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Buying or selling a home?

With some up-front planning, purchasing a home isn't very hard, but the event is intimidating for many people. I like to provide buyers with an overview of the entire deal so they'll understand exactly what they can expect. Below are my nine steps to purchasing a home.

When you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or send e-mail to crystal.marshall@alamode.com. I'm glad to answer any questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to buy a home
There are a lot of things you'll want to do prior to commencing your home search. You'll most likely want to make an outline of must-have features, get an idea of what school districts you'd like to live in, and start planning your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is around 1/3 of your monthly income is a good principle to go by.

Step 2 – Contact a real estate agent
That's where I come in. I'd be happy to book a time to get together with you and communicate with you about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss the mortgage and housing industries, other economic factors that could affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and school districts in the Oklahoma City area.

I can also help you begin the loan process. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in Oklahoma City, and I work with a lot of them, so you're in great hands. They will assist you in choosing which type of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin your search
Following our first meeting, I'll start looking for homes on the market that are good for you. I'll preview many of the houses and exclude the duds, and then we'll book appointments to tour the houses when it's convenient for you.

When we tour houses, I'll point out positive features, as well as bad ones. And I'll ask you what things you like and dislike. Generally, buyers revise their wish list as we view homes and some items become far more necessary than others. If such is the case, I'll look through all the listings once again and narrow it down to the home of your dreams.

Step 4 – Understand the market
My awareness of the Oklahoma City market is a valuable advantage in your home search. I'm familiar with all the neighborhoods and schools, and I will communicate some neighborhoods are "hot" and call for immediate action and some that are "cool" and allow for cautiousness.

As we tour houses, I'll be sure to tell you when the list price has room for bargaining and also when I think the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and be sure to ask plenty of questions. Every real estate agent will tell you they truly understand the housing market. If it appears they don't know everything, call me at or e-mail me at crystal.marshall@alamode.com, and I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have. My understanding of the market will keep you a step above the rest through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been looking for
I'm confident we'll find the house of your dreams in Oklahoma City. When we do, I'll thoroughly develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs, including a lot of contingencies. A few examples are acquiring financing, carrying out the inspection, and a clean title.

Let Marshall Mortgage guide you through finding your dream home in Oklahoma City When we submit your offer, you'll need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to the home seller to secure the offer to purchase the property. The amount is typically applied to the closing costs. If your offer is accepted, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Unfortunately most deals don't close on the first offer – it's pretty common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this alarm you. We'll discuss whether or not to take the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and go on.

Market circumstances determine 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 – Secure your loan
After we sign the final deal, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-qualified, this shouldn't take very long at all, but you should to keep in close contact with your 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 Good Faith Estimate (GFE) detailing closing costs from your lender within three days of accepting your loan application. The estimate is based on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements order that it has to contain all closing costs and be within a narrow range of accuracy. I'll go over the estimate and let you know if it all looks adequate.

Then we'll close on your house. This will probably happen at a title company or escrow office and is often a smooth and peaceful occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
Success! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, just call me at or send me an e-mail.

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