Buying or selling a home in the Logan and Champaign County Region?

Purchasing a home intimidates most people, but with a little planning ahead of time, it's not too confusing. We like to provide buyers with an overview of the entire deal so they'll understand exactly what to expect. Below are our nine steps to buying a home.

Looking for listings? Click here to see our homes, or contact us today to get you more information on any home in the area.

Step 1 – Prepare to buy
There are several things you should consider before beginning your home search. You'll most likely want to create a list of must-haves, plan for what neighborhoods and school districts you'd like to live in, and begin planning your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than 1/3 of your net monthly income is a good rule to follow.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent
That's where we come in. We'll arrange a time to meet so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, schools in the area, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that might affect your purchase today or in the future.

We can also help you facilitate the loan process. We work with some of the area's best mortgage professionals, so you're in great hands. They'll help you choose which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin looking
After we meet, we'll begin searching for available homes on the market that best suit you. We'll research many of the homes and exclude the duds, and then we'll book appointments to view the houses when it's convenient for you.

As we tour houses, we'll identify positive features, as well as bad ones. And we'll ask you to tell us about things you like and don't like. It's pretty common for buyers to revise their must-have list as we view houses and some items become more necessary than others. If that's the case, we'll look through the listings once more and trim it down to the house you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Get a feel for the housing market
Your agent's understanding of the local home market is a necessary agent in your home search. And we can assure you we're very familiar with all the schools and neighborhoods, and we will communicate certain areas are "hot" and require immediate action and the rest that are "cold" and allow for careful consideration.

As we tour houses, we'll let you know when the seller's list price has room for bargaining and when we trust the house is "priced to sell." Every REALTOR® will claim to truly understand the market, but take notice, and be sure to ask lots of questions. If it appears they don't know everything, just contact us and we'll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Our understanding of the market will keep you a step ahead through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been looking for
We know we'll find your dream house in the Logan and Champaign County Region. When that happens, we'll thoroughly develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind, including several contingencies, such as getting financing, carrying out the inspection, and a clear title.

Let Bell Hankins Realty Group, LLC guide you through finding your dream home in De Graff When we present your offer, most likely you'll want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to the seller to secure the offer to buy the property, and it's often applied to the cost of closing. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days after. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
A lot of contracts aren't closed on the beginning offer. It's very common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it intimidate you. We'll talk about whether or not to take the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on.

The state of the market determines how aggressively we negotiate the deal. In addition, we'll work within your financing limits. And when it's all said and done, we'll create a contract that's best for you.

Step 7 – Secure a loan
After the contract is signed, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-qualified, this shouldn't take much time at all. But you'll want to keep in close contact with your lender. And we'll manage all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your lender will send you a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) of closing costs within three days of getting your loan application. This estimate is formed from the loan amount, and RESPA requirements dictate that it has to involve all closing costs and be within a precise range of accuracy. we'll examine the estimate and let you know if everything looks adequate.

Then it's time to close on your home. This will likely happen at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and hassle-free event.

Step 9 – Move in
Success! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, simply contact us to get started.

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