Buying or selling a home? Westbank Realty can help.

Purchasing a home intimidates most people. However, with a little up-front planning, it isn't very confusing. So you'll understand exactly what to expect, I like to provide my buyers with a road map of the whole deal. These are my nine steps to buying a home.

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Step 1 – Prepare to purchase
Prior to starting your home search, there are many things you'll want to consider. When you begin your search, you'll probably want to create a list of must-haves, get a plan of what school districts and neighborhoods you want to live in, and begin working on your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than or around a third of your monthly income is a good rule to go by.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent in Austin
This is where I come in. We can arrange a time to get together so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about the mortgage and housing industries, other economic factors that could potentially affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and schools in the Austin area.

I'll also help you get started on your loan. Westbank Realty works with some of the best mortgage professionals in Austin, so you'll be in great hands. They'll help you choose which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start looking for a home
After our first meeting, I'll start searching for houses on the market that suit your needs. I'll preview most of the houses and throw out the duds, and then we'll schedule appointments to tour the houses whenever it's convenient for you.

When we view the houses, I'll identify positive features and bad ones. I'll even ask you to point out what things you like and don't like. It's pretty common for buyers to revise their wish list as we view homes and some items become far more necessary than others. If such is the case, I'll look through the listings once more and trim it down to the home you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Get a feel for the housing market
My awareness of the Austin housing market is a crucial resource in your search. I am acquainted with all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I'll let you know certain neighborhoods are "hot" and demand prompt action and the ones that are "cool" and allow for thoughtful examination.

As we view homes, I'll be sure to tell you when the list price has room for negotiation and also when I trust the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be mindful and be sure to ask a lot of questions, as every REALTOR® will convince you they understand the housing market. If things don't add up, call me at 512-444-1300 or e-mail me at, and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. My understanding of the market will help you stay a step above the rest throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been waiting for
I'm confident we'll find your dream home in the Austin area, and when that happens, I'll meticulously create your purchase offer. The offer will be written exactly to your needs. Whenever necessary, I never forget to make contracts contingent upon items like acquiring financing and the results of the home inspection.

Let Westbank Realty guide you through finding your dream home in Austin When sending in your purchase offer, you'll likely need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the seller to secure an offer to purchase the property. The amount is typically put towards the cost of closing. If the seller accepts your offer, we should close about 30 to 60 days after. This allows necessary 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. But don't let this discourage you. We'll discuss whether or not to take the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and go on.

Market circumstances determine how aggressively we negotiate the deal. In addition, we'll work within your financing budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll create a contract that's best for you.

Step 7 – Get your loan
After the deal is signed, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. It shouldn't take much time at all if you're already pre-approved, but you need to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll manage all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your lender will supply 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) outlining your closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of getting your application. This estimate is formed from the loan amount, and RESPA requirements mandate that it has to contain all closing costs and be within a precise range of accuracy. I'll examine the estimate and let you know if everything looks all right.

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

Step 9 – Move in
You made it! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, make sure you call me at 512-444-1300 or send me an e-mail.