Buying or selling a home?

Purchasing a home is intimidating for most people, but with a bit of up-front planning, it's not that hard. So you know exactly what to expect, I like to give my buyers an overview of the entire deal. These are my nine steps to buying a home.

If you have any questions about this information or if you're prepared to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase a home
There are many things you need to contemplate before you start searching for a home. When you start your search, you'll want to form an index of features you need, get a feel for what neighborhoods and school districts you'd like to live in, and begin planning your budget. A good guideline to follow is that your mortgage payment should be 30 percent of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent in Durham
That's where I come in. I'd love to arrange a time to get together with you and speak with you regarding why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the Durham area, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that could affect your purchase today or in the future.

In addition, I'll assist you in getting started on your loan. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Durham, and I partner with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They will help you choose which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin looking for a house
After we meet, I'll start finding available homes on the market that suit your needs. I'll research most of the houses and remove the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the houses when it's most convenient for you.

As we tour the houses, I'll show you the positive features and negative ones. I'll even ask you to tell us about things you like and don't like. Usually, buyers update their must-have list as we view houses and some items become more important than others. If that's the situation, I'll search all the listings one more time and narrow it down to the house of your dreams.

Step 4 – Understand the market
An agent's knowledge of the Durham market is a leading component in your home search. And I can assure you I'm acquainted with all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I will let you know what districts are "hot" and demand prompt action and others that are "cool" and allow for thoughtful examination.

As we view 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 REALTOR® in Durham will tell you they comprehend the home market, but take notice, and be sure to ask plenty of questions. If things don't add up, call me at (919) 260-2507 or e-mail me at, and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. My market expertise will keep you a step ahead through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been looking for
We'll find your dream home in the Durham area, and when we do, I'll meticulously develop your purchase offer. The offer will be made to suit your needs. Whenever necessary, I never forget to make contracts contingent upon items like obtaining financing and the results of the home inspection.

Let Tiffany Elder - Broker, Realtor guide you through finding your dream home in Durham When we submit your offer, you'll probably want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a home seller to secure an offer to buy the property. The amount is most often applied to the closing costs. If your offer is accepted, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows sufficient time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most deals don't close on the first offer, and it's widely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it discourage you. We'll discuss whether or not to accept the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and go on.

How aggressively we negotiate the deal depends on the state of the market. In addition, we'll work within your budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll formulate a deal that's best for you.

Step 7 – Obtain your loan
After we sign the final deal, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. It shouldn't be a long process at all if you're already pre-approved, but you should to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll manage all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your lender will supply you with a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) outlining closing costs within three days of accepting your application. You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) outlining your closing costs from your lender within three days of getting your application. This estimate rests on the loan amount. RESPA requirements require that it has to involve all closing costs and be within a strict range of accuracy, and I'll examine the estimate and let you know if everything looks adequate.

Then we'll close on your home. This will most likely happen at a title company or escrow office and will probably be a smooth and pleasant event.

Step 9 – Move in
Success! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, be sure to contact me at (919) 260-2507 or send me an e-mail.

Tiffany Elder - Broker, Realtor

6409 Fayetteville Rd. Suite 120-367
Durham, NC 27713