Buying or selling a home in Oil City?

For most people, purchasing a home is a stressful event. However, with a little up-front planning, it's not very complicated. I like to supply buyers with a road map of the whole deal so they understand exactly what to expect. These are my nine steps to purchasing a home. When you're ready to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm happy to answer questions you have regarding this information.

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase
There are many things you should do prior to starting your home search. You'll most likely want to create a check list of must-have features, get an idea of what neighborhoods and school districts you'd like to live in, and begin planning your budget. A good rule to follow is that your mortgage payment should be less than a third of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Connect with a real estate agent
This is where I come in. I'd be happy to book a time to get together with you and talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the Oil City area, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that could affect your purchase today or in the future.

I can also help you start the loan process. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in Oil City, and I work with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They'll help you determine which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start house hunting
After our first meeting, I'll begin looking for homes on the market that are good for you. I'll preview most of the houses and eliminate the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to view the houses whenever it's convenient for you.

As we tour the houses, I'll point out good features, as well as negative ones. I'll even ask you about things you like and don't like. It's pretty common for buyers to change their wish list as we tour homes and some items become more essential than others. If that's the situation, I'll search the listings another time and narrow it down to the home you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Understand the housing market
An agent's knowledge of the Oil City housing market is an imperative element in your house search. And I can assure you I'm informed of all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I will alert you to some districts are "hot" and require prompt action and some that are "cold" and allow for thoughtful analysis.

As we view houses, I'll be sure to tell you when the list price has room for bargaining and when I trust the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and make sure you ask lots of questions, as every real estate agent will claim to truly understand the housing market. If it seems like they don't know everything, just call me at (814) 677-2326 or e-mail me at , and I'll be glad to answer any questions you might have. My market expertise will keep you a step ahead through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been looking for
We'll find your dream house in Oil City, and when that happens, I'll thoroughly develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be made to suit your needs and the home. We'll include several contingencies, such as getting financing, completing the inspection, and a clean title.

When presenting your offer, you'll probably want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a home seller to secure an offer to buy the property and is usually applied to the cost of closing. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Most deals don't close on the first offer – it's very common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this intimidate you. We'll consider whether or not to consent to the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and go on.

Market conditions will play a vital role in how aggressively we negotiate the deal. In addition, we'll work within your financing budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll formulate a contract that is best for you.

Step 7 – Get a loan
After we sign the final deal, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're pre-qualified, it shouldn't take long at all. But you'll need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll handle all the property information your lender needs 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 taking your application. The estimate depends 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 everything looks adequate.

Then it's time to close on your home. This will likely happen at a title company or escrow office and is often a smooth and peaceful occasion.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, make sure you call me at (814) 677-2326 or e-mail me at .

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