Dale Gratzol, Certified Residential Specialist
Search Area Homes Find A Home! Selling Your Home Free Home Valuation

Buying or selling a home in South Bend?

Purchasing a home is an intimidating event for many people. However, with a little planning ahead of time, it's not all that hard. So you know exactly what to expect, I like to provide my buyers with a road map of the whole deal. Here are my nine steps to purchasing a home.

If you have questions regarding any of this information or if you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at dgratzol@comcast.net.


Step 1 – Prepare to buy
There are plenty of things you need to contemplate before you look for a home. It's likely that you'll want to make an index of items 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 or around a third of your net monthly income is a good principle to go by.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent
That's where I come in. I'd be more than happy to book a time to meet with you and communicate 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 South Bend area, the mortgage industry, and any additional economic factors that may potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

I'll also help you begin the loan process. Coldwell Banker Anchor Real Estate partners with some of the best mortgage professionals in South Bend, 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 – Start looking for a house
After our first meeting, I'll begin finding available homes on the market that are good for you. I'll preview most of the houses and exclude the duds, and then we'll book appointments to tour the homes when it's convenient for you.

When we view houses, I'll point out good features and bad ones. And I'll ask you to talk about things you like and don't like. As a rule, buyers change their must-have list as we view houses and some items become more necessary than others. If that's the situation, I'll look through all the listings one more time and trim it down to the home you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Get a feel for the housing market
My awareness of the South Bend market is an indispensable asset in your home search. I am acquainted with all the neighborhoods and schools, and I'll communicate what districts are "hot" and demand immediate action and some that are "cold" and allow for thoughtful consideration.

When we tour homes, I'll let you know if the list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." Trust your instincts and be sure to ask your agent a lot of questions, as any real estate agent will claim to understand the home market. If it appears they don't know everything, call me at 574 243 9547 or e-mail me at dgratzol@comcast.net, and I'd be happy to answer any questions you have. My understanding of the market will keep you a step above the rest throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find your dream home
I'm sure we'll find your dream home in South Bend. When we do, I'll thoroughly create your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored exactly to your needs, including several contingencies. A few examples are acquiring financing, completing the home inspection, and a clear title.

Let Coldwell Banker Anchor Real Estate guide you through finding your dream home in South Bend When presenting your offer, you'll need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to a home seller to secure an offer to buy the property and is most often put towards the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted, we should close about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Most deals don't close on the beginning offer. It's extremely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this alarm you. We'll talk over whether or not to consent to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on.

How aggressively we negotiate the deal depends on market circumstances. In addition, we'll work within your financing budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll put together a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Obtain a loan
After the contract is finalized, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. This won't take much time at all if you're already pre-approved, but you'll need to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll take care of all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) detailing your closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of receiving your application. The estimate is formed from the loan amount. RESPA requirements dictate that it has to involve all closing costs and be within a close range of accuracy, and I'll review the estimate and let you know if it all looks good.

Then we'll close on your home. This will probably take place at a title company or escrow office and will likely be a smooth and hassle-free event.

Step 9 – Move in
You made it! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, just contact me at 574 243 9547 or send me an e-mail.