Buying or selling a home? Steve Thomas Real Estate, LLC can help.

Buying a home can be stressful for many people. However, with some planning ahead of time, it's not too complicated. I like to supply buyers with a road map of the whole deal so they understand exactly what to expect. Below are my nine steps to purchasing a home. When you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm happy to address any questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to buy
Prior to starting your home search, there are a lot of things you'll want to contemplate. You'll most likely want to put together an outline of features you want, get an idea of what neighborhoods you want to live in, and start planning your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is around 30 percent of your monthly income is a good principle to go by.

Step 2 – Get in touch with a real estate agent
This is where Steve Thomas Real Estate, LLC can help. We'll arrange 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 could affect your purchase today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and schools in the Albany area.

In addition, I'll help you get started on your loan. I work with some of Albany's best mortgage professionals, so you'll be in great hands. They will assist you in figuring out which kind of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start your home search
After our first meeting, I'll start searching for available houses on the market that are a good fit for you. I'll get a sneak peek of most of the houses and ignore the duds, and then we'll schedule appointments to tour the homes whenever it's convenient for you.

When we view the homes, I'll identify good features and bad ones. I'll also ask you to talk about things you like and dislike. It's common for buyers to update their must-have list as we view houses and some items become far more substantial than others. If that's the situation, I'll go back through all the listings once more and narrow it down to the home of your dreams.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the market
An agent's awareness of the Albany housing market is an imperative aspect in your house search. And I assure you I'm informed of all the neighborhoods and schools, and I'll let you know some neighborhoods are "hot" and call for immediate action and others that are "cool" and allow for careful analysis.

As we tour houses, I'll make sure to communicate when the seller's asking price has room for bargaining and when I think the home is "priced to sell." Be careful and make sure you ask your agent plenty of questions, as any REALTOR in Albany will claim to comprehend the home market. If it doesn't seem like they know everything, just call me at (518) 426-7703 or e-mail me at , and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you have. My market knowledge will help you stay a step ahead through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been waiting for
We'll find your dream house in Albany, and when we do, I'll carefully create your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored exactly to your needs and the home, including a lot of contingencies. A few examples are getting financing, completing the home inspection, and a clean title.

When we present your purchase offer, you'll likely need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a seller to secure an offer to purchase the property. The amount is typically put towards the cost of closing. If your offer is accepted, we should close about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Unfortunately most contracts aren't closed on the beginning offer, and it's pretty common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it intimidate you. We'll figure out whether or not to consent to the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on.

How aggressively we negotiate the contract depends on market circumstances. In addition, we'll work within your financing limits. And when it's all said and done, we'll put together a contract that's best for you.

Step 7 – Get financing
After we sign the final sales contract, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-approved, it shouldn't take much time at all, but you'll need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll care for all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will give you a Loan Estimate (LE) of closing costs within three days of taking your application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining your closing costs from your lender within three days of getting your application. The estimate rests on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements require that it has to contain all closing costs and be within a close range of accuracy. I'll review the estimate and let you know if everything looks all right.

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

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, just contact me at (518) 426-7703 or e-mail me at .