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.