The Home Buying Process


Knowledge and experience is the foundation to successful Branson real estate transactions. If this is your first time buying or you’d simply like a refresh course, below is some great advice to keep in mind.
By having an idea of what to expect and being prepared, you’ll be much more likely to emerge with a home your confident and proud of.

Get Pre-Qualified

Start the Branson real estate process by visiting several lenders to compare rates, loan costs and service. Once you’ve made your choice, they will pre-qualify you for a home mortgage loan.
In order to get approved, they’ll review your credit history and ask you to submit documentation of savings and investments, gross annual income and monthly debt. Once they add up all these numbers, they’ll be able to establish a maximum loan amount. This will help determine properties you can financially afford. Home payments on average, should stay under 40 percent of your monthly income.

Select A Realtor®

Find an agent who is experienced, friendly and someone you feel you’ll enjoy working with. A Gerken Associates Branson real estate agent can help you evaluate the housing selection, negotiate sales terms, schedule inspections, and monitor your transaction through closing day. Please see our qualifications in the Residential Buyer services section.

Good Reasons Why You Need A Realtor®

  • A Branson real estate transaction is complicated. In most cases, buying or selling a home requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page government-mandated settlement statements. A knowledgeable guide through this complexity can help you avoid delays or costly mistakes.
  • Selling or buying a Branson home is time consuming. Even in a strong market, homes in our area stay on the market for an average of 90 days. And it usually takes another 60 days or so for the transaction to close after an offer is accepted.
  • Real estate has its own language. If you don’t know a CMA from a PUD, you can understand why it’s important to work with someone who speaks that language.
  • Realtors® have done it before. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. And even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. That’s why having an expert on your side is critical.
  • Realtors® provide objectivity. Since a Branson home often symbolizes family, rest, and security, not just four walls and roof, home selling or buying is often a very emotional undertaking. And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll every make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you keep focused on both the business and emotional issues most important to you.

Understanding Advertisement Acronyms

In order to maximize ad space and spec sheets, Branson real estate agents use shorthand methods to describe their listing properties. Here’s the code so you don’t need a Cracker Jack decoder ring to figure them out.

  • dk – Deck
  • ll – Lower Level
  • hi ceils – High Ceilings
  • assum. fin. – Assumable Financing
  • hoa – Home Owners Association
  • gar – Garage
  • siy – Sign In Yard
  • gard – Garden
  • poa – Property Owners Association
  • bsmt – Basement
  • fdr – Formal Dining Room
  • lkvw – Lake View
  • fp – Fireplace
  • grmet kit – Gourmet Kitchen
  • hwf – Hardwood Floors
  • ofin – Owner Financing
  • lsd pkg – Leased Parking
  • lo dues – Low Homeowners Association Dues
  • m/l – More Or Less
  • nr schls – Near Schools
  • fa – Forced Air
  • asv – Aluminum, Steel %26 Vinyl
  • irr – Irregular Lot Size
  • 3B/2B – Three Bedrooms %26 Two Bathrooms
  • sf – Square Feet
  • pvt – Private
  • ch/a – Central Heat %26 Air
  • wu – Window Unit
  • upr – Upper Floor
  • vu – View
  • dom – Days On Market

Choose Your Home

Once you’ve chosen a Branson home, your real estate agent will prepare your offer you wish to submit to the seller. Once you and the seller have agreed on price and terms, you’ll need to begin your loan process. Contact your lender to get the ball rolling.

Common First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes

  • They don’t ask enough questions of their lender and miss out on the best deal.
  • They don’t act quickly enough to make a decision and someone else buys the house.
  • They don’t find the right agent whose willing to help them through the home-buying process.
  • They don’t do enough to make their offer look good to a seller.
  • They don’t think about resale before they buy. The average first-time buyer only stays in a home for four years.

Secure A Loan

Adjustable rates, discount points, private mortgage insurance, what does it all mean? Your Gerken & Associates Branson real estate agent can assist with lending questions. There are many available lenders and they offer a multitude of financing options. When comparing mortgage rates, look at the overall cost, not just the interest rate. Lenders will require income verifications, title search and appraisal of your chosen property. Closing No aspect of the home buying process is more complex than the financing. Depending on the circumstances of the seller, as well as the mortgage and closing company, it usually takes three to eight weeks before closing day.

Loan fees can add on thousands of dollars to the cost of a new home, so it’s important to know what to expect. A Gerken & Associates agent, along with your lender, will assist you with the service and forecasted numbers to ensure a Branson real estatesuccessful closing.