Any major purchase requires research, careful analysis, consideration, and thought. Home buying isn't any different! Determining the right location, the number of bedrooms or bathrooms needed, and outdoor space are the easier things. However, there are many other factors to think about in your home search. From your initial search to the moment you get the keys to your new home, we will be there, guiding you through the process. We can even help connect you with mortgage professionals.
As an area experts, we can help educate you on the different neighborhoods, schools, and other local community amenities that suit your lifestyle.
Home Buying Can Be Easy
As your buying team, we can help streamline the process of buying a home and make it easier for you. We’ve aligned ourselves with the top professionals in the industry, and once an offer has been accepted, we will personally help facilitate the process to close on the home. By working closely with mortgage brokers, title and escrow companies, home inspectors, and home warranty companies we will provide you with the best service possible!
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If you're considering buying a home, lawton-home.com is the best online resource to guide you through the process. Our search tool is connected to the same MLS database used by realtors and it provides the most up to date and accurate information about properties currently available, under contract, and recently sold. Many of the popular national real estate portal sites are not connected directly to MLS, often contain inaccurate data, and they are not updated as frequently as our site!
Below you will find some useful information for navigating the home buying process.
If you are just starting your home search, you are in the right place! Most buyers today begin searching for homes online. The internet is a valuable resource that will help you understand the market and narrow your search. You can focus on the most important features and set your own price point. It's also fun to look at houses online! Our website allows you to customize your search parameters, and to get frequent updates by email with new listings and status changes as they happen. We also monitor the MLS throughout the day to identify any new listings for our clients. The Advanced Search feature is a great place to start, and you can search by neighborhood (area), exact number of baths, and even search homes by the school you may want your child to attend! If you need any help with setting up your search parameters, please contact us and we'll be happy to help.
If you're like most home buyers, you will be financing some portion of your home purchase. A mortgage pre-approval is an important step early in the home buying process. The pre-approval is completed by a mortgage professional. The loan officer will verify your income and check your credit history. Going through the pre-approval process will also help you understand what the closing costs will be and how much your monthly payment would be. A pre-approval is critical to have in hand prior to submitting an offer.
We work with a team of highly qualified local lenders. We would be happy to connect you with someone who can help you either obtain a pre-approval or help you to better understand what is involved with the financing process.
Once you've set a budget, obtained a pre-approval letter, and are ready to get serious about buying, it's time to start looking at homes! We can help you further refine your search and identify properties that might be a good fit. Once you've found a property that interests you, we will schedule an appointment to look at it in person. Online listings are great, but pictures can be deceiving. Seeing a home in person is a completely different experience.
Once you've found the right property, the next step is to submit an offer. Prior to submitting an offer, we can provide an analysis of similar properties in the area, either active or sold. We're happy to discuss these comparable properties with you. Based on that information, we will provide you with some suggestions about a strategy for your offer. There are many parts to an offer. It's not always the highest priced offer that is the "strongest" offer for a seller.
We have years of experience writing and evaluating offers. Our expertise enables you to present a strong offer while not paying "too much". In a particularly hot market, you may not have a lot of time to decide on a home, so it's important to have an agent who is very responsive and available. We use the latest technology for creating documents and obtaining e-Signatures and we frequently help clients make offers who haven’t arrived in town yet.
After your offer is submitted, we will work with the seller's agent and guide you through the negotiation process. Negotiations don't always center around the price of the offer alone. We will provide you with our expert opinions on what is reasonable and do our best to help you to get your offer accepted. Once your offer is accepted, you will be officially under contract for your new home! You will provide earnest money to hold the contract in place until the date of closing and will work closely with your lender to provide any required documentation. We will also advise you to get a homeowners’ insurance quote and order a home inspection!
Once your offer is accepted, the next step in the process is typically a home inspection. The home inspection is paid for by the buyer. The price can range from $300 to $500 depending upon what is being inspected (building, pests, roof, etc...). A typical inspection will last anywhere from 2-4 hours depending upon the size and age of the home. The inspector will go through each area of the house and perform a non-invasive, yet very comprehensive, inspection to identify significant defects and safety issues that may not have been obvious when you viewed the property. You will also gain valuable information about the systems in the house and get useful tips for suggested regular maintenance. The inspector will provide you with a formal report within a day. This report will be at least 15 pages long, so don’t be startled or concerned. Our inspectors check to see what is working correctly and what may need repair or replacement! We have worked with many licensed home inspectors over the years and will provide you with the contact information for our trusted inspectors.
In many cases, especially with newer homes, there are no significant issues identified in the report. Sometimes there are things identified which need to be repaired. In this case, we will work with you to determine how to best proceed; we can ask that the seller repair the defect prior to closing or provide a credit so that you can have the item repaired after closing. Occasionally the issues are significant enough that either the negotiations fail, or the buyer decides that they are no longer interested in purchasing the property. We will help you understand the report and assist you in understanding your options.
During this time the title company will also begin to complete all necessary title work. An attorney will review the title work, abstract, and other important documents as required. All the important legal paperwork will be completed to make sure everything is completed appropriately so that when you take possession of your new home all of the title work is in order!
Prior to closing, you will receive a settlement statement that lists all the financial details for the property transaction. This document shows you where all the credits and debits are going; you will also know how much money (if any) you need to bring with you to the closing. On the day of closing, we will meet at the closing company’s office to sign the final documentation required to make you officially the owner of your new property. Your agent will be present at the closing to ensure everything goes smoothly and culminates when you are handed the keys to your new home!
The home buying process is an interesting and exciting adventure. There are plenty of details to understand along the way in order to make sure that you proceed in the best way possible to optimize value and minimize your risk. We invite you to start your home search on our top-rated website now and contact us with any questions.
We are ready to help you in any way that we can. Take a deep breath, jump in, and most importantly have fun!