimidating event for many people. However, with a little up-front planning, it isn't very confusing. I like to furnish buyers with an outline of the entire deal so they know exactly what to expect. These are my nine steps to buying a home. If you have any questions regarding 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 begin searching for a home, there are plenty of things you should consider. You'll want to form a list of features you need, get a feel for what neighborhoods you want to live in, and begin working on your budget. A good guideline to go by is that your mortgage payment should be less than or close to 1/3 of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Connect with a real estate agent
That's where I can help. I'd love to plan a time to meet with you and communicate with you about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss neighborhoods, schools in the Upper Marlboro area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any other economic factors that may potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

I'll also help you facilitate the loan process. I partner with some of Upper Marlboro's best mortgage professionals, so you're in great hands. They will help you determine which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin your home search
After we meet, I'll start finding available houses on the market that suit your needs. I'll get a sneak peek of most of the homes and eliminate the duds, and then we'll book appointments to tour the houses when it's most convenient for you.

As we view homes, I'll show you the positive features and bad ones. I'll even ask you to tell us about things you like and don't like. It's widely common for buyers to amend their wish list as we view houses and some things become more important than others. If that happens, I'll go back through the listings once more and narrow it down to the house you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Understand the housing market
An agent's knowledge of the Upper Marlboro home market is a leading factor in your house search. And I assure you I'm mindful of all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I can communicate which districts are "hot" and require prompt action and the ones that are "cold" and allow for thoughtful consideration.

When we view homes, I'll be sure to tell you when the asking price has room for bargaining and also when I trust the home is "priced to sell." Every real estate agent will tell you they truly understand the home market, but be on guard, and make sure you ask a lot of questions. If things don't add up, call me at (240)765-1300 or e-mail me at , and I'd be glad to answer any questions you may have. My market expertise will keep you a step above the rest through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been looking for
I'm certain we'll find the house of your dreams in the Upper Marlboro area. When we do, I'll meticulously create your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind and the home, including a lot of contingencies. A few examples are obtaining financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clear title.

Upon sending in your offer, you'll want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to the seller to secure the offer to buy the property. The amount is usually put towards the cost of closing. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close on the home about 30 to 60 days after. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
A lot of contracts aren't closed on the initial offer, and it's extremely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it intimidate you. We'll figure out whether or not to take the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

Market circumstances will play a role in how aggressively we negotiate the deal. We'll also work within your budget. And at the end of the day, we'll create a contract that is best for you.

Step 7 – Get a loan
After we sign the final contract, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-approved, it shouldn't take long at all. However, you'll want to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll handle all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your lender will provide you with a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) of closing costs within three days of taking your loan application. You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) outlining your closing costs from your lender within three days of taking your application. This estimate depends on the loan amount. RESPA requirements require that it has to involve all closing costs and be within a precise range of accuracy, and I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if everything looks permissible.

Then we'll close on your home. This will likely occur at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and calm event.

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 (240)765-1300 or e-mail me at .