Buying a home...made SIMPLE

Bill’s No Cost Services for Home Buyers

The Bill Leighty Group offers complete “turn-key” real estate services to buyers at no cost. A home purchase is often the single largest investment we ever make and it doesn’t make any sense to go it alone. The advice and counsel of an experienced and seasoned Tulsa real estate agent doesn’t cost… it pays! Our step by step Buying Strategy has helped hundreds of families over the past 30 years.  Let us put our experience and expertise to work for you.

Key Benefits of Bill’s Services

Before making an offer, please review these documents

Oklahoma Contract Information Booklet

Things You Need to Know!  It provides important information about the Purchase Agreement and more.  The Oklahoma Real Estate Commission publishes this helpful document.  This guide explains in detail various elements of the Contract of Sale that you will want to understand completely, as well as other important information.

Bill’s Step-By-Step Home Buying Strategy and Services

First things first. “When You’re Serious About Buying a Home”, it only makes sense to work with a dedicated real estate professional who can make the experience a positive one.  With thousands of licensed agents to choose from you want to select one who can perform when the time arrives to make a commitment. The last thing you want to do is walk into an open house that might turn out to be just the one you are looking for, without first arranging for representation by your own agent, because by then it may be too late.

Find a Realtor

It should come as no surprise that not all Lenders are “created equal” and that is why it is so important to arrange for financing with a reliable institution who can not only provide a good interest rate, but who has the resources and support necessary to complete the transaction in a business like manner.  During prosperous times many new lenders come into the market only to disappear when times get tough. We can help you avoid the Johnny Come Lately and select a lender you can count on when push comes to shove.

And in this competitive environment it is important that Buyers are pre-qualified, and have a commitment letter in hand before they begin looking at homes. Prospective buyers are competing against each other for the most desirable homes, and often a commitment letter is the difference between success and failure when the remaining terms of competing offers are more or less equal.

We will help you identify a reliable lender with a competitive interest rate who will assist you determining a comfortable payment and purchase price range.

Figuring Monthly Payments

In this section you will find pointers on how to identify a suitable neighborhood and locate homes that meet your needs. Then we will provide you with the most powerful Tulsa home search engine where you can easily search for your new home in the privacy of your own home or office. Whether you are looking for Tulsa luxury homes, Midtown Tulsa homes, or something completely different, this site will provide you with the tools and information you need to find the best home available.

Once your new home has been identified, we will provide you all the information you need to determine a realistic value and negotiating strategy for the property.

Determine a Purchase Price
In this section you will learn what questions to ask and what inspections to consider to insure that your prospective new home has no hidden flaws or defects. Then we will make all of the necessary arrangements for your inspections and forward the reports to you immediately upon receipt.

Arrange for Home Inspections
Buying a home can be stressful at times since there are so many details to consider … the new loan, the escrowed earnest money, the appraisal, the inspections, abstracting and title examinations to name but a few. We will track the transaction step by step so that you can relax and make plans to move into your new home.

Closing for Buyers

We would like to be your REALTOR® for life and we provide valued customers and clients with a myriad of after sale services including, homestead reminder notices, free market analysis, quarterly newsletters, free value determination for insurance purposes, not to mention our highly rated web site.

Reference Accounts

We invite you to view some testimonials and a list of some of the homes we have SOLD… by clicking on the links below.

People

Comments from some of our past clients and customers regarding Tulsa homes and their buying and selling experiences.

A partial list of Tulsa homes previously SOLD by our Team of Tulsa Real Estate Agents.

Find a Tulsa REALTOR

How to find the best Tulsa REALTORS?

An excellent way to find a the best agents is to compare the services and track record of leading REALTORS, utilizing the resources of your favorite search engine. Search for “Tulsa Realtors” or “Tulsa Homes for Sale”, or “Tulsa Real Estate for Sale.”  Visit a dozen or so websites of the most prominent search results and evaluate them based upon your needs and expectations. Narrow the list to two or three REALTORS and invite them to interview for the right to market your home or to help you purchase one.

During your interviews be sure to ask for references and client testimonials. Address the key issues that are important to you and ask how they will be handled. Lean towards the agent with whom you seem to have the best rapport. It really does not need to be any more complicated than that.

Why Choose A REALTOR to Assist Me? Good Question!

It is possible of course to “go it alone” when buying or selling a home. Buyers can watch for new signs in a particular neighborhood, and try and keep up with various advertising offers, attend open houses and call individual listing agents. And Sellers can always try the “For Sale by Owner” route for their Tulsa real estate if they choose, but today’s market is definitely not favorable for such a strategy.

When you get right down to it, there are too many benefits to be gained to not retain a top agent to represent you in one of life’s more important investment decisions. In today’s environment it makes good sense to use a REALTOR.

The fact is that the average real estate transaction has become a tangled web of paperwork, inspections, lender requirements and more, so it makes the answer to the question of Why Choose A Realtor both simple and dramatic!

Why Choose Bill Leighty as your Tulsa Real Estate Agent?

With literally thousands to choose from, there are probably quite a few real estate professionals you could hire to help you buy or sell a home. Several years ago, we adopted a commitment to Total Quality Personal Service on an Individual Basis that we feel separates us from the vast majority of other Tulsa REALTORS. Click here for some answers to Why Choose our Team.

Rather than trying to convince you with a bunch of rhetoric, we have tried to provide you with a multitude of Sold Property References and Testimonials from satisfied past clients and customers who have utilized our services and rated our performance as “perfect” or “near perfect.

When you select the Bill Leighty Group as your real estate professionals, you will be getting an experienced, full-time, top producing agent with a proven track record who will implement an aggressive and well organized step by step plan to help you buy or sell your home. You will benefit from every technological resource available in the industry today, ongoing communications and support from one of Tulsa’s top real estate firms.

Why WALTER & ASSOCIATES?

For many years our firm has enjoyed the a leading position in the high-end Tulsa real estate market in gross dollar volume of sales. That position has been earned by WALTER & ASSOCIATES REALTORS For consistently providing our clients and customers with the kind of service they deserve and expect.

Comparing Tulsa REALTORS

When you are looking for a list of the best agents, the national TV commercials and websites will offer to match you with a qualified Tulsa Real Estate Agent or to get banks to “compete over you.” They leave you with the impression that “they” the internet companies, will somehow look out for you and your best interests. 

The truth is they are profit-driven organizations that have come up with a way to get their hands into the pockets of agents and lenders, and they will match you with whomever will agree to pay their price, regardless of what’s in your best interest. Since buying and / or selling of Tulsa homes is the biggest financial transaction in most peoples’ lives, buyers and sellers should understand how these companies operate and how they make their money. The best Tulsa real estate agents and REALTORS rarely participate in these schemes.  

A key “selling point” many of these companies offer is that you can evaluate prospective REALTORS while remaining anonymous. Our first impression of this is “so…. what’s the point?” If you want to anonymously compare agents, you certainly don’t need one of these national companies to do it. Simply type the obvious “keywords” into any search engine and you will immediately be able to review the resources of dozens of top agents. “Tulsa real estate for sale” and “Tulsa homes for sale” are among the most searched terms and a good place to start when trying to find a good agent.

Some of these companies promise to help you get the best rates by getting agents to “compete over you.” They then charge outrageous referral fees to whomever you end up with. These agents are then asked to do the same job they always do, but this time for up to 30%, 35% or even 40% less. It is not hard to understand how this kind of arrangement could result in a begrudging half-hearted effort which reduces you to a “2nd Class Client.” 

Successful top producing agents are not likely to resort to this kind of agreement because it takes such a big bite out of their income. More often than not, you will be matched with a “B-string or inexperienced real estate agent who needs the business and therefore has no other choice but to agree to these usurious fees. Even if the “winning” agent is inclined to give you a reduced rate to to get your business they are prohibited from doing so because they have already given away such a large chunk of their normal compensation.

When you think about it, it’s a bit ridiculous for these companies to maintain that “they” are somehow responsible for getting real estate agents and lenders to compete over you. These market forces are already in effect and in terms of benefits to you they are diminished, if anything, and definitely not enhanced by some outsider taking a big bite out of the deal. A TV commercial or internet company does not force competition – it’s already there. 

Some of these companies offer to tell you what your home is worth, but you should understand that anything less than an “in home visit” by a qualified appraiser or experienced real estate professional can only produce a result that is highly suspect. Some of these companies claim that you will have access to the same information a professional estate agent would use. 

The problem is that they provide you with a very generic dollar-per-square-foot range usually for an entire zip code. These values are not specific to the features of your home or your neighborhood and do not contain similar comparable sales that experienced agents can provide from the database of the Multiple Listing Service and other sources. 

The real purpose of this “service” is to match you with an agent who has paid an exorbitant fee to the company for any leads from your particular area. Again, qualified, top producing agents are not going to resort to this kind of arrangement because it takes such a big bite out of their income.

In our opinion you will NOT save any money with these national companies, and you might very well receive inferior service. You will probably get much better service at the same price from someone local to whom you have actual access, an agent who knows that you may refer them or be a repeat customer. 

And if you can’t save any money with the national companies, wouldn’t you rather have your dollars going to the hard-working lenders and Tulsa real estate agents who are on the ground achieving your goals, rather than a website owner who has figured out a way to get a cut of “your” deal? 

We recommend that you evaluate agents based on not only your expectations but your needs as well. Once you have done this, take your list of agents and interview them for the right to help you purchase a home or market your current home. 

You should ask for both client testimonials and references during these interviews. Let the prospective agent answer questions about the key issues that are important to you and see how they will be addressed. You should choose the agent to whom you seem to have the best rapport.

All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR “®” logo on the business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again.

Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today often exceed $250,000. If you had a quarter of a million dollar income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $250,000 legal problem, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a REALTOR®.

But if you’re still not convinced of the value of a REALTOR®, here are a dozen more reasons to use one:

Your REALTOR® can help you determine your buying power

—that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a REALTOR® some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, he or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders—banks and mortgage companies—offer limited choices.

Your REALTOR® has many resources to assist you in your home search

Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.

Your REALTOR® can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property.

Agents who are REALTORS® have access to a variety of informational resources. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning. schools, etc. There are two things you’ll want to know. First, will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?

Your REALTOR® can help you negotiate.

There are myriad negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.

Your REALTOR® provides due diligence during the evaluation of the property

Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your REALTOR® can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports. You will also want to see a preliminary report on the title of the property. Title indicates ownership of property and can be mired in confusing status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example, easements (access rights) for utilities. Your REALTOR®, title company or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.

Your REALTOR® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price

When selling your home, your REALTOR® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties.
These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.

Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public

Often, your REALTOR® can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of your property. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. In many markets across the country, over 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. Your REALTOR® acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing information about your property to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc. The REALTOR® requires REALTORS® to utilize these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients.

Your REALTOR® will know when, where and how to advertise your property

There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts. When a property is marketed with the help of your REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.

Your REALTOR® can help you objectively evaluate every buyer’s proposal without compromising your marketing position

This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections and financing—a lot of possible pitfalls. Your REALTOR® can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.

Your REALTOR® can help close the sale of your home

Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, when unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your REALTOR® is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).

Why Bill Leighty?

If you were not feeling well, would it make more sense to go to five different Doctors and tell each of them a little bit about the symptoms you are experiencing or go to the same Doctor five times so he or she can really begin to understand what the problem might be?

Most buyers are not certain what they want in a home. There is a process of discovering what they like and don’t like. When you work with one agent, you allow that person to be part of the discovery process and to understand why something is important to you or why it is not important.

Choose a agent who is up-to-date on what is going on in the market place. Is the market falling, rising or level? Where is the market compared to last month at this time, or last year at this time and what are the factors which are influencing the market? Is there a big corporate move on the horizon? Is it coming in or going out? Where are interest rates headed. How is the overall local economy shaping up in the near term and in the long term? What is going on in new construction, and how is that going to affect the sales of existing homes.

Granted, nobody has a crystal ball, but an intelligent, well informed real estate professional can shed a lot of light on these issues. Consider working with an agent who is in the business for the long term, REALTORS who would not be hesitating to advise you to postpone a purchase decision if it is not in your best interests, even if it means losing out on a sale at the moment.

After the first few days, it is no fun looking for a house. So, if you are truly motivated and need to buy a home, select someone who will be totally honest with you about the market. Ask questions. Does the agent have a written plan for finding your dream home? Are they full-time and do they have a strong track record? Are they part of a “world class” referral network, are they tech savvy, do they have a Brokers” license? Are they professional, committed, computerized, experienced, equipped, involved, informed, available, prepared, competitive, motivated and honest?

Bill LeightyBill’s Resume

Bill Leighty is a native Tulsan, educated in the public-school system and at the University of Tulsa where he studied Business and Journalism. A Broker Associate, Bill was first licensed in 1987, so he has the experience and expertise needed to provide clients and customers with the highest degree of professional advice and consultations.

Bill is a goal-oriented real estate professional who has always been involved in the community he loves by sharing his leadership skills in school and community related activities and organizations. He gives tirelessly of himself on behalf of his clients and customers through his sheer energy, long hours and uncompromising hard work and dedication. From historical preservation areas to new construction, Bill Leighty knows the area real estate market.

Bill Leighty – An Assessment of Resources

PROFESSIONAL

  • University Educated
  • Management & Marketing Background
  • 45 Years of Business & Professional Experience
  • Honesty & Personal Integrity
  • Tech Savvy – Utilizing the Latest Marketing Tools

DEDICATED

  • Available – 24 Hours
  • Informed – Real Estate Issues
  • Involved – Trade & Industry Organizations
  • Career committed, Full Time, Well organized

QUALIFIED

  1. Licensed and Up-To-Date
  2. Prepared – Knowledgeable in the Marketplace
  3. Strong Negotiating Skills
  4. Competitive & Highly Motivated

EXPERIENCE and TRACK RECORD

  • Hundreds of Satisfied Client and Customers
  • References and Testimonials available
  • Devoted to continuing education & training

FAMILY and PERSONAL INTERESTS

  • Married 46 years with 3 grown children
  • Gives back to the community
  • Practicing and involved Catholic
  • Hobbies include Photography and Travel
  • Loves the Performing Arts, Ballet, Opera, Orchestra, Theatre
  • Favorite charities include Catholic Charities and Tulsa Food Bank

Click Here to See Homes Previously Sold by Bill

Click Here for Testimonials from Past Clients

Buyer Services Overview

Financing Your Home

The Basics of Home Finance

Financing your home purchase typically involves a “Conventional”, “FHA” or “VA” mortgage. As a rule only a small percentage of home purchases are funded with cash. Most real estate contracts of sale have contingency clauses for financing but home buyers (even experienced home buyers who may already own a home) are well advised to arrange for a home loan BEFORE they start looking at homes. Remember, home Sellers are cautious about signing a purchase agreement on their property with anyone who does not already have a loan commitment. So in order to compete favorably with other potential buyers for desirable properties it is important to have a a mortgage “pre-approval” letter ready to attach to your offer. Normally you can obtain these pre-approval letters by completing a formal mortgage loan application with a Lender. So… first things first, Select A Lender and you will be on your way. You and your Lender will explore all the mortgage options available and you will determine which one is best for you. Insist that your Lender provide you with a “good faith” estimate which will detail all of the costs associated with the new loan as well as the details of your monthly payment. Once you have been approved your Lender will provide you with a written commitment letter advising exactly how much you are able to borrow. Then you can go shopping for a new house with confidence that your financing is in place. Normally you need three things to buy a home, including a stable income, good credit and some cash. But these days even if you have only one or two of these things you may still be able to find a way to purchase a home. After all, if you have enough cash your income and credit won’t matter. You can simply pay cash for your home or get what is called a “no document” loan if they are available.

So what if you have good income and credit, but lack money for a down payment and closing costs? Several options are open to you. For starters, veterans can obtain a VA-guaranteed loan with no down payment at all. And if you can find sellers who agree, the VA will allow them to furnish the cash outlay you need, covering everything from bank discount points and closing costs to your prepaid items for taxes and insurance. 

Any buyer can apply for an FHA-insured mortgage, with down payment of three percent or less. New regulations sometimes allow the down payment to be furnished by a relative. Some of your closing costs (prepaid mortgage insurance premiums for example) may be financed along with the rest of the loan. And a cooperative seller may agree to cover some of your other costs. 

Or perhaps you will be able to find a seller willing to handle the financing but this is less likely in a strong real estate market. In any event you would still need strong credit in most cases before a seller is likely to take such a risk. Small income properties owned by elderly landlords who are tired of managing tenants are possibilities. 

The vast majority of new home loans are “Conventional” or so called “Conforming” loans arranged through Banks and other mortgage lending institutions. These are the loans most favored by Sellers as they generally have fewer “Seller” requirements and / or Seller costs. You and the Lender you select can determine which of the available loan options best fit your individual needs.

There are a number of costs associated with a new mortgage loan including but not limited to the down payment, closing costs and of course the monthly payments. When you know the amount of down payment and closing costs you can afford, and how much mortgage money you will be able to borrow, you will know what price home you can afford to buy.  

A down payment is the money you pay up front toward the purchase. The more cash you pay as a down payment, the less money you will pay each month on the mortgage, and the lower the interest costs will be over the life of the loan. Typically, conventional lenders have required as much as 20% to 25% down but for those with sufficient income and excellent credit lower down payments are possible. 

Keep in mind that that loans which require less than 20% down payment generally require some form of mortgage “insurance” which can add significantly to your costs both in terms of your monthly payment and or your closing costs.

The closing costs are simply this: the costs of borrowing, the costs of establishing the loan and the costs of preparing the necessary documents to finalize the transaction. These costs can be very significant and should not be overlooked by first time home buyers. 

Included are what Lenders call “Discount” points, a one time charge to adjust the yield on the loan to what market conditions demand. Each point equals one percent of the mortgage amount. In other words, two and one-half points on a $100,000 mortgage would cost $2,500.00.

These might include the loan origination fees, appraisal fees, and credit reports. Premiums for hazard and mortgage insurance are usually paid at closing. Also, prepaid interest will be collected for the period between closing and the end of the purchase month.

Title costs pay for the search of public records to determine if the property you want to purchase is free from any other ownership, liens or other encumbrances. Recording and transfer fees cover the legal recording of the deed and mortgage with the local governmental agencies as well as the transfer taxes ( doc stamps). 

Before you can determine how much home you can afford you will need to determine the monthly payment you can qualify for and be comfortable with. Click here for guidelines which can assist you in Analyzing the right  Monthly Payment for You. 

Some advice for first time home buyers

When you are ready to make a major purchase like a home, you naturally want to sit down and figure out how much money you can afford to spend. You will quickly see that without at least a “ball park” figure in mind you will waste a lot of time in searching for a home. As you can easily see this process can be rather complicated for anyone and that is why we suggest that you seek the advice of competent professionals.

The good news is that in recent years, many new programs have offered special opportunities for those who can’t meet the usual credit qualifications for mortgage loans. Some of these programs are Federal and others are state-sponsored or even local in nature. Some require you to receive credit counseling and attend education seminars on how to manage money. The point is that you should not be discouraged by the complexities of the process as there are devoted Lenders and agents like the Bill Leighty Group who are ready and eager to help you.

Figuring Monthly Payments

Determine a Purchase Price

The Basics of Home Finance

When trying to determine the price range of homes you should consider, you must first take into account your Desired Monthly Payment. Only after you have identified a comfortable monthly payment that is within your reach can you determine an acceptable purchase price. This is a step which really should be completed before you begin to look at homes.

The best and easiest way to find out your eligibility to purchase a particular price home is to use one of the literally hundreds of Mortgage Calculators available on the internet, such as Mortgage101.Com. If you have already figured your maximum monthly house payment then it is pretty easy to “back into” the Purchase Price. The variable factor of course is the interest rate which prevails at the time you are ready to purchase.

For example, if you had a 3.75% loan on a $250,000 home, your principal and interest payment would be $1,158.00 a month. At 4.25% interest, the payment would be $1,230.00 a month, and at 4.75% it would be $1,304.00 a month, and so on. So as you can see, the interest rate is the key to determining how much house you can afford with the purchase price going up and down as the interest rate rises and falls.

Remember that the amount allowed in the qualification process for housing (29% of your monthly gross income) includes escrowed amounts for insurance and property taxes. You can guess what the taxes might be by adding about 1.5 percent more for taxes and typically less than about 1 percent for hazard insurance to the price of the home.

On a $250,000 home, the taxes will be about $3,750.00 and the insurance will be about $1,500 to $2,500.00. Divide those amounts by 12 to see the monthly amount which will be added to the principal and interest to make up your total monthly house payment. The amounts may be a little high but it is better to allow too much than too little.

The bottom line is this … to really find out how much you can afford, you will need to talk to a mortgage lender about the different loan plans that may suit your needs. You may find that with a different type of loan such as an adjustable rate mortgage, you may be able to afford more house for temporarily lower payments. This can be a particular good thing if you don’t think you will be in a home for a long time.

Right now, interest rates are still so low that you may prefer a fixed rate mortgage, but an adjustable rate is not likely to rise significantly over the next few years. You can, however, count on a rate change virtually every year, and most likely it will be higher.  

After you have figured out how much you can spend, whether it is $50,000 or $5,000,000, and after you have a Lenders commitment letter in place, then and only then are you ready to get serious about finding a new home.

Arrange for Home Inspections

DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT A HOME INSPECTION

We encourage all our clients, customers and visitors to seriously consider the benefits of home inspections. Most everyone has heard of or even experienced the horrors of undiscovered defects in residential properties.

Considering the potential risks, we believe money invested in home inspections is well spent indeed. Hire professionals and look for the best. The home inspection industry has made a great deal of progress over the years in helping insure to the extent possible that buyers are protected from all but the most obscure of latent or inherent defects.

The “Contract of Sale” used by most REALTORS® provides buyers with the opportunity to perform numerous inspections of the physical characteristics of the property. Home inspections in Tulsa are typically arranged by and paid for by the Buyers.

If a potential buyer is dissatisfied with the results of certain inspections, the “contract” allows buyers to exercise a Ten (10) Day Cancellation and Release of Contract.

TYPES OF INSPECTIONS:

By law, most Sellers of residential property in Oklahoma are required to complete a disclosure or disclaimer statement detailing their knowledge or lack of knowledge about the condition of the property.

Sellers are required to deliver this form to potential Buyers “before” a contract has been accepted. If Sellers are aware of defects, they must be disclosed in this document.

During the 10-day Inspection and Review period, Buyers have the opportunity to satisfy themselves about the flood, storm water runoff and storm sewer backup history of the property. This information may be obtained from the U.S. Corps of Engineers and from the Mayor’s Action Center, 596-2100.

If you are funding your purchase with a conventional or FHA mortgage, your lender will also require a flood certification which will be ordered by the Lender’s Closing Company. Unless the property lies in a flood zone you typically do not see this document until closing.

When calling either of these agencies be prepared to give them the following information. The legal description of the property (lot, block, and addition), the address of the property, your name, phone number, mailing address, and fax number or email address if applicable.

If you do not have the legal description of the piece of land in question, contact the county courthouse at 918-596-5000 and ask for Land Records to gain this information.

When calling the Mayors Action Center, ask them for a flood plain inquiry, so that they know exactly what you need.

The turnaround time for a flood plain inquiry is 5-10 days, and the service is free. If you need it quicker than that, call the Corps of Engineers Flood Plain Management Services, 669-7197 and give them the same information. The fee is $25.00 and in most instances the turnaround time is only a day or two.

Another good way to investigate the water history of a property is to canvass the surrounding neighborhood and talk with residents who have lived in the area the longest.

Buyers can have the roof, it’s structural members, roof decking and cover (shingles, tile, slate) inspected to determine the remaining life expectancy and any existing flaws or defects.

All lenders require that Homeowners casualty insurance be in place to protect the property against loss. Buyers should satisfy themselves during the first 10 days that such coverage is available at acceptable premium rates and terms.

A range of environmental inspections are available for buyers to determine any potential risks including, but not limited to soil, air, mold, hydrocarbon, chemical, carbon, asbestos, and lead-based paint.

The presence of MOLD seems to be of concern. You will find A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home and Mold Remediation in Schools on EPA’s Web site: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/moldresources.html

Sellers are generally not required to make disclosures about so called “psychologically impacted property”, unless requested by buyers in writing. This would include Megan’s Law and determining if any known or registered sex offenders live nearby.

It would also include questions to determine if anyone had ever died a violent death in the property or from the aids virus or similar issues.

The “structural” inspection is most often performed by a professional engineer who is registered in the State of Oklahoma. The engineer performs a visual study of the structure to ascertain the general structural condition of the property and the existence of any structural defect.

Elements typically included in the structural inspection are chimneys, external foundations and footings, interior slab foundations and basements, framing and load bearing components, roof structures and mechanical ducts.

Typically called the “EMP” (electrical, mechanical & plumbing) or working component inspection, this inspection attempts to determine that all fixtures, equipment and systems relating to plumbing (including sewer/septic system and water supply), heating, cooling, electrical, built-in appliances, swimming pool/spa, sprinkler systems, and security systems are in normal working order, ordinary wear and tear excepted.

This inspection is required by all Lenders but should never be bypassed by anyone, even by cash buyers. Properties are expected to be free and clear of “visible infestation or visible damage” from wood destroying organisms including termites but also “fungi or water damage.

This Inspection is defined by the Standards of Practice that are prescribed in the Oklahoma Home Inspection Law for Licensed Home Inspectors inspecting properties.  In many cases, home buyers want more items to be inspected than strictly provided therein.  The license requirements for Home Inspectors in Oklahoma does not provide for specialized knowledge as required by experienced buyers.  Items included in the Oklahoma Home Inspection are evaluated for by the inspector to see if they are in “Normal Working Order”.  There are General Limitations and Exclusions that are shown in the Standards of Practice.  The Inspector may (in accordance with the Customers’ circled choices shown on the Inspection Agreement) inspect and report on the proposed Standards of Practice as listed.  There are clear limits concerning the items a Licensed Inspector is expected to evaluate and the extent of operation to which an item is inspected.  For a more detailed explanation of this inspection we suggest you contact a firm who offers it.

Something Else to Consider

Real estate professionals are not considered experts when evaluating the physical condition of properties and are not usually qualified to conduct Home Inspections. However, many real estate professionals are experts in determining how a property’s value is affected by its location, it’s general condition, it’s floor plan, as well as other non-physical characteristics.

Do not under-estimate the benefit of having an experienced real estate professional advise you on issues which can adversely affect values just as much if not more than physical defects.

Where to Find Inspectors

Tulsa is fortunate to have some outstanding and very professional home inspection individuals and companies. One way to find them is to ask friends and co-workers to recommend someone they have been satisfied with. While we as real estate professionals are not able to recommend anyone, we do provide for your convenience the list below of some home inspectors that we have worked with in the past.

(918) Area Code for all numbers

 

Company

Phone

General

Structural

EMP

Termite

Roof

Environ.

Pool

Septic

Atkinson606-2009 
 
X     
Knox744-8128
X
X
X

X

X

X

X

X

FEI665-2593

 

X

X

     
AmeriSpec254-1212
X
 
X
     
Tobeys664-1166

 

 
X
     
Brewer834-1122

 

  

X

    
The 1836-8431   

X

    
J & J743-4050    

X

  

 

Byrd Pool496-2818      

X

 
HouseMaster455-6614    

X

  

X

 

Negotiating and Closing…making the deal and getting it done

Bill Leighty commits to the following:

  • Skillfully represent you in all aspects of negotiations including offers and counter offers
  • Keep you up-to-date on current market conditions and activity
  • Provide you with input on current financing options
  • Ensure full compliance with disclosure laws and ordinances
  • Be a diplomatic yet tough and demanding negotiators working for you
  • Present and explain all offers and counter-offers to you immediately
  • Review every clause in the contract with you so you understand it fully
  • Provide your buyer qualifications information and approval letter to seller
  • Provide a detailed net sheet reflecting your estimated expenses and costs

Bill Will Also:

  • Ensure that you have received copies of all relevant documents
  • Be certain that your buyer’s earnest money is placed in escrow
  • Ensure that your loan application and approval is on track
  • Be present for all inspections and keep you informed of the results
  • Arrange for the appraisal and answer questions if comparable sales data is needed
  • Make sure that all contingencies are met and removed within the time limits provided in the contract
  • Make sure the abstracting and title examination are ordered and received
  • Ensure that all closing documents are ordered and drawn
  • Coordinate delivery of the funding and the fully executed deed
  • Handle all the details
  • Stay in touch with you so you know what is going on at all times and where we are in the closing process
  • Show you consideration because we know that buying a home can be stressful

Bill’s Pledge of Performance

As your agent, we pledge that under the terms and conditions of our agreement, we will work diligently on your behalf to help you purchase your home for the best possible price, in the shortest possible time, with the least possible inconvenience. This is our commitment to provide you with the very finest in real estate representation and services.

We will help you establish a realistic, competitive purchase price based on current factual market data. We will implement a customized buyer’s step by step closing process, designed to achieve a smooth process and to get you moved in with the least amount of stress or anxiety. We will help you develop recommendations for repairs and or improvements that you may want to ask the Sellers to make before closing.

We will keep you advised of any changes in the real estate or interest rate markets which could favorably or adversely affect your home purchase.

We will provide periodic progress reports on our efforts. We will employ our expert negotiating skills to help you achieve the best possible price, terms and conditions. We will provide seven day a week service to insure that your inquiries are answered promptly. We will review and explain all documents to you. We will carefully monitor and oversee the transaction to a successful conclusion. We will never forget that we are committed to providing you with great service.