As we say in numerous places, buying a home should be an exciting adventure … and fun. But it is easy to get frustrated and stressed during the process, especially when there are genuine time pressures involved. Presented below are the steps you need to take to empowered yourself with insight and knowledge of the process. The “hunt” will be exciting and fun, and you can get the job done as efficiently as you need. At the bottom of this article are references to others that provide even more depth of insight and information.

Find the Right Agent

Connect with a Realtor®, a real estate professional … specifically The Neal Team to guide you through the process and to represent your interests with all other parties.

Perhaps surprisingly, this is most important in the purchase of a new home where all parties on the other side of the table have a legal obligation to the builder.

Get Proof of Qualification

If you are going to get a loan, the next step is to get pre-approved, not just pre-qualified, for financing. We will provide you with contact info for a few lenders who have performed well for other clients. Call as many as it takes to get comfortable with the person on the other end of the phone line. With this step you can learn of the numerous options you have for financing, establish the amount of cash you will need for the transaction, and the corresponding upper limit for the property price.

If you are going to pay cash, the next step is to get a “Proof of Funds” letter from your banker, or an authority where your liquid funds reside. It is NOT necessary to produce an actual account statement. It can be a simple one-paragraph letter. If you are concerned about revealing a maximum, the wording can be of the nature … “I have been asked to certify that Mr/Mrs John Doe currently has $xxx,xxx in liquid funds available to apply to any purchase he/she chooses. I do certify that. I also advise that this amount is not necessarily the maximum such funds he/she has available.”

In addition to getting “proof of qualification”, the other critical item to have at this step is the upper list price limit for your search, which might well be less than the max you qualify for.

Wish Lists and House Hunt

Develop your “Wish List” … your needs and preferences, in priority order. Put it all in, but work to be sure the order is valid and the range for each item is as flexible as possible.

Discuss your Wish List with TNT, particularly how each item is likely to affect your home choices considering the flexibility you are allowing for each, and your budget.

Establish the general area(s) likely to be of interest for your home. TNT’s knowledge of the metro-Phoenix communities will greatly assist you here.

With TNT, review on computer homes currently available that meet your initial criteria, which are likely to be adjusted in this activity.

With TNT as your guide, tour a few currently “Active” listing that best meet your criteria, again adjusting the criteria as you feel appropriate.

We will then set up a an ARMLS “portal” that will provide you with direct access to all currently Active listings meeting your criteria in your areas of interest. Then we tour with you every matching property, or as many as you have time for. With every property, be sure to discuss re-sale issues with TNT. You will want to sell some day, so it’s important to consider all relevant selling issues before you buy.

We will set up a “new listing” alert within your ARMLS portal. We should promptly tour newly listed properties that match your needs and preferences and otherwise seem attractive.

Offers and Negotiations

If you are serious about achieving good results, when you find a near-perfect fit, or even a really-good fit, quit looking and start negotiating. You will be really disappointed to come back to an exceptional property only to find that it is under contract.

When you have found “the” property, we will assist you to develop a competitive and compelling offer, then we negotiate on your behalf to an acceptable price, terms and conditions.

Appraisals, Inspections, Surveys, etc.

Get a professional inspection of the property. This is critical. If the issues found are numerous and/or serious, your best course of action may be to cancel the purchase, rather than demand correction by the seller.

The AAR Purchase Contract provides for three 10-day inspection periods, which typically overlap, for the physical inspection, review of homeowner association documents, and review of the title report. It is absolutely critical that you perform these reviews as thoroughly as possible. We will guide you through these, but only you can satisfy yourself about these issues.

Close the Transaction

If all goes well with financing and other escrow activities and events, close the purchase.

For more details and insight, call, email, or register here for your FREE no-obligation copy of our booklet … How to Buy … Step by Step. It will be emailed to you promptly.

The registration would also establish your account for direct, unlimited access to the database and tools used by Realtors working in the metro-Phoenix area … the best metro Phoenix homes information on the planet … and “the” source for all such data presented anywhere on the Internet … and you could get notice of, and access to, new listing information quicker.

Then call us as the first step and the process to set yourself up for success. You’ll be really glad you did. The Neal Team … Wally & Patricia Neal. 602-931-1010 …

Three other sources of really good information and guidance are:

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