Ethics in Real Estate Looking to Buy? Looking to Sell? Free Home Valuation Neighborhood Prices Fixer Uppers

Buying or selling a home?

Buying a home is stressful for most people, but with some planning ahead of time, it's not too complex. I like to provide buyers with an overview of the entire deal so they'll understand exactly what they can expect. Here are my nine steps to buying a home.

If you have questions about any of this information or if you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase
There are plenty of things you should consider before starting your home search. You'll want to put together a checklist of features you want, get a feeling for what school districts and neighborhoods you want to live in, and start planning around your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is around 1/3 of your net monthly income is a good rule of thumb to go by.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent in Columbus
That's where I come in. I'd like to book a time to meet with you and speak with you regarding why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about everything from neighborhoods, schools in the Columbus area, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that could affect your purchase today or in the future.

I'll also help you get started on your loan. I partner with some of the finest mortgage professionals in Columbus, so you'll be in great hands. They can assist you in determining which type of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin looking for a home
Following our first meeting, I'll start searching for houses on the market that are a good fit for you. I'll preview most of the homes and ignore the duds, and then we'll schedule appointments to view the homes when it's convenient for you.

As we view homes, I'll identify good features, as well as negative ones. I'll even ask you to talk about things you like and dislike. It's common for buyers to change their list of must-haves as we view houses and some items become far more necessary than others. If such is the case, I'll search the listings another time and trim it down to the house you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Understand the housing market
Your agent's awareness of the Columbus market is an essential agent in your house search. And I can assure you I'm familiar with all the schools and neighborhoods, and I will communicate which neighborhoods are "hot" and demand prompt action and some that are "cold" and allow for careful examination.

When we tour houses, I'll let you know when the asking price has room for bargaining and when I believe the house is "priced to sell." Every real estate agent in Columbus will convince you they comprehend the housing market, but take notice, and make sure you ask lots of questions. If it doesn't seem like they know everything, contact me at (614) 451-2439 or e-mail me at, and I'll be glad to answer your questions. My market knowledge will keep you a step above the rest throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been looking for
I'm sure we'll find the home of your dreams in the Columbus area. When that happens, I'll carefully develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind, including a lot of contingencies. A few examples are obtaining financing, completing the home inspection, and a clear title.

Let Crites Realty guide you through finding your dream home in Columbus Upon turning in your purchase offer, you'll likely want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to a home seller to secure the offer to buy the property and is typically applied to the cost of closing. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close on the property within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Unfortunately most contracts aren't closed on the initial offer. It's very common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this alarm you. We'll talk over whether or not to agree to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on.

The state of the market will play a vital role in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. In addition, we'll work within your financing budget. And at the end of the day, we'll compose a deal that's best for you.

Step 7 – Get financing
Once we sign the final contract, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-approved, this won't take long at all, but you should to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll care for all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) outlining closing costs from your lender within three days of getting your application. This estimate depends on the loan amount. RESPA requirements require that it has to contain all closing costs and fall within a tight range of accuracy, and I'll review the estimate and let you know if everything looks okay.

Then we'll close on your home. This should take place at a title company or escrow office and will probably be a smooth and easygoing occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, make sure you contact me at (614) 451-2439 or send me an e-mail.