Buying or selling a home ? RE/MAX - Roxanne Mercer can help.

Buying a home intimidates most people. However, with some up-front planning, it isn't very confusing. I like to furnish buyers with an outline of the entire deal so they understand exactly what they can expect. Here are my nine steps to purchasing a home.

If you have questions about any of this information or if you're prepared to get started, you can contact me here or send e-mail to

Step 1 – Prepare to buy a home
There are plenty of things you need to contemplate before you start searching for a home. You'll probably want to create an index of features you need, get an idea of what school districts and neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and start working on your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment around 30 percent of your net monthly income is a good rule to go by.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent
This is where I can help. I can schedule a time to get together so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss the mortgage industry, other economic factors that may potentially affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and school districts in the Healdsburg area.

In addition, I'll help you get started on your loan. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Healdsburg, and I work with a lot of them, so you're in great hands. They will assist you with deciding which type of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin looking for a house
After we meet, I'll start finding homes on the market that best suit you. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the homes and reject the bad ones, and then we'll schedule appointments to tour the homes whenever it's convenient for you.

As we tour houses, I'll identify good features and bad ones. I'll even ask you what things you like and dislike. Oftentimes, buyers amend their must-have list as we view houses and some things become more important than others. If that's the case, I'll look through all the listings once more and narrow it down to the home you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Get a feel for the market
An agent's understanding of the Healdsburg home market is a necessary component in your home search. And I assure you I'm informed of all the neighborhoods and schools, and I will let you know some areas are "hot" and warrant immediate action and the ones that are "cold" and allow for careful examination.

As we view homes, I'll be sure to tell you if the seller's asking price has room for bargaining or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be mindful and be sure to ask a lot of questions, as every real estate agent in Healdsburg will convince you they know the market. If things don't add up, contact me at (707) 869-9067 or e-mail me at, and I'll be glad to answer any questions you have. My understanding of the market will help you stay a step ahead throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been waiting for
I'm sure we'll find your dream house in the Healdsburg area. When we do, I'll carefully develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind, including several contingencies, such as acquiring financing, completing the inspection, and a clear title.

Let RE/MAX - Roxanne Mercer guide you through finding your dream home in Healdsburg Upon presenting your offer, you'll probably want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to the home seller to secure the offer to buy the property, and it's most often put towards the closing costs. If the offer is accepted by the seller, we should close about 30 to 60 days after. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most deals aren't closed on the initial offer, and it's widely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it alarm you. We'll figure out whether or not to accept the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

Market conditions determine how aggressively we negotiate the deal. In addition, we'll work within your budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll assemble a contract that is best for you.

Step 7 – Secure a loan
After we sign the final deal, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-approved, it won't take very long at all. However, you should to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll sort out all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.>

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will provide you with a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) detailing closing costs within three days of getting your application. This estimate depends on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements mandate that it has to include all closing costs and be within a narrow range of accuracy. I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if it all looks adequate.

Then it's time to close on your house. This will most often happen at a title company or escrow office and will most often be a smooth and calm event.

Step 9 – Move in
You made it! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, make sure you call me at (707) 869-9067 or send me an e-mail.

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