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Looking to buy a home in Needham? Louis Wolfson & Co. can help.

Buying a home is an intimidating event for most people, but it isn't that confusing with a bit of up-front planning. I like to provide buyers with an outline of the entire deal so they know exactly what to expect. These are my nine steps to purchasing a home. When you're ready to get started, just 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 several things you'll want to take into account before commencing your home search. You'll most likely want to form an index of features you want to have, plan for what school districts you want to live in, and start planning your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than or close to a third of your monthly income is a good rule to go by.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent
This is where I can help. We'll arrange a time to get together so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll talk about everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the Needham area, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that may potentially affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I can also assist you in getting started on your loan. I work with some of Needham's best mortgage professionals, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They will help you decide which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin looking
Following our initial meeting, I'll begin finding available homes on the market that best suit you. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the houses and throw out the duds, and then we'll book appointments to view the homes whenever it's convenient for you.

When we tour houses, I'll show you the good features, as well as negative ones. I'll also ask you to tell us about things you like and don't like. As a rule, buyers revise their must-have list as we view homes and some things become far more necessary than others. If such is the case, I'll look through all the listings one more time and trim it down to the home you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the housing market
My knowledge of the Needham housing market is an essential agent in your home search. I am acquainted with all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I can let you know certain areas are "hot" and call for prompt action and others that are "cool" and allow for thoughtful analysis.

As we tour houses, I'll let you know when the asking price has room for negotiation and when I know the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be careful and be sure to ask a lot of questions, as any real estate agent will claim to comprehend the market. If it doesn't seem like they know everything, contact me at (617) 799-3326 or e-mail me at , and I'd be glad to answer any questions you might have. My market expertise will keep you a step above the rest throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been looking for
We'll find your dream house in the Needham area, and when we do, I'll meticulously develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind and the home, including several contingencies. A few examples are obtaining financing, finishing the inspection, and a clean title.

When submitting your purchase offer, you'll likely need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the home seller to secure the offer to purchase the property. The amount is typically put towards the cost of closing. If your offer is accepted, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most deals don't close on the first offer – it's widely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this discourage you. We'll figure out whether or not to agree to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

Market conditions will play a large role in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. In addition, we'll work within your budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll compose a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Get financing
Once we sign the final sales contract, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-qualified, it won't be a long process at all, but you need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll care for all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your lender will send you a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing closing costs within three days of taking your loan application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) of closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of getting your application. The estimate rests on the loan amount. RESPA requirements mandate that it has to include all closing costs and fall within a close range of accuracy, and I'll examine the estimate and let you know if it all looks okay.

Then we'll close on your home. This will most often take place at a title company or escrow office and will most often be a smooth and relaxed event.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, make sure you call me at (617) 799-3326 or e-mail me at .

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