Contemplating purchasing a home in Cape Girardeau? Realty Executives of Cape County can help.

For many people, purchasing a home can be an intimidating event. However, with a little up-front planning, it isn't very hard. I like to supply buyers with an outline of the entire deal so they understand exactly what they can expect. Here are my nine steps to buying a home. If you have any questions about this information or if you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase
There are several things you need to contemplate prior to commencing your home search. When you begin your search, you'll want to make an index of features you need to have, get a feeling for what school districts and neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and begin planning your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than or close to 30 percent of your net monthly income is a good principle to go by.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent
This is where I can help. I'd be happy to schedule a time to get together with you and communicate with you about your real estate needs and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll discuss neighborhoods, schools in the Cape Girardeau area, the mortgage industry, and any additional economic factors that may potentially affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I'll also help you start the loan process. I work with some of Cape Girardeau's best mortgage professionals, so you're in great hands. They will assist you in choosing which type of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start your home search
After we meet for the first time, I'll start finding available homes on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll research most of the homes and reject the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to view the houses when it's convenient for you.

When we view houses, I'll point out positive features and negative ones. And I'll ask you about things you like and don't like. It's pretty common for buyers to amend their must-have list as we tour homes and some items become more important than others. If that happens, I'll search the listings once again and trim it down to the house of your dreams.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the housing market
My awareness of the Cape Girardeau housing market is an essential agent in your home search. I am mindful of all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I'll alert you to what districts are "hot" and call for prompt action and others that are "cold" and allow for thoughtful consideration.

As we view houses, I'll make sure to communicate when the seller's asking price has room for bargaining and also when I know the home is "priced to sell." Trust your instincts and make sure you ask lots of questions, as any real estate agent in Cape Girardeau will convince you they truly know the market. If it seems like they don't know everything, just call me at (573) 335-8111 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 the house of your dreams
I'm certain we'll find the house of your dreams in Cape Girardeau. When we do, I'll precisely create your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind and the home, including many contingencies, such as acquiring financing, finishing the home inspection, and a clear title.

When we submit your purchase offer, you'll want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the seller to secure the offer to buy the property. The amount is typically put towards the closing costs. If the offer is accepted, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows sufficient time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
A lot of contracts don't close on the beginning offer, and it's really common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it discourage you. We'll discuss whether or not to take the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

Market conditions determine how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your financing constraints. And at the end of the day, we'll assemble a deal that's best for you.

Step 7 – Secure a loan
After the contract is signed, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-qualified, this shouldn't take very 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 will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will send you a Loan Estimate (LE) of your closing costs within three days of taking your application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining your closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of taking your application. This estimate is formed from the loan amount. RESPA requirements require that it has to contain all closing costs and be within a strict range of accuracy, and I'll study the estimate and let you know if everything looks okay.

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 comfortable event.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, be sure to call me at (573) 335-8111 or e-mail me at .

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