WHAT IS A TITLE COMPANY?

sign docs

A title company researches the title of a property being transferred from one party to another back to the required number of years in any state in which the company operates and upon finding a clear title offers title insurance to cover any challenges made on the title after closing of the property. In many states the title company handles the closing, in others a real estate lawyer is required to do the closing.

Title insurance first came into existence in Pennsylvania as early as 1853 and is considered an invention of the United States though used in other countries now as well. The benefit of the insurance is correction of the title and would take care of all attorney fees involved in doing so. Title insurance companies most generally have their own staff of attorneys working for them on behalf of the insured.

Fees and rates vary and can be shopped, but your Realtor® may have a suggestion based on their experience and based on closings in your area.

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The Role of a Real Estate Agent

The role of a real estate agent

Real estate agents provide value in a myriad of ways that are dependent upon which side they represent in the real estate transaction. A real estate agent can either act on behalf of the buyer or the seller.  In some instances, the real estate agent may represent both the buyer and the seller. This blog post demystifies the role of a real estate agent and breaks down exactly what it is a real estate agent does for each side of the real estate transaction.

A Buyer’s Real Estate Agent

A buyer’s agent is an adviser in the home-buying process. From the very beginning, a real estate agent will provide a home buyer with a step-by-step guide to begin the home search. The buyer’s agent will book appointments to show the buyer homes that are for sale and that meet the buyer’s requirements. An agent educates buyers of the current market conditions and they also research specific neighborhoods and homes in depth to determine whether or not a home is priced appropriately.

In addition to knowing the ins-and-outs of the market, a buyer’s agent will help the buyer with the contract and negotiations. During this period, a real estate agent will counsel the buyer on how to handle home repairs and inspections as well. The real estate agent advises the buyer all the way through the home’s closing. Once the home is closed, the buyer’s real estate agent will split a portion of their commission with the seller’s real estate agent.

A Seller’s Real Estate Agent

A seller’s agent or a listing agent, will help a homeowner to sell their home for the highest possible price. Before placing the home on the market, the listing agent will research nearby properties to estimate the home’s value while also taking into consideration any improvements the homeowner has made. A listing agent may make suggestions to the homeowner that could improve the total time the home is on the market. A listing agent will market the home to attract potential buyers. If the agent is a licensed REALTOR, they will also place the home on the multiple listing services (MLS) which will attract a greater reach of potential home buyers.

Once buyers find the home, a listing agent will work to schedule times to show the home. If the buyer wants to make an offer on the home, he/she or his/her real estate agent will send the offer to the listing agent. The listing agent will work alongside the homeowner to negotiate the terms of the contract. A listing agent will continue to advise the homeowner until the closing. At closing, the listing agent will receive a commission from the sale of the home which the agent splits with the buyer’s agent. If there is no buyer’s agent, the real estate agent will receive the full commission.

If you are considering purchasing or selling a home, a real estate agent can greatly assist you with the process. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call!

Free Easter Egg Hunting in Oklahoma City Metro

Free Easter Egg Hunting in Oklahoma City

Edmond: New Covenant, 3/29 @ 2:30 -4:30 p.m.

http://www.newcov.tv/easter-egg-hunt-spring-carnival/

Midwest City: St. Matthew United Methodist Church, 3/29 2:00-4:00 p.m.

http://www.stmatthew.org/

Moore: Buck Thomas Park, 3/28 at 10:30 a.m.

http://www.metrofamilymagazine.com/Calendar/Events-Calendar/index.php/name/FREE-Moore-Easter-Egg-Scramble/event/23282/

Mustang: Town Center, Wild Horse Park, 3/28 @ 9-11:30 a.m.

http://www.cityofmustang.org/parksrec/page/easter-eggstravaganza-and-egg-hunts

Norman: Andrews Park, 3/27 @ 5:30 p.m.

http://www.normanok.gov/parks/2013-easter-egg-hunt

Oklahoma City: Will Rogers Park, 4/4 @ 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

http://www.metrofamilymagazine.com/Calendar/Events-Calendar/index.php/name/FREE-Easter-on-the-Green-at-Will-Rogers-Park/event/23717/

Oklahoma City: Connecting Point Presbyterian Church, 3/28 @ 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

http://www.metrofamilymagazine.com/March-2015/2015-Easter-Fun-Guide/

Oklahoma City: Bass Pro Shops, 3/28-4/4 Visit Website for calendar of events

http://www.metrofamilymagazine.com/Calendar/Events-Calendar/index.php/name/FREE-Easter-Activities-at-Bass-Pro/event/23683/

Yukon: Kirkpatrick Family Farm 4/4 @ 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

http://chisholmtrail.org/wp/?page_id=516

Special Needs Egg Hunting

ASD/Sensory Sensitivity: Southern Hills United Methodist Church 3/28 @ 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

http://www.metrofamilymagazine.com/Calendar/Events-Calendar/index.php/name/FREE-Easter-Celebration-for-kids-with-ASD-Sensory-Sensitivity/event/23348/

For Seeing Impaired: New Hope United Methodist Church 4/4 @ 2:00-4:00 p.m.

http://newsok.com/easter-egg-hunt-for-blind-children-is-scheduled-in-oklahoma-city/article/5404508

Children with Disabilities: Buck Thomas Park, 3/28 at 10:00 a.m.

http://www.metrofamilymagazine.com/Calendar/Events-Calendar/index.php/name/FREE-Moore-Easter-Egg-Scramble/event/23282/

For more Easter activities, visit this list. If you have any additional free Easter Egg Hunts, let me know about them in the comments below!

Free Fun Things to Do in Oklahoma City

Free Fun Things to do in OKCThere are a great number of fun activities to do in Oklahoma City, and the list keeps growing! Whether you currently live in or around the city or if you’re looking to move to Oklahoma City, then you’ll find this list helpful in planning your next outing.

H&8th Night Market: A once-monthly street festival that is both family and pet friendly. The block of Hudson and NW 8th Street downtown and the surrounding areas are filled with food trucks, local vendors, and live music. The event is free to attend and occurs the last Friday of each month.

“The seasonal event has become the largest monthly food truck festival in the U.S. based on attendance, drawing between 20,000 and 40,000 people each month during the 2014 season.”-H & 8th

http://www.h8thokc.com/

Live! on the Plaza: Live! on the Plaza is an art-focused event that occurs every second Friday, taking place in the Plaza District located on the 1700 block of NW 16th St. Local businesses and restaurants extend their hours for the event and the streets are lined with live music, food trucks, special events, and of course artists.The event is free to attend and family friendly.

http://www.plazadistrict.org/live/

Myriad Botanical Gardens: The Myriad Gardens has a year-round calendar filled with affordable or free activities for families and kids. Every Wednesday night during the summer they feature a movie on the lawn (which is of course on really soft grass). Families bring their blankets and picnics and spread out with hundreds of other Okie’s to enjoy popular films on a giant projector screen outdoors. It’s a great way to get the whole family outside and it’s free!

Be sure to check out their other events like their Doggy Easter Egg Hunt, Kind Yoga Series, and Story time for the kiddos.

http://www.myriadgardens.org/

Do you have any fun activities you would like to share? Leave them in the comments below!

105 Tips for Relocating to Another State

Moving can be overwhelming in itself but to travel to another state is an entirely different adventure. Here are 105 quick, useful tips from AreaVibes for relocating. Of course, I can help you with researching neighborhoods, determining the difference in the cost of living, and I’ll recommend areas based on your interests and needs.

Areavibes relocation tips infographic

Oklahoma City and the surrounding metro area is very affordable, especially compared to most other parts of the country. In addition, there are a growing number of attractions, activities, shops, and restaurants to enjoy. Have you relocated from another State or City? Do you have any additional recommendations for those looking to relocate? Leave your advice in the comments below!

This infographic is brought to you by the team at AreaVibes, a site that helps you find the best places to live. For more relocation advice, check out 105 Tips for a Successful Relocation.

The Role of a Real Estate Agent

what does a real estate agent doReal estate agents provide value in a myriad of ways that are dependent upon which side they represent in the real estate transaction. A real estate agent can either act on behalf of the buyer or the seller. In some instances, the real estate agent may represent both the buyer and the seller. This blog post demystifies the role of a real estate agent and breaks down exactly what it is a real estate agent does for each side of the real estate transaction.

A Buyer’s Real Estate Agent
A buyer’s agent is an adviser in the home-buying process. From the very beginning, a real estate agent will provide a home buyer with a step-by-step guide to begin the home search. The buyer’s agent will book appointments to show the buyer homes that are for sale and that meet the buyer’s requirements. An agent educates buyers of the current market conditions and they also research specific neighborhoods and homes in depth to determine whether or not a home is priced appropriately.

In addition to knowing the ins-and-outs of the market, a buyer’s agent will help the buyer with the contract and negotiations. During this period, a real estate agent will counsel the buyer on how to handle home repairs and inspections as well. The real estate agent advises the buyer all the way through the home’s closing. Once the home is closed, the buyer’s real estate agent will split a portion of their commission with the seller’s real estate agent.

A Seller’s Real Estate Agent
A seller’s agent or a listing agent, will help a homeowner to sell their home for the highest possible price. Before placing the home on the market, the listing agent will research nearby properties to estimate the home’s value while also taking into consideration any improvements the homeowner has made. A listing agent may make suggestions to the homeowner that could improve the total time the home is on the market. A listing agent will market the home to attract potential buyers. If the agent is a licensed REALTOR, they will also place the home on the multiple listing services (MLS) which will attract a greater reach of potential home buyers.

Once buyers find the home, a listing agent will work to schedule times to show the home. If the buyer wants to make an offer on the home, he/she or his/her real estate agent will send the offer to the listing agent. The listing agent will work alongside the homeowner to negotiate the terms of the contract. A listing agent will continue to advise the homeowner until the closing. At closing, the listing agent will receive a commission from the sale of the home which the agent splits with the buyer’s agent. If there is no buyer’s agent, the real estate agent will receive the full commission.

If you are considering purchasing or selling a home, a real estate agent can greatly assist you with the process. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call!

Should it Stay or Should it go?

What's Negotiable
Have you ever wondered what stays with your sold home? Some of these items may seem like a given but others teeter the lines of negotiation, particularly so for first-time home buyers who are seeking to fill space. A good rule of thumb is anything that is screwed, bolted, or nailed to the house stays unless otherwise specified by the real estate agent.

Outdoors:
Landscaping, sheds, sprinkler systems, shutters, an above ground or in-ground pool, basketball goals, and fencing typically stay with the home. It’s safe to say that your dog will make the move with you but you really just never know what a home buyer may want to negotiate!

Usually outdoor furnishings, play sets, and lawn equipment will travel with you to your next home but I have had buyers request these items stay. Be prepared for anything and remember you can always use these items to leverage the sale of your home.

Indoors:
Custom drapery, blinds, major kitchen appliances, cabinet hardware, light fixtures, the alarm system, vanity mirrors, and built-in fixtures usually stay with the home but refrigerators, washing machines and dryers are popular items up for negotiation.

Usually the seller takes all furnishings and décor with them, however, some buyers may be keen to a few pieces and in some cases, will request a fully furnished home. Although rare, it does happen; this is particularly true for a well-staged home. Are you ready to sell your home? Give me a call and I will help you with deciphering what should stay and what should go.

Winter Woes: Selling Your Home in the Winter

Real estate begins to slow down at the beginning of November and tends to remain slow throughout the holidays. The market “heats up” with the weather, and just as Punxsutawney Phil pops his head up to predict Spring, home buyers begin searching for properties again.

house in snowSelling a home in the winter months is often very frustrating as a home seller because your needs don’t slow down just because the market does. Whether you are selling for relocation purposes, or because you’ve outgrown your space, as a seller you are anxious to get your home listed and sold. Waiting for Spring just isn’t an option for most folks which is why I recommend the following items if you are listing your home during the winter:

Curb Appeal: Remember to keep your driveway and sidewalks clear of ice and snow. A hazardous trip to the porch is the last thing you want for potential home buyers. Do use the snow to your advantage as snow makes almost everything look more beautiful! Add a holiday wreath or garland to the door, this will make the home more inviting. Since most of your flower beds will be hibernating, add a few potted Poinsettias for a pop of bright color.

chocolate chip cookiesSet the Ambiance: The smell of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies is inviting to almost every palate, cook some before your showing and be sure to leave a few out on a plate for perusing guests. Pro tip: the cookies don’t have to be made from scratch, grab a package of pre-made cookie dough beforehand.

Adding lamps to side tables can really make a home seem warmer, especially compared to the frigid temperatures outside. Home buyers will envision how they will spend holidays in your house, so a nicely decorated living room will greatly appeal to them this time of year. Remember, a clean, well-kept home is always very important no matter what time of year you are selling your home.

Light a fire if you have a fireplace, a crackling fire will not only warm your home but also potential home buyers’ hearts. Most buyers love the idea of a fireplace even though some seldom actually use one. Of course, you shouldn’t leave the fire unattended so work with your REALTOR to figure out the logistics of lighting and extinguishing the fire.

Lastly, I always recommend you hire a professional and knowledgeable REALTOR to assist you in the process. A licensed real estate agent in your area will have a firm understanding of your market and they can assist you with marketing your property.

I hope these tips will help you set the stage for successfully listing and selling your home during the winter months. Do you have more tips to add to this list? Comment with your suggestions below!