Buying or selling a home?

Purchasing a home is intimidating for many people, but with a little up-front planning, it's not too confusing. I like to furnish buyers with a road map of the entire deal so they'll understand exactly what they can expect. These are my nine steps to buying a home. Should you have questions regarding this information or if you're prepared to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase
Prior to starting your home search, there are a lot of things you should do. It's likely that you'll want to make a checklist of must-have features, get a plan of what neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and start working on your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is around 30 percent of your monthly income is a good principle to go by.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent
That's where I come in. We'll arrange a time to meet so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss neighborhoods, schools in the Tulsa area, the mortgage industry, and any additional economic factors that could affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I can also help you get started on your loan. Hickerson Realty partners with some of Tulsa's best mortgage professionals, so you're in great hands. They can help you decide which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin looking
Following our initial meeting, I'll begin searching for homes on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll preview most of the homes and throw out the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to view the homes when it's most convenient for you.

When we view homes, I'll show you the positive features and bad ones. I'll also ask you what things you like and don't like. It's common for buyers to revise their wish list as we view homes and some items become more essential than others. If that happens, I'll search the listings another time and trim it down to the house you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Comprehend the market
An agent's awareness of the Tulsa market is a fundamental agent in your house search. And I assure you I'm informed of all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I will alert you to which areas are "hot" and require prompt action and some that are "cold" and allow for cautiousness.

As we tour homes, I'll let you know if the asking price has room for negotiation or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." Every real estate agent in Tulsa will tell you they truly know the housing market, but keep an eye out, and be sure to ask lots of questions. If it doesn't seem like they know everything, contact me at (918) 970-4000 or e-mail me at , and I'll be happy to answer your questions. My knowledge of the market will keep you a step above the rest through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
We'll find the house of your dreams in Tulsa, and when we do, I'll precisely create your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind and the home, including several contingencies, such as obtaining financing, finishing the home inspection, and a clean title.

When submitting your offer, you'll need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the seller to secure an offer to buy the property. The amount is typically applied to the closing costs. If the offer is accepted, we should close on the home about 30 to 60 days after. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Unfortunately most deals aren't closed on the initial offer – it's widely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this intimidate you. We'll consider whether or not to agree to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

Market conditions determine how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your financing budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll create a contract that works well for you.

Step 7 – Secure financing
Once we sign the final deal, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you're pre-approved, this won't be a long process at all, but you'll need to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll sort out all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) of closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of receiving your application. This estimate rests on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements mandate that it has to contain all closing costs and be within a precise 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 most likely occur at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and calm occasion.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, simply call me at (918) 970-4000 or e-mail me at .

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