Buying or selling a home? Independence Realty Group can help.

For most people, buying a home can be a stressful event. However, with a little up-front planning, it isn't very hard. I like to supply buyers with an overview of the whole deal so they'll know exactly what to expect. Here are my nine steps to buying a home.

If you have any questions regarding this information or if you're ready to get started, just contact me here or send e-mail to

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase
There are several things you need to contemplate before you search for a home. When you begin your search, you'll probably want to make a checklist of items you need, get a feel for what school districts and neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and begin planning your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is no more than a third of your net monthly income is a good guideline to adhere to.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent
This is where I can help. I can arrange a time to meet so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss the mortgage and housing industries, other economic factors that might affect your purchase today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and schools in the Winter Garden area.

I'll also help you begin the loan process. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Orlando, and I partner with a lot of them, 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 approved.

Step 3 – Start looking
After we meet, I'll begin searching for homes on the market that are good for you. I'll research most of the homes and reject the bad ones, and then we'll book appointments to tour the homes at a time that's convenient for you.

When we tour the houses, I'll identify positive features and negative ones. I'll also ask you to talk about things you like and don't like. It's pretty common for buyers to update their list of must-haves as we view homes and some items become far more important than others. If such is the case, I'll go back through all the listings again and narrow it down to the house you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Understand the market
Your agent's knowledge of the Orlando market is a crucial aspect in your house search. And I can assure you I'm familiar with all the neighborhoods and schools, and I will let you know what neighborhoods are "hot" and demand prompt action and the ones that are "cold" and allow for thoughtful 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 house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be mindful and make sure you ask plenty of questions. Every REALTOR® will tell you they know the home market. If things don't add up, just call me at 407-574-5780 or e-mail me at, and I'll be glad to answer your questions. My knowledge of the market will keep you a step above the rest through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home of your dreams
I know we'll find your dream home in Orlando. When that happens, I'll carefully develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind, including some contingencies. A few examples are acquiring financing, completing the inspection, and a clean title.

Let Independence Realty Group guide you through finding your dream home in Winter Garden When sending in your offer, you'll need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the home seller to secure the offer to buy the property. The amount is usually applied to the cost of closing. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days after. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Unfortunately most contracts don't close on the initial offer – it's very common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it intimidate you. We'll figure out whether or not to take the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

Market conditions will play a role in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your financing constraints. And when it's all said and done, we'll assemble a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Get a loan
After we sign the final deal, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-qualified, this shouldn't take long at all, but you'll need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll look after 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) detailing closing costs from your lender within three days of accepting your loan application. The estimate rests on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements dictate that it has to involve all closing costs and fall within a narrow range of accuracy. I'll study the estimate and let you know if it all looks adequate.

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

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, be sure to call me at 407-574-5780 or send me an e-mail.