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Buying a home is an exciting experience, but it can also be overwhelming. So, where do you start? There are 10 important steps to follow when purchasing a new home. In our previous post, we discussed the first five steps in the home-buying process:

• Define Your Needs
• Work with a Realtor
• Get Pre-Qualified or Pre-Approved for a Loan
• Home Search and Neighborhood Information
• Make an Offer

In this article, we will focus on the last five steps:

• Negotiate the Price
• Coordinate with Service Providers
• Before Closing the Sale
• Closing the Sale
• Post-Closing the Sale

Step #6: Negotiate the Price
Once you make an offer, you will receive a counteroffer from the seller. A counteroffer provides you with what the seller is willing to negotiate. Keep in mind that everything in the deal is negotiable. In most instances, your original offer will not stand as presented to the seller. Some things the seller may negotiate include price, closing costs, and repairs. They may also consider landscaping, closing date, appliances, furnishings, painting and carpet.

Step #7: Coordinate with Service Providers
When the offer is accepted, your realtor will schedule inspections of the property. The inspections may include: general condition of the property, termite and foundation inspections. The realtor will then coordinate with the seller to fix issues that the inspectors find. This is another area for negotiation.

You will need to talk with your insurance company about coverage for your home. You should consider extra home warranties for things like plumbing, wiring and HVAC.

Step #8: Before Closing the Sale
The next step is to meet with a representative from the escrow or title company you plan to use. Your lender will prepare all necessary documentation. They will deliver documentation to the appropriate location and on the appropriate date.

Your realtor will assist you in knowing how much you will need to pay at closing, who to make the check out to, and what form of payment is acceptable (e.g., personal check, cashier’s check, money order, etc.).

Step #9: Closing the Sale
Closing on a home is where the ownership of the home is legally transferred from the seller to the buyer. In most instances, you will meet at the title company’s office to sign the necessary documents. You must bring the appropriate documentation, identification and payment at that time. Closing on your home should be done in one visit if you have an organized realtor and mortgage lender.

Step #10: Post-Closing the Sale
Once you have closed on the sale of your home, you will need to set up a few things. Schedule turn-on dates for necessities like electricity, gas, water, and trash/waste service. Don't forget cable or satellite service, telephone, and Internet service as well. If your neighborhood requires homeowner association fees, you'll start paying those now too.

Buying a home is a big deal, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you follow these 10 steps and stay focused on what you can afford, you'll greatly reduce your stress.

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