Are you buying your new home in Winston-Salem? John-Mark Mitchell's Realty Group can help.

With a little up-front planning, buying a home isn't too complicated, but the event intimidates many people. I like to furnish buyers with a road map of the entire deal so they understand exactly what they can expect. These are my nine steps to buying a home. When you're ready to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm happy to answer questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase
There are several things you should contemplate before commencing your home search. When you begin your search, you'll probably want to create an index of features you want, get a feeling for what school districts and neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and start working on your budget. A good guideline to follow is that your mortgage payment should be around a third of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent in Winston-Salem
This is where John-Mark Mitchell's Realty Group comes in. We can plan a time to meet so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll talk about everything from neighborhoods, schools in the Winston-Salem area, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that may potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you get started on your loan. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in Winston-Salem, and I partner with a lot of them, so you're in great hands. They can help you decide which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin looking
After our initial meeting, I'll start finding available homes on the market that suit your needs. I'll get a sneak peek of most of the homes and exclude the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to view the houses when it's most convenient for you.

As we tour houses, I'll point out good features, as well as negative ones. I'll also ask you to tell us about things you like and don't like. As a rule, buyers amend their list of must-haves as we tour houses and some things become far more necessary than others. If that happens, I'll search the listings again and narrow it down to the house you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Know the market
My understanding of the Winston-Salem market is a leading component in your home search. I am acquainted with all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I can alert you to some areas are "hot" and call for immediate action and some that are "cold" and allow for careful examination.

As we tour houses, I'll make sure to communicate when the seller's asking price has room for negotiation and also when I think the home is "priced to sell." Every REALTOR in Winston-Salem will claim to truly understand the market, but take notice, and be sure to ask your agent lots of questions. If things don't add up, just call me at (336) 722-9911 or e-mail me at , and I'd be happy to answer any questions you have. My knowledge of the market will help you stay a step ahead throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
We'll find the home of your dreams in Winston-Salem, and when we do, I'll meticulously create your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs and the home, including several contingencies, such as obtaining financing, completing the inspection, and a clean title.

Upon submitting your offer, you'll want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to a home seller to secure an offer to buy the property, and it's most often applied to the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days after. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most deals aren't closed on the initial offer. It's widely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this intimidate you. We'll talk over whether or not to accept the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and go on.

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

Step 7 – Get financing
After the contract is finalized, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you're pre-approved, it shouldn't be a long process at all, but you need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll take care of all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will send you a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing closing costs within three days of accepting your application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) of closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of receiving your loan application. The estimate depends on the loan amount. RESPA requirements require that it has to involve all closing costs and fall within a close 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 house. This will most likely take place at a title company or escrow office and is often a smooth and easygoing occasion.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, simply call me at (336) 722-9911 or e-mail me at .