Buying or selling a home in Landrum? Mickey Hambright can help.

For most people, buying a home can be a stressful event. However, with a little up-front planning, it's not that difficult. I like to supply buyers with an overview of the whole deal so they understand exactly what to expect. These are my nine steps to buying a home. Should you have questions about any of this information or if you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Get ready to buy a home
Before you start looking for a home, there are a lot of things you should contemplate. You'll want to form a checklist of features you want, get a feeling for what neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and start planning around your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment around 30 percent of your monthly income is a good rule to follow.

Step 2 – Get in touch with a real estate agent
That's where I come in. We'll arrange a time to get together so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss neighborhoods, school districts in the Landrum area, the mortgage industry, and any additional economic factors that may affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I'll also help you start the loan process. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in Landrum, and I work with a lot of them, so you'll be in great hands. They will help you decide which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin house hunting
After we meet, I'll begin looking for available homes on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll preview many of the houses and exclude the bad ones, and then we'll book appointments to view the homes at a time that's convenient for you.

As we view homes, I'll show you the good features, as well as negative ones. I'll even ask you to talk about things you like and don't like. Generally, buyers revise their wish list as we tour houses and some things become far more substantial than others. If that happens, I'll search the listings another time and narrow it down to the house you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Understand the market
An agent's understanding of the Landrum home market is a crucial component in your home search. And I assure you I'm mindful of all the schools and neighborhoods, and I'll communicate some districts are "hot" and call for prompt action and some that are "cold" and allow for thoughtful consideration.

When we view homes, I'll be sure to tell you if the list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." Any REALTOR will convince you they comprehend the home market, but be wary, and make sure you ask lots of questions. If it appears they don't know everything, call me at 828-817-1796 or e-mail me at , and I'll be happy to answer your questions. My understanding of the market will keep you a step ahead through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
We'll find the home of your dreams in Landrum, and when that happens, I'll precisely create your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind and the home, including several contingencies. A few examples are obtaining financing, completing the inspection, and a clean title.

When we present your offer, you'll need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a home seller to secure the offer to purchase the property, and it's usually applied to the closing costs. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days after. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most contracts don't close on the first offer, and it's widely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it intimidate you. We'll figure out whether or not to agree to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and go on.

Market conditions will play a big part in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll create a contract that works well for you.

Step 7 – Get your loan
Upon finalizing the contract, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-qualified, it shouldn't be a long process at all. But you'll need to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll manage all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

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

Then we'll close on your home. This will most often occur at a title company or escrow office and is often a smooth and stress-free affair.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, simply call me at 828-817-1796 or e-mail me at .