Are you contemplating buying a home in Charlotte? Thompson-Smith, Inc. can help.

Buying a home is stressful for most people, but with a little planning ahead of time, it's not very confusing. I like to give buyers an outline of the entire deal so they understand exactly what they can expect. Here are my nine steps to buying a home.

When you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or send me e-mail. I'm happy to address questions you have regarding this information.

Step 1 - Get ready to buy a home
There are plenty of things you need to do prior to commencing your home search. You'll most likely want to create a list of must-haves, get a feeling for what school districts and neighborhoods you want to live in, and begin planning your budget. A good principle to go by is that your mortgage payment should be less than or around a third of your monthly income.

Step 2 - Contact a real estate agent in Charlotte
This is where I come in. I'll 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 discuss everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the Charlotte area, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that might affect your purchase today or in the future.

I'll also help you begin the loan process. Thompson-Smith, Inc. partners with some of Charlotte's finest mortgage professionals, so you're in great hands. They can assist you in determining which type of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 - Start house-hunting
After our first meeting, I'll begin looking for available houses on the market that best suit you. I'll preview many of the houses and remove the bad ones, and then we'll schedule appointments to tour the homes whenever it's convenient for you.

When we tour homes, I'll call attention to positive features, as well as negative ones. And I'll ask you to talk about things you like and don't like. Generally, buyers update their wish list as we tour houses and some items become more necessary than others. If that's the case, I'll go back through all the listings one more time and narrow it down to the home you've been wishing for.

Step 4 - Get a grasp of the market
My awareness of the Charlotte home market is a fundamental advantage in your search. I'm informed of all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I will let you know certain areas are "hot" and call for immediate action and the rest that are "cold" and allow for careful analysis.

As we tour houses, I'll let you know if the seller's list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." Any real estate agent will convince you they understand the home market, but be mindful, and be sure to ask your agent a lot of questions. If things don't add up, contact me at 704-541-3801 or e-mail me at, and I'll be glad to answer your questions. My market expertise will keep you a step ahead throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 - Find the house you've been looking for
I'm sure we'll find the home of your dreams in the Charlotte area. When that happens, I'll precisely create your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind, including some contingencies. A few examples are getting financing, completing the inspection, and a clean title.

Let Thompson-Smith, Inc. guide you through finding your dream home in Charlotte When we turn in your offer, you'll want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to a seller to secure an offer to buy the property and is usually put towards the cost of closing. If your offer is accepted, we should close on the home about 30 to 60 days after. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 - Negotiate the deal
Most deals don't close on the beginning offer. It's widely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this intimidate you. We'll talk about whether or not to consent to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on.

How aggressively we negotiate the contract depends on the state of the market. We'll also work within your financing limits. And when it's all said and done, we'll put together a contract that's best for you.

Step 7 - Secure financing
After the deal is finalized, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-qualified, this won't take very long at all. However, you should stay in close contact with your lender. And I'll care for all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.>

Step 8 - Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of accepting your loan application. The estimate rests on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements mandate that it has to contain all closing costs and fall within a narrow range of accuracy. I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if everything looks all right.

Then we'll close on your house. This will probably occur at a title company or escrow office and will probably be a smooth and relaxed occurrence.

Step 9 - Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, be sure to contact me at 704-541-3801 or send me an e-mail.

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