9 Steps to Buying A Home


Step 1 - Make the Decision to Buy

It seems obvious, but it's good to note that the first step to buying a house is making the decision. Consider the reasons you want to buy in the Tampa Bay area and how long you want to live here. Perhaps you want to purchase investment property?  Does buying make good financial sense? Can you afford a house that will meet your list of requirements? A good rule of thumb is your mortgage payment should not exceed 1/3 of your net monthly income.  WRITE ALL OF THIS DOWN!


Step 2 - Seek Professional Guidance

First, we will meet in person to discuss the reasons you want to buy a house and your plans for the future. We'll talk in details about what items are important to you like neighborhoods, schools, beaches, lakes, shopping, cultural and sporting activities and transportation logistics as well as economic factors that may affect the market today and in the future.

I will help you get pre-qualified for a mortgage loan. Pre-qualification is a written statement from a loan officer indicating his or her opinion that you will be approved for a mortgage loan up to a certain amount.  Keep in mind that although you may be pre-qualified for a specific amount, we will be looking for homes that not only fit your criteria, they will usually be lower than that amount but sometimes can even be slightly over that amount. 
Getting pre-qualified will help us when we are negotiating the sales price.


Step 3 - Begin the Hunt

After our initial meeting, I will search all my resources for properties on the market within the area or areas that fit your criteria.  I strongly advise you to do your own research on real estate consumer websites such as Zillow, House Hunt, Realtor and Trulia so that you can begin to get a feel for price ranges in the areas and neighborhoods you are considering.  You can obtain lots of valuable information, such as average sales prices for subdivisions and zip codes as well as recent prices of sold properties, demographics and crime statistics. I also highly advise you to drive around neighborhoods in the areas you are considering which will give you a good idea of the condition of homes.  Your own research will certainly help you pinpoint not only what you can afford but also in what locations.

Once you indicate you are interested in viewing specific properties, I will schedule appointments to tour houses at times convenient for you.

As we tour homes, I'll point out positive and negative features. I'll ask you to tell me what you like and what you don't like. You'll probably amend your "wish list" with some things becoming more important and others less important. With this new information, I'll refine our search criteria to narrow in on the house of your dreams.

Based on your "wish list", I also may make suggestions of areas you may not have considered.  We have many hidden desirable neighborhood gems in the Tampa Bay area.


Step 4 - Know the Market

My knowledge of the current local real estate market is an essential factor in the house search. I not only work, but also live within the surrounding area.  I know the cities and neighborhoods throughout Pinellas County, Hillsborough County and Pasco County and can make suggestions based on your needs and desires.  I will let you know when the market in a particular neighborhood is "hot" and requires immediate action or when the market is "cool" and allows for thoughtful consideration.

As we tour houses, I'll let you know when the asking price has negotiating room and when the house is "priced to sell". As your realtor representative, my real estate market knowledge, instinct and diligence will provide you solid options for buying a home, keeping you ahead of other potential buyers, which is especially important.

In a seller's market it is not unusual to see multiple offers on a property, full-price offers and even above-price offers.  I personally feel the market is balanced and not necessarily an advantage for sellers or buyers. Even though we may not necessarily be in a buyer's market like 2012 - 2013, there are still ample opportunities to negotiate and find the right home at the right price!


Step 5 - Find Your Dream House

I'm confident that together we'll find your dream house, whether it's located in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Dunedin, Largo, Seminole, Gulfport, Pinellas Park, Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, New Port Richey, Clearwater Beach, Oldsmar, Treasure Island, Madeira Beach, Redington Shores, in a specific neighborhood you desire, or any other city in Pinellas, Pasco or Hillsborough County.  When we do, I'll put together the purchase offer, tailored for your needs, including appropriate contingencies (such as obtaining financing, favorable home inspection, clear title, etc.).

The offer is normally presented with "earnest money". This is a cash deposit made to a home seller to secure an offer to buy the property. The amount is applied to closing costs. If the seller accepts the offer, generally closing is held 30 to 60 days from the offer date, depending on the turn around time of your mortgage financing.  Keep in mind, when dealing with bank owned foreclosures or "short sales", this process is often significantly longer.


Step 6 - Negotiate the Deal

It is not uncommon to receive a counter offer when the initial purchase offer is submitted. Don't let this discourage you. We will discuss the counter offer and decide whether or not to accept the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or reject the counter offer and move on.

Market conditions, as well as how motivated a particular seller is, will play a role in how aggressively we negotiate the deal. We will also work within your limits. Emotions can lead to buyer's remorse. It is better to set limits prior to negotiating an offer and stick to these limits.


Step 7 - Get a Loan

During the closing period, you will be working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. Since you pre-qualified for the loan before starting your home search, you will be that much closer to the end. I'll gather the necessary property information your lender will need to close the loan.


Step 8 - Close the Deal

You will receive a "Good Faith Estimate" of closing costs at the time the loan application is submitted to the lender. The estimate is based on the loan officer's past experience and may not include all the closing costs. I will review the "Good Faith Estimate," answer questions and identify any missing costs and inaccurate estimates.


Step 9 - Move In

Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home in the Tampa Bay area!!  As your licensed real estate agent, I'll also provide assistance in any way, including a checklist to help you remember the numerous details, that will make your moving day a pleasure.

Begin your search right here on my site via the buttons on the left side of the page!  You can check my own personal listings, my broker's office listings and even Search for homes throughout the Tampa Bay area.

Let's get started to find you the right property for your needs!


 Linda Faucett

Re/Max Action First

Real Estate Consultant

727-385-8063 voice/text


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  We cannot say enough about the competency, professionalism, warmth, and undying patience we experienced from Linda Faucett during the process of relocating from the Midwest and buying our new home in the Tampa Bay area.

Linda took the time and went to great lengths to get to know us and to understand our unique needs even before we met her in person.  She listened intently to both our individual and combined descriptions about what we desired in our new home.

She exhaustively researched possible homes to meet our diverse needs that also fell within our projected budget.  Linda also provided extensive advance information that saved us a tremendous amount of time and aggravation which enabled us to focus our energy on our cross-country move.

Linda patiently and expertly guided us through several home showings as well as promptly responded to the numerous questions that were raised during this process.  Even when our questions were outside of her expertise, she promptly suggested valuable resources that could assist us.

She allowed us the time and space to decide on the home we wanted and never attempted to sway us toward any one particular property.  Once we narrowed our options, Linda helped us weigh out the strengths and challenges of each option.  In addition, once we ultimately made our decision, she helped us to negotiate a fair price for the home we now love.

Our list could go on and on. In short, she served as our advocate and friend throughout our search, our relocation, and our ultimate home purchase. We feel very fortunate to have found a real estate professional with the intelligence, dedication and expertise that Linda Faucett provides.
Bill and Joel
Pinellas Park

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