Edmond and OKC's Local Resource for Real Estate

Dec. 5, 2015

Home Seller and Buyer FAQ

Home Seller and Buyer FAQ

As professional Realtors we have the opportunity to work with all types of people, from first time buyers, first time sellers, home builders, investors, to experienced buyers and sellers. Any time we get asked a question more than once, we'll add it to our frequently asked question list. If you have a question that is not on our list, please ask it in the comments below!

What is my first step in buying a house?

Your first step in buying a house is to create a wishlist.  List the 3 or 4 things that are must haves, or deal breakers, then list the other bonus items.  We'll go over your wish list with you to determine how easy it will be to obtain, then on to find the perfect home!

Should I sell my house first or buy the next house first?

We get asked this question all the time, and the short answer is it's up to you.  There is risk to either way you choose to go.  We've put together a pros and cons list for both:

Sell First

  • You won't carry two payments. 
  • You will know exactly how much money you will have for the next purchase.
  • No special type of financing needed.
  • Takes less cash out of your pocket.


  • Your buying power will diminish
  • You might miss the perfect house
  • No definite timeline to move
  • You might have to move twice, or move to temporary housing in between homes.
  • You might have to live with you in-laws.

Buy First

  • You can secure the house you want when you want
  • You won't have to move twice
  • You can take your time moving without the major deadline on the old house.


  • Possibility of two payments
  • Financially riskier - you won't know exactly when your house will sell, or for how much.

It really comes down to what is more important to you?  Minimizing the financial risk, or minimizing the emotional risk of potentially losing the perfect home.

Should I talk with a bank before looking at homes?

Yes! Always talk with your local recommended lender before looking at homes. 

  1. To make sure you are looking in the right price range
  2. To make sure you are comfortable with the down payments
  3. To make sure you are looking at the right type of property
  4. To make sure there aren't any hidden surprises

What does my credit need to be?

Do I need a Realtor when I buy a home?

When you buy a home that is listed with a broker in Oklahoma, such as  Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker, RE/MAX, Metro First, or Century 21, you will be working with a Realtor.  The seller has hired a Realtor to represent him or her during the transaction. You can either have your own Realtor represent you, or work with the agent representing the seller  

Can I save money by not using a Realtor?

Professional fees and commissions are negotiated between the seller and the listing agent. You will typically save more money having your own representation instead of negotiating directly with someone who represents the opposing party. Would you go to court and be represented by your opponents counsel?

What is a foreclosure?

What is a short sale?

How many homes should I see before making an offer?

What is earnest money?

Earmest money is "good faith" money deposited at contracted acceptance which gets applied to your side of the settlement statement (or closing disclosure) at closing. For example, if you need to bring $10,000 to closing, and have paid $2,000 in earnest money, you will only need to bring $8,000 to closing.

How long can the buying process take?

What should I think about all the red stuff in the inspection? How much of that does the seller usually fix?

How much negotiating is done after the initial offer?

How soon do you close after getting your offer accepted?

 As soon as your offer is accepted, it changes from an offer to a contract. When you make an offer, your agent will discuss closing dates with you.

How does the appraisal effect the mortgage?

When is my first mortgage payment due?

What do you need to show (legally and in paperwork) from the gift donor to prove your relationship?

What do you do with the gift once you get it from the donor?

When do you pay your down payment?

The balance of your down payment is due at closing, plus and closing costs or prepaid items, then less your earnest money.

What do you bring to closing?

How long does closing usually take?

What could delay closing?

What documents do you need to give to your mortgage company to get the loan?

On the mortgage, what does the principal and interest include?

On the mortgage, does the monthly payment estimated include home owners insurance?

On the mortgage, the hazard insurance and county tax insurance is just a 3 month $150 payment, what does that mean?

What should I look for in home insurance?

Do you have any recommendations about budget?

When you tour a house, what do you really look for? What are non-negotiables or what are things that are important to notice?

How do you know if a neighborhood is a "good one"?

What are some unknown costs that you may not think about?

Do you have to have money upfront for the down payment and closing? 

What do I need to be doing now that the contract is signed by both parties?

Do we get the house immediately at closing or is there a lag between closing and possession?

How do I obtain the home warranty since a portion of it is paid for by the seller?

Who will be at inspection?

Will the buyers or sellers be at inspections?

Can we add money to the mortgage for renovations or furnishings?

What happens after the inspections?

When is the house appraised?

If the property appraises for less than the purchase price, which is the loan based on?

What is included in closing costs?

Who handles setting up homeowner's insurance?

What additional things might we need to provide for the underwriting process?

How do I bring money to closing?

Since we pay 12 months of insurance as part of the closing costs or prepaids, do we still pay insurance the first 12 months as part of our monthly payment?

What does escrow mean (in general) and what impact does that have on me?

 *All content is considered informational.  Always consult with your accountant, attorney, banker, or Realtor.

Jan. 20, 2015

2015 Edmond Real Estate Market Update

Are You Correctly Timing the Market to Sell?

Are you planning a move in 2015? Maybe you need more room for your kids - maybe you are tired of your neighbor living right on top of you - maybe you are tired of taking care of that big house and want something a little smaller.  Whatever your motivation, the market needs to be considered.  

Why Can't I Find a Home I Like?

Inventory levels in the Edmond market vary greatly by price range.  Generally, a balanced market in real estate is considered to have 6 months of inventory on hand.  After looking over the data, we can see that anything under $400,000 is leaning towards a seller's market.  Generally, the lower the price, the higher the demand.  Keep in mind that the average number of days on market for each price range below $400,000 is less than 70 days, and in some cases much lower. 

The Chart

Price (up to) ACT PEND CLOSD Units Per Month Inventory (Months) AVG DOM
$150.00 65 288 659 54.9 1.18 32
$200.00 78 232 755 62.9 1.24 43
$250.00 99 176 519 43.3 2.29 57
$300.00 103 176 415 34.6 2.98 69
$350.00 117 108 298 24.8 4.71 65
$400.00 108 92 228 19.0 5.68 69
$450.00 70 88 137 11.4 6.13 59
$500.00 49 32 94 7.8 6.26 82
$600.00 56 60 112 9.3 6.00 69
$700.00 40 44 47 3.9 10.21 85
$800.00 18 12 42 3.5 5.14 66
$1,000.00 18 4 30 2.5 7.20 123
$5,000.00 31 16 13 1.1 28.62 129

So What Does This Mean for Me?

If you are thinking of selling your house and it is less than $400,000, then we have less competition.  Just the opposite is true if your home is worth more than $400,000.  Our marketing and pricing strategies will help you get the most out of your home.  For an evaluation of your home, give us a call at 509-0541 for click on the "Contact Us" button on the top bar.

 All data in this post is based off of the Edmond school district and MLS data - believed to be accurate but not guaranteed.


Oct. 12, 2014

Why Moving in the Winter is a Good Idea

Most people think that winter is a horrible time to sell their home – and that’s exactly why it’s a good time to sell.  Because most people think it’s a bad time, there are less homes on the market -  and the people that are looking at homes, more often than not, actually intend to buy one.  Less competition, fewer tire kickers – it sure sounds like a winner to me.  Give me a call at 509-0541 or click contact us if you are thinking about moving this winter.

Posted in Real Estate, Selling
Oct. 10, 2014

Ultimate Beginners Guide to Buying a Home - Part 2 - The Financing

The first practical step in buying a home is deciding on how you are going to buy the home.  Are you planning on buying with cash, or will you finance the purchase?  There are pros and cons for both, and it's always best to contact a local professional.


  • No approvals required by a third party (the bank)
  • No appraisals needed
  • Quick closings
  • Can buy a home in any condition


  • Takes less money to buy
  • Tax incentives
  • You can buy a more expensive home with the same amount of money

As long as interest rates stay low, then it will be in most people's best interest to finance a property.  There are several different types of loans commonly available for residential properties.  Interestingly, a residential property is defined as a property with 4 or fewer units.  This means that you can buy an income property, such as a duplex or triplex, with one of the following owner occupant loans provided you live in the home for at least one year.

FHA Loan

An FHA loan is one of the most common loan types.

  • 3.5% down
  • Max LOAN AMOUNT (not purchase price) is $271,050
  • Easier to qualify
  • Higher debt to income ratios
  • MIP never falls off, even after you hit 80% equity

VA Loan

VA loans are available for anyone that has served in the nation's military.  They are one of the best types of loans you can get if used correctly.

  • 0% down
  • No monthly mortgage insurance
  • Loan amounts up to $417,000 (although our preferred lenders can go higher)
  • Higher debt to income ratios
  • Great interest rates

Conventional Loan

Most second time buyers or buyers that have a decent amount of equity use conventional loans.  The interest rates can change depending on your credit score.

  • Minimum 5% down
  • No mortgage insurance with 20% down
  • Loan amounts up to $417,000

Native American Loan (184b)

Native American loans are another great loan.  To qualify, you must be able to present your CDIB card and be a listed member of your tribe

  • 2.25% down
  • No monthly mortgage insurance
  • Easy to qualify
  • Slightly higher rates, but without monthly mortgage insurance the monthly payments are typically better


USDA loans, or Rural Development loans (RD) are based on location.  The house itself has to qualify and the borrower has to qualify. 

  • Geographic limitations
  • 0% down
  • Income limitations
  • Rural areas only

You can do all the research in the world online before you start the process, but the most important step is to work with knowledgeable professional.  Cornerstone Home Lending is one of our top preferred lenders.

Sept. 18, 2014

Ultimate Beginners Guide to Buying a Home - Part 1 - the WHY

Ultimate Guide to Buying a House

Part 1 - The WHY

So you’ve decided that you want a buy a home.  Why? Do you need more space?  Less space?  Job relocation? Do you need your kids in a better school district?  People buy homes for all sorts of different reasons:

  • Pride of Ownership
  • Nicer Place to Live
  • Security
  • Appreciation
  • Mortgage Interest Deductions
  • Property Tax Deductions
  • Capital Gain Exclusion
  • Building Equity
  • Equity Loans
  • Save Money

The first step in the process is figuring out your reason.  The big “WHY” behind your purchase will help guide you throughout the process.

Pride of Ownership

Home owners take pride in their homes.  They maintain them better than rentals.  They mow their lawns, landscape their flowerbeds, and keep their homes looking nice.  Do you like living next door to the guy with his car on blocks?

Nice Place to Live

The monthly payment on a mortgage in the OKC Metro area is typically less than rental payments for comparable properties.  This means that you can either save money, or get a much nicer place to live for the same money.


Have you ever lived in a rental property and the owner decides to sell it?  You never know when you will be forced to move.  By buying a home, you are in control of where you live and when you move.


Homes generally appreciate.  There are good years and bad years, but overall homes can appreciate with or above the market.  This is a great way to build wealth or retirement.

Mortgage Interest Deductions

Did you know that the interest you pay on a mortgage can be used as a tax deduction?  That can be half of your monthly payment.  This can save you thousands on your taxes.

Capital Gain Exclusion

How do you like tax free money?  If you live in your home 2 consecutive years out of the last 5, when you sell any money you make on the property is not subject to any tax (up to $250,000 for single people, and $500,000 for married people). 

Building Equity

Every month when you make your payment part of that payment goes towards paying down the balance on your home.  It doesn't seem like much, but in 10, 15, or 30 years you could have a house paid for free and clear.

Equity Loans

Now that you have all that equity, what's it good for?  Once you have some equity in your house, you can always pull some out for anything you would like.  Renovations, a new pool....oh the possibilities.

Save Money

Did you know that typically, new construction prices rise 3 to 4 times faster than resales? In our market, new home sales did not drop as drastically as they did nationally (all data was pulled from MLSOK).  However, when our market dropped, our new home prices stayed relatively stable - and now they are going up. WHY?

 There are four major factors that influence new home prices:

  • Upward pressure (demand)
  • Labor Prices
  • Commodity Prices (materials, concrete, lumber, etc.)
  • Interest rates

As demand dropped in recession, it removed one of the four key factors that impact prices.  The other three factors were enough to keep prices relatively stable, so when demand came back prices started to rise again.  We expect the prices to continue to go up, and they go up faster than most current homes are appreciating.  What does that mean to you?  If you are wanting to buy new construction and have a home to sell, over the course of both transactions the longer you wait the more expensive it will be to buy a new home.


Stay tuned for Part 2 - Financing


All data and charts are based on data from MLSOK.  Believed to be accurate but not guaranteed.