Buying or selling a home?

Buying a home is intimidating for most people, but with a bit of planning ahead of time, it's not very hard. I like to supply buyers with a road map of the entire deal so they know exactly what to expect. Below are my nine steps to purchasing a home. If you have any questions about 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 a home
Before you start searching for a home, there are a lot of things you'll want to consider. You'll probably want to form an outline of features you want, plan for what school districts and neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and start working on your budget. A good guideline to adhere to is that your mortgage payment should be less than or close to 30 percent of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent
This is where Leslie Scott Realty, LLC comes in. We'll book 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 everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the Muskogee area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that might affect your purchase today or in the future.

I'll also help you start the loan process. I work with some of Muskogee's best mortgage professionals, so you'll be in great hands. They will assist you in deciding which kind of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin looking
After we meet for the first time, I'll begin looking for available houses on the market that are good for you. I'll preview many of the houses and reject the duds, and then we'll book appointments to view the houses when it's convenient for you.

When we tour homes, I'll identify positive features and negative ones. I'll even ask you to tell us about things you like and dislike. Usually, buyers change their list of must-haves as we view houses and some things become far more necessary than others. If that's the situation, I'll search the listings once more and narrow it down to the home you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Know the housing market
An agent's knowledge of the Muskogee housing market is a crucial agent in your house search. And I can assure you I'm familiar with all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I'll communicate some districts are "hot" and require immediate action and some that are "cool" and allow for cautiousness.

As we view homes, I'll let you know when the asking price has room for negotiation and when I know the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be careful and make sure you ask lots of questions. Every real estate agent in Muskogee will tell you they know the housing market. If it appears they don't know everything, just call me at (918)348-9250 or e-mail me at , and I'd be glad to answer any questions you have. My market expertise will keep you a step above the rest through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been waiting for
We'll find the home of your dreams in the Muskogee area, and when that happens, I'll meticulously develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored exactly to your needs and the home, including many contingencies, such as acquiring financing, carrying out the inspection, and a clear title.

Upon sending in your purchase offer, you'll likely need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the seller to secure the offer to purchase the property. The amount is often applied to the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted by the seller, we should close about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Most deals don't close on the beginning offer – it's widely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it alarm you. We'll figure out whether or not to agree to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and move on.

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

Step 7 – Get a loan
After the contract is signed, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. This won't take very long at all if you've been pre-approved, but you'll want to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll care for 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 closing costs from your lender within three days of taking your loan application. This estimate is based on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements dictate that it has to include all closing costs and fall within a narrow range of accuracy. I'll go over the estimate and let you know if it all looks all right.

Then we'll close on your home. This will likely occur at a title company or escrow office and is often a smooth and easygoing occasion.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, just call me at (918)348-9250 or e-mail me at .