Are you purchasing your home in Brandon?

For a lot of people, buying a home can be a stressful event. But with a bit of up-front planning, it's not that confusing. So you know exactly what to expect, I like to supply my buyers with an overview of the whole deal. Here are my nine steps to buying a home.

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

Step 1 – Prepare to buy
There are several things you should consider before starting your home search. You'll most likely want to form a check list of items you want to have, get a plan of what school districts you'd like to live in, and begin planning around your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than or around 30 percent of your net monthly income is a good guideline to adhere to.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent
This is where LARRY BARTOW - Keller Williams Realty comes in. I'd like to arrange a time to get together with you and communicate with you regarding your real estate needs and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll discuss neighborhoods, school districts in the Brandon area, the mortgage industry, and any other economic factors that could potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

I'll also assist you with getting started on your loan. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Brandon, and I work with a lot of them, so you'll be in great hands. They can assist you with deciding which kind of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start your search
After our first meeting, I'll begin looking for homes on the market that meet your needs. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the homes and reject the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the houses at a time that's convenient for you.

As we tour houses, I'll call attention to positive features, as well as negative ones. I'll even ask you what things you like and dislike. Most often, buyers amend their wish list as we tour homes and some things become more substantial than others. If such is the case, I'll search the listings another time and narrow it down to the home you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Know the market
Your agent's knowledge of the Brandon market is an imperative component in your home search. And I assure you I'm mindful of all the neighborhoods and schools, and I'll alert you to what neighborhoods are "hot" and demand prompt action and the ones that are "cool" and allow for more consideration.

As we tour homes, I'll be sure to tell you if the list price has room for bargaining or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and make sure you ask lots of questions, as every real estate agent in Brandon will tell you they understand the home market. If it appears they don't know everything, contact me at 813-924-2395 or e-mail me at, and I'd be happy to answer your questions. My market expertise will keep you a step above the rest through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
I know we'll find your dream house in Brandon. When that happens, I'll precisely develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind, including some contingencies. A few examples are getting financing, finishing the home inspection, and a clear title.

Let LARRY BARTOW - Keller Williams Realty guide you through finding your dream home in Brandon When we submit your offer, you'll need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to the home seller to secure an offer to purchase the property, and it's most often put towards the closing costs. If your offer is accepted, we should close about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Unfortunately most deals don't close on the first offer – it's really common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it discourage you. We'll figure out whether or not to accept the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and go on.

Market circumstances will play a big part in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. In addition, we'll work within your financing budget. And at the end of the day, we'll put together a deal that is best for you.

Step 7 – Secure financing
Upon finishing the contract, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-qualified, this shouldn't take much time at all. But you need to stay in close contact with your lender. And I'll sort out all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) outlining closing costs from your lender within three days of getting your loan application. This estimate rests on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements require that it has to contain all closing costs and be within a precise range of accuracy. I'll go over the estimate and let you know if it all looks all right.

Then we'll close on your home. This will most likely happen at a title company or escrow office and will probably be a smooth and hassle-free event.

Step 9 – Move in
Success! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, just call me at 813-924-2395 or send me an e-mail.