Buying or selling a home?

Buying a home is intimidating for most people, but it isn't that confusing with a bit of up-front planning. So you'll know exactly what to expect, I like to provide my buyers with an outline of the whole deal. Below are my nine steps to purchasing a home.

If you have questions about this information or if you're ready to get started, just contact me here or send e-mail to

Step 1 – Prepare to buy
There are many things you should do prior to commencing your home search. You'll most likely want to assemble a list of features you need to have, get an idea of what school districts and neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and start planning around your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than 30 percent of your net monthly income is a good rule of thumb to adhere to.

Step 2 – Get in touch with a real estate agent
This is where Martin Lopez can help. I'd love to set up a time to meet with you and speak with you regarding why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll talk about neighborhoods, school districts in the Downey area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any additional economic factors that could affect your purchase today or in the future.

I'll also assist you with getting started on your loan. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in Downey, and I work 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 qualified.

Step 3 – Start looking for a home
After we meet for the first time, I'll begin looking for available homes on the market that meet your needs. I'll research most of the homes and ignore the duds, and then we'll set up appointments to view the houses when it's most convenient for you.

When we tour the houses, I'll point out positive features and bad ones. I'll also ask you to point out what things you like and dislike. Generally, buyers revise their list of must-haves as we view houses and some items become more important than others. If such is the case, I'll go back through the listings once more and narrow it down to the home you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Understand the market
My understanding of the Downey market is a crucial resource in your home search. I am mindful of all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I can let you know certain areas are "hot" and warrant prompt action and the others that are "cool" and allow for thoughtful examination.

As we tour houses, I'll make sure to communicate if the seller's asking price has room for bargaining or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be on guard and be sure to ask a lot of questions, as every REALTOR® in Downey will tell you they truly know the housing market. If things don't add up, call me at 562-824-3216 or e-mail me at, and I'll be glad to answer your questions. My understanding of the market will keep you a step above the rest through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
I'm positive we'll find the house of your dreams in Downey, and when we do, I'll carefully create your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs. Whenever necessary, I never forget to make contracts contingent upon items like your ability to secure financing and the results of the home inspection.

Let Martin Lopez guide you through finding your dream home in Downey When presenting your purchase offer, you'll likely want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the home seller to secure the offer to buy the property and is most often put towards the cost of closing. If the seller accepts your offer, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days after. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
A lot of contracts aren't closed on the beginning offer. It's really common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it alarm you. We'll talk over whether or not to agree to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

The state of the market will play a role in how aggressively we negotiate the deal. In addition, we'll work within your financing constraints. And at the end of the day, we'll assemble a deal that works well for you.

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

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

Then we'll close on your house. This will likely happen at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and pleasant affair.

Step 9 – Move in
You made it! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, make sure you call me at 562-824-3216 or send me an e-mail.

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