Buyer’s Guide

Contact a Realtor on the Stickney Team

Working with a Realtor who specializes in the area and price point that you are seeking is imperative in achieving a successful home purchase. Buying a home is often an individual’s largest financial decision. Therefore, it is important to work with someone you can trust and who has a successful proven track record.

We are dedicated to being your biggest advocate throughout the home buying process. We assess and analyze each property as if we were purchasing it and truly put ourselves in our client’s shoes. We actively listen to ensure that your best interests are represented.

As top state and national producers, and through the Coldwell Banker Burnet network, we are the first to know of properties that are not on the market or that will be coming available. The opportunity to view properties before the competition provides an unparalleled advantage.

One of the biggest misconceptions with the home sale process is how commissions are paid. Commissions are traditionally pre-determined by the Seller’s listing contract with their Realtor. As there is often no cost benefit to the Buyer or Seller if the Buyer is not represented, we always recommend that Buyer’s seek representation.

Demonstrating Ability to Purchase

A pre-approval letter from your lender is often required when submitting an offer. If you are purchasing with cash, a proof of funds letter will suffice. We recommend consulting with a loan officer prior to beginning your home search. Understanding how much you are qualified to purchase, the best financing options, closing cost estimates and monthly expenses can affect how much you are willing and able to spend.

Home Search

After providing us with your list of criteria, we will create an automatic search that will send you properties that fit your specific needs. We will also work on finding properties that are not currently on the market or will be coming available.

Buying a home is a process and not an event. Viewing properties provides market and home education and also helps us learn more about what the perfect home for you looks like. It is important to let us know if your criteria changes throughout the process so we can adjust our search accordingly.

We take pride in making sure our clients are the most educated in the market.

Writing an Offer

Prior to writing an offer, we will provide you with a market analysis to help determine the proper offer price. The market analysis will include active, pending and recently sold properties that are comparable with the property which you are preparing to write an offer.

An offer is comprised of numerous terms including earnest money, items to be included and excluded from the purchase, offer price, closing date, financing and inspection contingencies and much more. We will discuss all of the terms and details of the offer process and make sure that you have a thorough understanding of everything prior to submitting an offer.


Most offers are contingent on inspection. The timeframe to complete all inspections is negotiated in the offer. An inspector will be able to assess the condition of the property and provide helpful information including how to properly care for the property moving forward.

It is important to remember that every home has defects and there will be items discovered during the inspection. Items noted during the inspection can be accepted in their current condition by the Buyer or can be negotiated between the Buyer and the Seller. The offer can be canceled if the Buyer and the Seller are not able to agree to terms on how to handle the Buyer’s inspection requests or the Buyer is not satisfied with the results of the inspection and wishes to not proceed with the sale.

There are many different types of inspections that can be performed on a home including a general home inspection, radon test, moisture test and a chimney inspection.


Once the inspection contingency is removed, the loan officer will order the appraisal. The loan officer will coordinate lender insurance, discuss interest rates and inform you of any further information pertinent to your loan approval. It is very important to provide the requested documents to the loan officer in a timely manner to avoid potentially delaying the closing. The loan officer will be in contact with you regarding final loan costs and money needed to close.


Both Buyer and Seller have the right to choose the title company that they wish to represent them in the closing. The title company will perform a title search and make sure that the property is free and clear of any encumbrances and provide title insurance to protect against any title issues discovered. The title company will work with your loan officer and provide a settlement statement showing the amount of money you will need to bring to closing.

Prior to Closing

Do not make any significant purchases or take on any debt without prior discussion with your loan officer. Changes in income, assets, debt and job status can affect your ability to purchase.

We will provide you with a list of the utility companies to transfer the utilities effective the date of closing.

Obtain a cashier’s check or wiring instructions several days prior to closing.

We will do a final walk-through prior to closing to ensure that the property is in acceptable condition and any negotiated inspection items have been completed. Any issues will need to be resolved prior to closing.


The closing often takes place at the Buyer’s title company’s office. You will need to bring a driver’s license or passport, cashier’s check and checkbook in case additional funds are needed. We will be at the closing to review the settlement statement and address any questions or concerns. After both parties have executed all of the documents and funding has been received, the home is yours. You will receive keys, garage door openers, a packet of all of the closing documents and homesteading instructions at this time. CONGRATULATIONS!