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Buying or selling a home in Needham? Louis Wolfson & Co. can help.

Buying a home is intimidating for most people. However, with some planning ahead of time, it's not very confusing. So they know exactly what to expect, I will give buyers an outline of the entire deal. These are my nine steps to buying a home. Should you have questions about any of this information or if you're prepared to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Get ready to buy
Before you start searching for a home, there are several things you need to do. You'll want to assemble a list of features you want to have, get an idea of what neighborhoods you want to live in, and start planning your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than or around a third of your monthly income is a good rule to go by.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent
This is where I come in. We can arrange a time to get together so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss the mortgage and housing industries, other economic factors that could affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and school districts in the Needham area.

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

Step 3 – Begin your search
After our first meeting, I'll start looking for houses on the market that suit your needs. I'll get a sneak peek of most of the houses and remove the duds, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the homes whenever it's convenient for you.

As we tour the houses, I'll show you the positive features and negative ones. I'll also ask you to point out what things you like and dislike. For the most part, buyers revise their list of must-haves as we view houses and some features become more essential than others. If that's the case, I'll go back through the listings once again and trim it down to the house you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Comprehend the housing market
My understanding of the Needham home market is an imperative element in your home search. I am familiar with all the neighborhoods and schools, and I'll let you know certain areas are "hot" and demand immediate action and the ones that are "cold" and allow for careful analysis.

As we view homes, I'll be sure to tell you if the asking price has room for negotiation or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be careful and make sure you ask a lot of questions. Every real estate agent will tell you they know the housing market. If it appears they don't know everything, contact me at (617) 799-3326 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 ahead throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the home of your dreams
We'll find the home of your dreams in the Needham area, and when that happens, I'll meticulously develop your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind and the home, including some contingencies, such as obtaining financing, completing the home inspection, and a clear title.

Upon submitting your offer, you'll want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to a seller to secure the offer to purchase the property. The amount is often applied to the closing costs. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the home about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
A lot of contracts aren't closed on the initial offer. It's widely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it discourage you. We'll consider whether or not to take the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and move on.

The state of the market will play a big part in how aggressively we negotiate the deal. In addition, we'll work within your financing constraints. And when it's all said and done, we'll formulate a deal that's best for you.

Step 7 – Obtain your loan
Upon finishing the contract, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-approved, it won't be a long process at all. However, you'll need to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll sort out all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

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

Then it's time to close on your home. This will likely take place at a title company or escrow office and is often a smooth and hassle-free occasion.

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

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