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

Purchasing a home is a stressful event for most people. However, with a bit of up-front planning, it's not that hard. So they'll understand exactly what they can expect, I like to provide buyers with an overview of the whole deal. Here are my nine steps to purchasing a home. If you have questions about any of this information or if you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase a home
Prior to beginning your home search, there are many things you need to contemplate. It's likely that you'll want to create an index of features you need to have, get a plan of what school districts you'd like to live in, and begin planning around your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than or close to a third of your net monthly income is a good rule of thumb to follow.

Step 2 – Connect with a real estate agent in Needham
This is where I can help. We can book 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 discuss everything from neighborhoods, schools in the Needham area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that could affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I'll also assist you with getting started on your loan. There are some great mortgage professionals in Needham, and I work with a lot of them, so you'll be in great hands. They'll assist you with choosing which kind of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start your home search
After our initial meeting, I'll begin looking for houses on the market that are great for you. I'll preview many of the houses and eliminate the duds, and then we'll book appointments to view the homes whenever it's most convenient for you.

As we tour the homes, I'll point out positive features, as well as bad ones. I'll even ask you to point out what things you like and don't like. It's common for buyers to change their wish list as we view houses and some features become more necessary than others. If that's the case, I'll look through all the listings again and narrow it down to the home you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Comprehend the market
An agent's awareness of the Needham housing market is an imperative agent in your house search. And I assure you I'm conscious of all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I can alert you to what districts are "hot" and warrant immediate action and some that are "cool" and allow for more analysis.

As we view houses, I'll be sure to tell you when the seller's list price has room for negotiation and also when I think the home is "priced to sell." Trust your instincts and make sure you ask your agent a lot of questions, as every REALTOR in Needham will claim to truly understand the home market. If things don't add up, call me at (617) 799-3326 or e-mail me at , and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. My market knowledge will help you stay a step ahead throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find your dream house
I'm positive we'll find your dream home in the Needham area. When that happens, I'll meticulously develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be made to suit your needs and the home. We'll include a lot of contingencies, such as obtaining financing, finishing the home inspection, and a clean title.

Upon sending in your offer, you'll likely need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to a seller to secure the offer to purchase the property and is usually put towards the cost of closing. If your offer is accepted, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days after. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Unfortunately most contracts aren't closed on the beginning offer – it's extremely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it intimidate you. We'll talk about whether or not to take the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

Market circumstances determine how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your financing limits. And when it's all said and done, we'll put together a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Secure a loan
After the contract is finalized, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-approved, this shouldn't be a long process at all, but you'll need to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll manage all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your lender will send you a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining your closing costs within three days of receiving your loan application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) of your closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of accepting your application. The estimate is formed from the loan amount. RESPA requirements dictate that it has to involve all closing costs and be within a close range of accuracy, and I'll review the estimate and let you know if it all looks all right.

Then we'll close on your home. This will most often take place at a title company or escrow office and will most likely be a smooth and easygoing 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, just call me at (617) 799-3326 or e-mail me at .

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Louis Wolfson & Co.

29 Cimino Road
Needham, MA 02494