Buying or selling a home in Rice Lake? RE/MAX Advantage can help.

With a little up-front planning, purchasing a home isn't that confusing, but the event intimidates many people. So they'll know exactly what to expect, I will provide buyers with a road map of the whole deal. Below are my nine steps to purchasing a home. When you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm glad to address questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Prepare to buy
There are plenty of things you should do before you start looking for a home. When you start your search, you'll probably want to make a check list of must-have features, get a feeling for what neighborhoods and school districts you'd like to live in, and begin planning around your budget. A good rule to follow is that your mortgage payment should be 30 percent of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Get in touch with a real estate agent
That's where I come in. I'd like to book a time to meet with you and talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about the mortgage and housing industries, other economic factors that might affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and school districts in the Rice Lake area.

In addition, I'll help you facilitate the loan process. I partner with some of Rice Lake's best mortgage professionals, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They'll help you figure out which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin looking
Following our initial meeting, I'll start finding houses on the market that suit your needs. I'll preview many of the homes and reject the bad ones, and then we'll book appointments to view the homes whenever it's most convenient for you.

When we tour the homes, I'll identify positive features and bad ones. And I'll ask you what things you like and don't like. It's common for buyers to amend their list of must-haves as we view homes and some things become far more essential than others. If that happens, I'll search the listings another time and trim it down to the house you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Understand the housing market
My understanding of the Rice Lake housing market is an essential aspect in your house search. I am familiar with all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I can alert you to what neighborhoods are "hot" and require prompt action and some that are "cold" and allow for more consideration.

When we view homes, I'll let you know if the seller's list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be careful and make sure you ask plenty of questions, as every REALTOR will convince you they comprehend the market. If it appears they don't know everything, just call me at (715) 736-7000 or e-mail me at , and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. My knowledge of the market will help you stay a step above the rest throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find your dream home
I'm confident we'll find the home of your dreams in the Rice Lake area. When that happens, I'll precisely develop your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind and the home, including a lot of contingencies, such as obtaining financing, completing the home inspection, and a clean title.

When we send in your offer, you'll need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to the home seller to secure the offer to purchase the property, and it's typically put towards the closing costs. If the seller accepts your offer, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most deals aren't closed on the beginning offer. It's very common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this intimidate you. We'll consider whether or not to consent to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and go on.

Market circumstances will play a role in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your financing limits. And when it's all said and done, we'll create a contract that's best for you.

Step 7 – Get financing
Upon finalizing the deal, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're pre-approved, it won't take long at all, but you'll need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll deal with all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining your closing costs from your lender within three days of taking your loan application. The estimate depends on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements require that it has to include all closing costs and fall within a close range of accuracy. I'll review the estimate and let you know if it all looks permissible.

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

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 (715) 736-7000 or e-mail me at .

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