Buying or selling a home?

Buying a home is an intimidating event for a lot of people, but with a bit of planning ahead of time, it's not too difficult. I like to give buyers an overview of the entire deal so they know exactly what to expect. Below are my nine steps to purchasing a home.

If you have questions regarding any of this information or if you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or send e-mail to

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase
There are several things you'll want to take into account before beginning your home search. When you begin your search, you'll want to put together a check list of items you want, get a feeling for what neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and start working on your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than or around 30 percent of your monthly income is a good guideline to go by.

Step 2 – Contact a real estate agent in Fresno
This is where I come in. I'd be more than happy to plan a time to get together with you and speak with you about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss the mortgage industry, other economic factors that may affect your purchase today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and school districts in the Fresno area.

I'll also help you facilitate the loan process. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Fresno, and I partner with a lot of them, so you'll be in great hands. They'll assist you with determining which type of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin looking
Following our first meeting, I'll start looking for available houses on the market that are a good fit for you. I'll research most of the houses and exclude the duds, and then we'll schedule appointments to view the houses when it's most convenient for you.

As we view the homes, I'll identify positive features, as well as negative ones. And I'll ask you to talk about things you like and dislike. It's pretty common for buyers to update their list of must-haves as we tour homes and some things become more necessary than others. If that's the case, I'll go back through all the listings again and trim it down to the house you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Get a feel for the market
My understanding of the Fresno housing market is an indispensable resource in your search. I am acquainted with all the schools and neighborhoods, and I can communicate what areas are "hot" and require immediate action and the rest that are "cold" and allow for careful examination.

As we view houses, I'll be sure to tell you if the asking price has room for bargaining or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be mindful and make sure you ask a lot of questions. Any REALTOR® will convince you they know the home market. If things don't add up, contact me at 559-960-3493 or e-mail me at, and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you have. My understanding of the market will keep you a step above the rest through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
I'm sure we'll find the home of your dreams in the Fresno area. When we do, I'll meticulously develop your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind, including some contingencies, such as obtaining financing, carrying out the inspection, and a clear title.

Let Hale Realty guide you through finding your dream home in Fresno Upon sending in your purchase offer, most likely you'll need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a home seller to secure the offer to buy the property. The amount is typically applied to the closing costs. If your offer is accepted, we should close about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most contracts don't close on the first offer, and it's really common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it alarm you. We'll consider whether or not to take the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or decline 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 budget. And at the end of the day, we'll assemble a deal that is best for you.

Step 7 – Get your loan
Upon completion of the deal, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. This shouldn't take much time at all if you're already pre-qualified, but you need to stay in close contact with your lender. And I'll look after all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.>

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) of closing costs from your lender within three days of taking your loan application. This estimate is based on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements dictate that it has to involve all closing costs and be within a close range of accuracy. I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if it all looks adequate.

Then it's time to close on your house. This will most often take place at a title company or escrow office and will likely be a smooth and easygoing event.

Step 9 – Move in
Success! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, simply call me at 559-960-3493 or send me an e-mail.

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