Buying or selling a home? Marianne L. Lilly - RE/MAX Harbor Realty can help.

Purchasing a home is stressful for many people, but it isn't too confusing with a bit of planning ahead of time. So they understand exactly what they can expect, I'll give buyers a road map of the whole deal. These are my nine steps to buying a home. When you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm happy to address any questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to buy a home
There are many things you should take into account prior to starting your home search. When you begin your search, you'll want to put together a checklist of items you want to have, get a feel for what school districts you want to live in, and begin planning around your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment around 30 percent of your monthly income is a good rule of thumb to follow.

Step 2 – Get in touch with a real estate agent in Punta Gorda
This is where I come in. I'd love to arrange a time to meet with you and communicate with you regarding why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss neighborhoods, school districts in the Punta Gorda area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any additional economic factors that could potentially affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I can also assist you in getting started on your loan. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in Punta Gorda, and I work with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They'll help you decide which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin house hunting
Following our initial meeting, I'll begin searching for homes on the market that are a good fit for you. I'll get a sneak peek of most of the homes and reject the bad ones, and then we'll schedule appointments to tour the homes whenever it's convenient for you.

As we view the homes, I'll call attention to positive features, as well as negative ones. I'll even ask you to talk about things you like and don't like. Frequently, buyers revise their wish list as we view homes and some things become more essential than others. If that happens, I'll go back through the listings one more time and narrow it down to the house you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Know the market
My knowledge of the Punta Gorda home market is an essential factor in your home search. I am conscious of all the schools and neighborhoods, and I can alert you to what districts are "hot" and warrant prompt action and others that are "cool" and allow for thoughtful consideration.

As we tour houses, I'll let you know if the seller's list price has room for bargaining or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be mindful and make sure you ask lots of questions, as every REALTOR in Punta Gorda will claim to know the home market. If it doesn't seem like they know everything, contact me at 9417647585 or e-mail me at , and I'd be happy to answer any questions you have. My market knowledge will help you stay a step ahead through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been waiting for
We'll find the home of your dreams in Punta Gorda, and when that happens, I'll thoroughly develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind and the home, including a lot of contingencies. A few examples are acquiring financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clean title.

Upon sending in your offer, you'll need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to a home seller to secure an offer to purchase the property, and it's typically put towards the cost of closing. If your offer is accepted, we should close about 30 to 60 days after. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
A lot of contracts aren't closed on the first offer. It's extremely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it discourage you. We'll figure out whether or not to agree to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and go on.

How aggressively we negotiate the contract depends on the state of the market. We'll also work within your financing limits. And at the end of the day, we'll assemble a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Obtain a loan
Upon completing the contract, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. This won't take long at all if you're already pre-approved, but you should to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll deal with all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

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

Then it's time to close on your home. This will most often occur at a title company or escrow office and will most likely be a smooth and calm occurrence.

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 9417647585 or e-mail me at .

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Marianne L. Lilly - RE/MAX Harbor Realty

2815 Tamiami Trail
Punta Gorda, FL 33950