Buying or selling a home?

Buying a home is intimidating for many people, but with a bit of up-front planning, it isn't very hard. So they understand exactly what they can expect, I like to provide buyers with an overview of the entire deal. Here are my nine steps to buying a home. When you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm glad to answer questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Prepare to buy a home
There are a lot of things you should consider before you look for a home. You'll most likely want to put together an index of features you want to have, get a feeling for what neighborhoods and school districts you want to live in, and begin planning your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than or close to 30 percent of your monthly income is a good principle to adhere to.

Step 2 – Contact a real estate agent in Piedmont
That's where I come in. We'll book a time to meet so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the Piedmont area, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that could potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

I'll also assist you in getting started on your loan. I work with some of Piedmont's best mortgage professionals, so you'll be in great hands. They will assist you with deciding which kind of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin looking for a house
After our initial meeting, I'll begin searching for available houses on the market that are good for you. I'll research many of the homes and remove the bad ones, and then we'll book appointments to view the homes when it's most convenient for you.

As we tour houses, I'll point out positive features and bad ones. And I'll ask you to point out what things you like and dislike. It's widely common for buyers to revise their wish list as we tour houses and some items become more essential than others. If that's the case, I'll go back through all the listings once again and trim it down to the house you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Understand the market
An agent's knowledge of the Piedmont home market is a leading factor in your house search. And I can assure you I'm mindful of all the neighborhoods and schools, and I will alert you to which neighborhoods are "hot" and demand prompt action and some that are "cold" and allow for thoughtful examination.

As we tour homes, 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, trust your instincts and make sure you ask plenty of questions. Every REALTOR will tell you they understand the market. If things don't add up, just call me at 405-373-3970 or e-mail me at , and I'll be happy to answer your questions. My knowledge of the market will help you stay a step ahead throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find your dream house
We'll find the house of your dreams in Piedmont, and when that happens, I'll precisely develop your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind and the home, including some contingencies, such as acquiring financing, finishing the inspection, and a clean title.

Upon presenting your offer, you'll need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to a seller to secure the offer to purchase the property and is typically applied to the closing costs. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close on the home about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
A lot of deals don't close on the first offer, and it's extremely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it intimidate you. We'll talk over whether or not to take the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and go on.

Market circumstances will play a role in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. In addition, we'll work within your budget. And at the end of the day, we'll formulate a contract that is best for you.

Step 7 – Secure a loan
After we sign the final sales contract, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. This won't be a long process at all if you're pre-approved, but you should to keep in close contact with your mortgage 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 Loan Estimate (LE) outlining your closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of getting your application. The estimate depends on the loan amount. RESPA requirements order that it has to include all closing costs and fall within a narrow range of accuracy, and I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if everything looks permissible.

Then it's time to close on your home. This will likely take place at a title company or escrow office and will most likely be a smooth and pleasant affair.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, be sure to call me at 405-373-3970 or e-mail me at .