Buying or selling a home?

Buying a home can be stressful for many people, but with a bit of planning ahead of time, it's not all that confusing. I like to give buyers a road map of the entire deal so they'll know exactly what to expect. These are my nine steps to purchasing a home. If you have questions regarding any of this information or if you're prepared to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase
There are many things you need to contemplate prior to starting your home search. You'll want to create a check list of must-have features, get a plan of what school districts you want to live in, and begin planning around your budget. A good principle to follow is that your mortgage payment should be less than 30 percent of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent in Piedmont
This is where Piedmont Realty Inc comes in. I'd love to plan a time to meet with you and communicate with you about your real estate needs and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll discuss the mortgage industry, other economic factors that could affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and schools in the Piedmont area.

I'll also help you get started on your loan. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Piedmont, and I work with a lot of them, so you'll be in great hands. They'll help you figure out which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start house hunting
After our initial meeting, I'll start looking for available homes on the market that suit your needs. I'll research most of the houses and throw out the bad ones, and then we'll book appointments to view the houses when it's convenient for you.

When we view the houses, I'll show you the good features and bad ones. And I'll ask you to tell us about things you like and dislike. Most often, buyers amend their must-have list as we tour houses and some things become more essential than others. If that's the case, I'll look through the listings once more and trim it down to the home you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Understand the housing market
An agent's understanding of the Piedmont home market is a crucial element in your home search. And I can assure you I'm acquainted with all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I'll communicate some districts are "hot" and warrant immediate action and others that are "cold" and allow for careful examination.

As we tour houses, I'll make sure to communicate if the list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." Every REALTOR will tell you they truly understand the housing market, but trust your instincts, and be sure to ask your agent a lot of questions. If it seems like they don't know everything, just call me at 405-373-3970 or e-mail me at , and I'll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. My understanding of the market will keep you a step ahead through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find your dream house
I'm certain we'll find the house of your dreams in Piedmont. When we do, I'll thoroughly develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs and the home, including a lot of contingencies. A few examples are acquiring financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clear title.

Upon presenting your purchase offer, most likely you'll need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the home seller to secure the offer to purchase the property, and it's often put towards the closing costs. If your offer is accepted, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days after. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Most deals don't close on the first offer. It's really common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it intimidate you. We'll discuss whether or not to consent to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

How aggressively we negotiate the contract depends on the state of the market. We'll also work within your budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll formulate a contract that works well for you.

Step 7 – Secure financing
Once the contract is finished, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you're pre-qualified, this won't be a long process at all. But you'll want to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll manage all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of taking your loan application. This estimate is based on the loan amount. RESPA requirements dictate that it has to include all closing costs and fall within a strict range of accuracy, and I'll study the estimate and let you know if everything looks okay.

Then we'll close on your house. This will likely take place at a title company or escrow office and is often a smooth and hassle-free affair.

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