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

With some up-front planning, purchasing a home isn't very confusing, but the event is intimidating for many people. I like to provide buyers with an overview of the entire deal so they understand exactly what to expect. These are my nine steps to buying a home. Should you have any questions about this information or if you're ready to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase a home
Before you begin looking for a home, there are many things you need to do. It's likely that you'll want to form an outline of must-have features, get a feeling for what school districts you want to live in, and begin planning around your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than or around a third of your monthly income is a good rule of thumb to go by.

Step 2 – Connect with a real estate agent in Needham
That's where I can help. We can 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 discuss the mortgage and housing industries, other economic factors that could potentially affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and school districts in the Needham area.

I can also help you begin the loan process. I work with some of Needham's finest mortgage professionals, so you're in great hands. They'll assist you with figuring out which kind of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start looking for a home
Following our initial meeting, I'll begin looking for available houses on the market that are great for you. I'll get a sneak peek of most of the homes and ignore the duds, and then we'll schedule appointments to tour the houses whenever it's most convenient for you.

When we tour houses, I'll identify good features and bad ones. I'll even ask you to point out what things you like and don't like. For the most part, buyers change their must-have list as we tour homes and some items become more essential than others. If that happens, I'll search all the listings again and narrow it down to the house you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the housing market
My understanding of the Needham home market is an essential factor in your home search. I'm mindful of all the schools and neighborhoods, and I'll communicate which areas are "hot" and call for immediate action and the ones that are "cold" and allow for more examination.

As we tour homes, I'll make sure to communicate if the list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be mindful and make sure you ask plenty of questions. Every real estate agent in Needham will claim to comprehend the 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 have. My understanding of the market will help you stay a step above the rest throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find your dream home
I'm sure we'll find the house of your dreams in the Needham area. When we do, I'll thoroughly create your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs and the home, including many contingencies. A few examples are getting financing, completing the home inspection, and a clean title.

When we submit your purchase offer, most likely you'll need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to a home seller to secure the offer to buy the property. The amount is usually put towards the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the property within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Most contracts aren't closed on the beginning offer – it's pretty common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it alarm you. We'll figure out whether or not to consent to the counter offer, submit 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 when it's all said and done, we'll formulate a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Obtain financing
Upon finalizing the contract, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-approved, it won't take long at all. But you'll need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll sort out all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will supply you with a Loan Estimate (LE) of closing costs within three days of taking your loan application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) of your closing costs from your lender within three days of accepting your loan application. This estimate is based on the loan amount. RESPA requirements order that it has to include all closing costs and be within a narrow range of accuracy, and I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if it all looks adequate.

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

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

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Louis Wolfson & Co.

29 Cimino Road
Needham, MA 02494