Buying or selling a home?

Purchasing a home is stressful for many people, but with a little up-front planning, it isn't too hard. I like to give buyers an overview of the whole deal so they'll know exactly what to expect. These are my nine steps to purchasing a home. Should you have any questions regarding this information or if you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Get ready to buy
There are a lot of things you should contemplate before you search for a home. It's likely that you'll want to put together a check list of features you need to have, get a plan of what neighborhoods and school districts you want to live in, and begin planning around your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than or around 30 percent of your net monthly income is a good guideline to adhere to.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent in Tulsa
This is where I come in. We can schedule a time to get together so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll talk about neighborhoods, schools in the Tulsa area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any additional economic factors that may potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you facilitate the loan process. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in Tulsa, and I work with a lot of them, so you'll be in great hands. They can assist you in determining which type of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start your search
After our first meeting, I'll begin searching for houses on the market that are a good fit for you. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the houses and reject the duds, and then we'll book appointments to tour the homes whenever it's most convenient for you.

When we tour the houses, I'll call attention to good features and bad ones. I'll also ask you what things you like and don't like. For the most part, buyers amend their list of must-haves as we view houses and some features become far more necessary than others. If that's the situation, I'll look through the listings again and trim it down to the house you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Understand the market
An agent's awareness of the Tulsa home market is a necessary factor in your house search. And I can assure you I'm familiar with all the neighborhoods and schools, and I can let you know which neighborhoods are "hot" and require prompt action and some that are "cool" and allow for careful consideration.

As we tour homes, I'll make sure to communicate when the asking price has room for negotiation and also when I trust the house is "priced to sell." Be careful and make sure you ask plenty of questions, as any REALTOR in Tulsa will convince you they truly know the housing market. If it appears they don't know everything, call me at 918-447-8000 or e-mail me at , and I'd be glad 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 home
I know we'll find the house of your dreams in the Tulsa area. When we do, I'll precisely create your home purchase offer. The offer will be made to suit your needs and the home. We'll include a lot of contingencies, such as getting financing, carrying out the inspection, and a clear title.

When submitting your purchase offer, you'll likely need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the home seller to secure an offer to purchase the property, and it's often applied to the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Most contracts aren't closed on the first offer. It's pretty common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it intimidate you. We'll talk over whether or not to take the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and go on.

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

Step 7 – Obtain financing
Once we sign the final deal, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. This shouldn't take very long at all if you're pre-approved, but you'll want to stay in close contact with your lender. And I'll deal with all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

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

Then it's time to close on your home. This will probably happen at a title company or escrow office and will most likely be a smooth and calm occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, be sure to contact me at 918-447-8000 or e-mail me at .

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