Buying or selling a home in Austin?

For most people, purchasing a home is a stressful event. However, with some up-front planning, it isn't very complicated. So they know exactly what they can expect, I will give buyers an outline of the entire deal. These are my nine steps to buying a home. If you have questions regarding any of this information or if you're prepared to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to buy a home
There are many things you'll want to take into account before beginning your home search. You'll want to create a list of items you need, get an idea of what neighborhoods you want to live in, and start planning around your budget. A good guideline to adhere to is that your mortgage payment should be around 1/3 of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Get in touch with a real estate agent
This is where Engel & Volkers comes in. We'll schedule a time to meet so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss the mortgage and housing industries, other economic factors that could potentially affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and schools in the Austin area.

I can also help you start the loan process. Engel & Volkers works with some of the finest mortgage professionals in Austin, so you'll be in great hands. They'll help you determine which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin looking for a house
Following our first meeting, I'll start looking for available homes on the market that are good for you. I'll research many of the houses and exclude the duds, and then we'll book appointments to view the houses at a time that's convenient for you.

When we view houses, I'll identify good features, as well as negative ones. And I'll ask you to tell us about things you like and don't like. For the most part, buyers change their list of must-haves as we view homes and some items become far more crucial than others. If that's the situation, I'll look through the listings one more time and narrow it down to the home of your dreams.

Step 4 – Know the market
Your agent's knowledge of the Austin home market is an essential agent in your house search. And I assure you I'm familiar with all the schools and neighborhoods, and I'll communicate what areas are "hot" and call for immediate action and some that are "cold" and allow for careful consideration.

When we tour houses, I'll make sure to communicate if the asking price has room for negotiation or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." Any real estate agent in Austin will tell you they know the market, but beware, and be sure to ask lots of questions. If it appears they don't know everything, just call me at (512) 328-3939 or e-mail me at , and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. My market knowledge will help you stay a step above the rest through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been waiting for
We'll find the house of your dreams in Austin, and when we do, I'll thoroughly create your purchase offer. The offer will be made to suit your needs and the home. We'll include some contingencies, such as obtaining financing, finishing the inspection, and a clear title.

Upon submitting your offer, most likely you'll want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the seller to secure an offer to buy the property, and it's often put towards the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted, we should close on the property within 30 to 60 days after. This allows sufficient time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
A lot of deals don't close on the beginning offer, and it's widely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it alarm you. We'll talk over whether or not to accept the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

How aggressively we negotiate the deal depends on market conditions. In addition, we'll work within your financing constraints. And when it's all said and done, we'll compose a deal that's best for you.

Step 7 – Get financing
Upon finishing the contract, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-approved, it shouldn't take long at all, but you should to stay in close contact with your mortgage 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 taking your loan application. This estimate is based on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements mandate that it has to contain all closing costs and fall within a precise range of accuracy. I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if everything looks good.

Then it's time to close on your home. This will most often take place at a title company or escrow office and is often a smooth and relaxed event.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, just contact me at (512) 328-3939 or e-mail me at .

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