Purchasing your next home in Austin with Karp Real Estate 

A Private Label Realty Company

Though buying a home can be a stressful experience, it can also be a fun and exciting one when you are working with the right REALTOR® - Vickie Karp of Karp Real Estate! In my first face-to-face meeting with a buyer, I present you with a Homebuying Guide which gives a great overview of the entire buying process so you’’ll know what to expect, and go through it with you in detail.  Some of the points in it are below:

When you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or send e-mail to vickie@austin-texasrealestate.com. I'm happy to address any questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Create your list of desired features, and identify your preferred area of town
Prior to starting your home search, you'll most likely want to form a check list of features you want to have in your next home; get a feeling for what area of town you'd like to live in, and consider what a comfortable monthly budget will be for your mortgage payment. Keeping it less than a third of your net monthly income is a good rule of thumb to go by. That leads to the next step:

Step 2 – Get pre-qualified
Let me help connect you to a top professional in the lending field. I can’t stress enough the importance of using an experienced professional in the Austin area, and I know the very best lenders in the business! The loan process is such a key element in your home purchase that if you select the “wrong” lender, your home buying dream can become a real nightmare! On the other hand, with my top, experienced lenders, you will be safely guided through the complicated process of getting pre-qualified for the price range of home you desire! This is the part of the process that has to happen before we can start looking at homes together.

Step 3 – Let’s get together!
Once you have completed the first two steps, we get together and go over the Homebuying guide and all of the other steps in the buying process. Then I will also describe to you the benefits of my working as your “Buyers’ Agent”, representing your interests in the home buying process. The great thing about that is, in most cases, buyers can have my representation and the seller of the home we’re about to find for you will pay my fee.

We can frequently combine our first face to face meeting with our first outing to go see homes, when you have already gone through the prequalification process.

Step 4 – Begin your search
Frequently then, when we meet for the first time, we can go see some homes together which I will have pre-screened for you based on your pricing, neighborhood, and desired features criteria. I will have already set up appointments for us to view the homes at a mutually convenient time.

When we view the homes, I'll show you the positive features, as well as negative ones, and I'll ask you what things you like and don't like. It's common for buyers to amend their list of must-haves as we tour homes, and some things become more necessary than others. If that's the situation, I'll go back through all the listings once more and narrow it down to the home of your dreams.

Step 5 – Get a grasp of the housing market
My understanding of the Austin market is a valuable advantage in your house search. I am informed about the school districts and neighborhoods, and I'll alert you to certain neighborhoods are "hot" and call for prompt action and the ones that are "cold" and allow for careful examination.

Once you identify a home or homes of particular interest, I will be able to research the pricing and give you my experienced opinion as to whether the asking price may have room for negotiation, or if I believe the home is "priced to sell. Every REALTOR® in Austin will convince you they know the housing market, but take notice, and make sure you ask your agent plenty of questions. If you detect any gaps in their knowledge, and have not signed a “Buyer’s Representation Agreement” with them, contact me at 512-775-3737 or e-mail me at vickie@austin-texasrealestate.com, and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. My market knowledge will help you stay a step ahead through the entire deal.

Step 6 – Find the home you've been waiting for
I am extremely skilled at helping buyers find the house of their dreams in the Austin area. When we do, I'll carefully develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs, including many contingencies, such as acquiring financing, carrying out the inspection, and a clean title.

Let Vickie Karp guide you through finding your dream home in Austin

When we turn in your purchase offer, you'll need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit, usually around 1% or so of the offering price of the home, submitted to the seller through a title company, to secure an offer to buy the property and is typically applied to the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the property about 30 to 45 days afterward. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing to be completed.

A second, smaller amount check, usually $150 to $250 or $300, will need to be written at the time we prepare your offer also, for the “Option Fee”. That will cover a period of time, usually 7 to 10 days, to allow you to have your home inspections done so we can properly assess the true condition of the home and submit a request for possible repairs or a financial concession in lieu of repairs.

Step 7 – Negotiate
Many contracts don't close based on the terms of the initial offer. It's common to receive a counter offer back from the seller. Don't let it intimidate you. We'll consider whether or not to consent to the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

The state of the market determines how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your financing constraints. And at the end of the day, we'll formulate a set of terms in your contract that is best for you.

Step 8 – Working with your lender during the loan processing
Now you'll begin working with your lender to help them get all proper documentation and details from you so that we can get your loan fully approved and get to closing. You should to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender and respond very quickly to any requests they or their processor has for more information they need related to your loan. And I'll manage all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

Step 9 – Close your home purchase
Your lender will give you an estimate of closing costs and payment soon after your formal loan application, and by law it will fall within a strict range of accuracy. I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if it all looks acceptable.

Before closing, perhaps two or three days beforehand, you will receive an exact amount in dollars and cents that you will need to bring to the title company to close your purchase. Some title companies want you to wire the money into their account. I will be reviewing the details of your final “cash to close” amount to make sure it is accurate.

Then it's time to close on your home. This should occur at a title company and will most likely be a smooth and relaxed affair.


Congratulations! It's time to move into your new house. Enjoy it. If you have been pleased with the home buying experience, be sure to contact me with the names and e-mails/phone numbers of any friends, family, or co-workers who need my help! And if you need anything, be sure to call me at 512-775-3737 or send me an e-mail.