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

Buying a home is an intimidating event for most people. However, with a little up-front planning, it isn't too confusing. I like to furnish buyers with an outline of the entire deal so they'll understand exactly what to expect. Here are my nine steps to purchasing a home. If you have any questions about any of this information or if you're ready to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase a home
There are many things you need to take into account prior to commencing your home search. You'll probably want to put together an index of must-haves, get a feel for what neighborhoods and school districts you want to live in, and begin planning your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment around a third of your monthly income is a good principle to go by.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent in Needham
That's where I can help. I'd be more than happy to arrange a time to get together with you and communicate with you regarding your real estate needs and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll talk about neighborhoods, school districts in the Needham area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any additional economic factors that could potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you begin the loan process. Louis Wolfson & Co. works with some of Needham's finest mortgage professionals, so you're in great hands. They'll assist you with determining which type of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start your search
After our first meeting, I'll start looking for available houses on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll research many of the houses and remove the bad ones, and then we'll schedule appointments to tour the homes when it's most convenient for you.

When we tour the homes, I'll call attention to positive features and bad ones. I'll even ask you to talk about things you like and don't like. It's common for buyers to amend their must-have list as we view houses and some items become more essential than others. If that's the case, I'll search the listings another time and narrow it down to the home of your dreams.

Step 4 – Comprehend the housing market
Your agent's understanding of the Needham housing market is an essential aspect in your house search. And I assure you I'm mindful of all the schools and neighborhoods, and I'll let you know which neighborhoods are "hot" and demand immediate action and some that are "cool" and allow for careful consideration.

When we view houses, I'll make sure to communicate if the list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be mindful and be sure to ask lots of questions, as any REALTOR will claim to truly understand the home market. If things don't add up, contact me at (617) 799-3326 or e-mail me at , and I'll be glad to answer any questions you may have. My knowledge of the market will keep you a step above the rest throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the home of your dreams
We'll find your dream house in Needham, and when that happens, I'll thoroughly create your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind and the home, including a lot of contingencies, such as getting financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clean title.

Upon sending in your offer, most likely you'll want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a home seller to secure the offer to buy the property and is most often applied to the cost of closing. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close about 30 to 60 days after. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Unfortunately most deals don't close on the initial offer – it's really common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this intimidate you. We'll talk about whether or not to agree to the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and go on.

Market circumstances 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 contract that is best for you.

Step 7 – Secure a loan
Upon completing the deal, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. It shouldn't be a long process at all if you're pre-qualified, but you'll need to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll deal with all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining your closing costs from your lender within three days of receiving your application. This estimate is formed from the loan amount, and RESPA requirements dictate that it has to involve all closing costs and fall within a narrow range of accuracy. I'll study the estimate and let you know if everything looks all right.

Then we'll close on your home. This will most often happen at a title company or escrow office and will likely be a smooth and pleasant affair.

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

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