Are you contemplating purchasing a new home in Winston-Salem? John-Mark Mitchell's Realty Group can help.

Buying a home is stressful for many people. However, with some up-front planning, it's not very confusing. So they know exactly what to expect, I will furnish buyers with a road map of the entire deal. Here are my nine steps to buying a home. If you have questions about this information or if you're prepared to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase a home
Prior to beginning your home search, there are plenty of things you should consider. You'll most likely want to create an outline of items you want to have, get a feel for what school districts and neighborhoods you want to live in, and start planning your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than a third of your monthly income is a good rule to go by.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent in Winston-Salem
This is where I can help. I'd be more than happy to arrange a time to get together with you and speak with you regarding your real estate needs and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about the mortgage and housing industries, other economic factors that might affect your purchase today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and school districts in the Winston-Salem area.

In addition, I'll assist you in getting started on your loan. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Winston-Salem, and I partner with a lot of them, so you're in great hands. They can assist you with figuring out which kind of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start your search
Following our initial meeting, I'll start looking for homes on the market that suit your needs. I'll research most of the houses and throw out the bad ones, and then we'll book appointments to view the homes whenever it's convenient for you.

As we tour the homes, I'll identify positive features and bad ones. I'll also ask you to point out what things you like and don't like. As a rule, buyers revise their list of must-haves as we view houses and some features become far more crucial than others. If that happens, I'll look through the listings another time and trim it down to the home you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Know the housing market
My understanding of the Winston-Salem housing market is an essential aspect in your home search. I am mindful of all the schools and neighborhoods, and I will let you know which districts are "hot" and require prompt action and the ones that are "cold" and allow for careful analysis.

As we view houses, I'll let you know when the seller's list price has room for negotiation and also when I know the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be careful and make sure you ask lots of questions, as every REALTOR in Winston-Salem will claim to comprehend the home market. If things don't add up, call me at (336) 722-9911 or e-mail me at , and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. My market knowledge will keep you a step ahead through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been looking for
I'm positive we'll find your dream home in Winston-Salem. When we do, I'll thoroughly develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be made to suit your needs and the home. We'll include many contingencies, such as getting financing, finishing the home inspection, and a clear title.

When submitting your purchase offer, you'll probably need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a seller to secure an offer to buy the property, and it's usually put towards the closing costs. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows sufficient time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Most contracts aren't closed on the first offer. It's widely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it alarm you. We'll talk about whether or not to agree to the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or refuse 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 budget. And at the end of the day, we'll assemble a contract that works well for you.

Step 7 – Get a loan
Upon finishing the deal, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're pre-approved, this shouldn't take long at all, but you'll need to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll take care of all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will furnish you with a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) of your closing costs within three days of receiving your loan application. You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) detailing closing costs from your lender within three days of accepting your loan application. This estimate is based on the loan amount. RESPA requirements require that it has to contain all closing costs and fall within a strict range of accuracy, and I'll examine the estimate and let you know if it all looks good.

Then we'll close on your house. This will most likely occur at a title company or escrow office and is often a smooth and calm event.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, be sure to contact me at (336) 722-9911 or e-mail me at .