Buying or selling a home? Fenton Real Estate can help.

With a little up-front planning, buying a home isn't that complicated, but the event is intimidating for many people. I like to provide buyers with a road map of the entire deal so they'll understand exactly what they can expect. Here are my nine steps to purchasing a home. Should you have any questions about this information or if you're prepared to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase a home
Before you commence your home search, there are plenty of things you need to take into account. You'll probably want to create a list of features you want to have, get an idea of what school districts 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 net monthly income.

Step 2 – Contact a real estate agent
This is where Fenton Real Estate can help. We'll plan a time to meet so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about neighborhoods, school districts in the Bakersfield area, the mortgage industry, and any other economic factors that could potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

I'll also help you start the loan process. I partner with some of the best mortgage professionals in Bakersfield, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They will assist you in deciding which type of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin your home search
After our initial meeting, I'll start finding houses on the market that are a good fit for you. I'll get a sneak peek of most of the houses and throw out the duds, and then we'll book appointments to view the homes whenever it's convenient for you.

As we tour the houses, I'll identify positive features and bad ones. I'll even ask you what things you like and don't like. It's pretty common for buyers to change their list of must-haves as we view houses and some items become far more substantial than others. If that's the case, I'll go back through all the listings again and narrow it down to the house of your dreams.

Step 4 – Comprehend the market
Your agent's understanding of the Bakersfield home market is a necessary component in your house search. And I can assure you I'm conscious of all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I'll communicate what areas are "hot" and require immediate action and some that are "cool" and allow for thoughtful consideration.

When we view houses, I'll let you know when the seller's list price has room for negotiation and when I believe the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be careful and make sure you ask lots of questions, as any REALTOR in Bakersfield will tell you they know the home market. If things don't add up, just call me at 661-205-5475 or e-mail me at , and I'd be happy to answer your questions. My understanding of the market will keep you a step ahead through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find your dream home
We'll find the house of your dreams in Bakersfield, and when we do, I'll carefully develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs and the home, including many contingencies, such as obtaining financing, finishing the inspection, and a clean title.

When submitting your offer, most likely you'll need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to a home seller to secure an offer to purchase the property, and it's most often put towards the closing costs. If the seller accepts your offer, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most contracts don't close on the initial offer, and it's very common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this alarm you. We'll figure out whether or not to take the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and move on.

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

Step 7 – Obtain financing
After we sign the final sales contract, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. It won't be a long process at all if you're already pre-approved, but you should to stay in close contact with your lender. And I'll take care of all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

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

Then it's time to close on your home. This should take place at a title company or escrow office and will most often be a smooth and peaceful occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, just contact me at 661-205-5475 or e-mail me at .

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