Buying a home is one of the major purchase decisions of your life; therefore, it's important to be an informed buyer. The following information will help you better understand the buying process and assist you in your efforts.

For detailed information for buyers, please download the buyers report below. You can also sign up to receive email updates of all the new listings that meet your search criteria. Please let us know if you are interested in previewing any of the homes you see on our website. Thank you!

Step 1: Defining What You Want
Start by creating a prioritized list of features you want in your next home and the reasons why. Use it as your search guide, but remember that depending on your funding, you will probably need to make some compromises. In addition, talk to me about where you want to live. Location is a huge part of any move. CENTURY 21 Pride Realty real estate agents are trained to help their clients narrow down their choices by sharing market trends and local information.

Step 2: Figuring Out What You Can Afford
Now that you know what you want, it's time to see what you can afford. You can start by crunching the numbers yourself but the best way is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This process can often be performed in under an hour, by phone, 7 days a week and it accomplishes two important goals. First, it will tell you how much house you can afford and what your monthly payments would be. Second, it tells the seller that you can afford to buy their home and many times gives you more negotiating power. By definition, a pre-approved buyer has an approved mortgage subject to an appraisal of the property. To receive a loan pre-approval from United Banc Group call Dan Anderson at 1-708-261-2665.

Step 3: Shopping For Homes
Once you know what community you'd like to live in and have an idea of how much house you can afford, it's time to start checking out some actual properties. You can begin this search online and save time since it can help you target homes that meet your search criteria. You can view virtually every property listed by all real estate companies in the area on this web site. It's one way CENTURY 21 Pride Realty makes home shopping easier for you. We will even notify you by email when properties come on the market that meet your search criteria.

Next, begin visiting homes in person. Ask your CENTURY 21 Pride Realty real estate professional to arrange home showings that are in your target area and price range. If you are not currently working with one of our agents contact CENTURY 21 Pride Realty Customer Service at 815-485-4421. We will arrange to have a knowledgeable agent assist you. Ask your CENTURY 21 Pride Realty agent to explain how your interests can be best represented in your transaction and for information about the CENTURY 21 Pride Realty Buyer Service Pledge.

Step 4: Making An Offer
Once you find the home you want, you need to complete a purchase agreement for the house. Typically this is a very difficult and trying time since both buyers and sellers have totally different goals. In most cases it is better to have a third party, such as a CENTURY 21 Pride Realty real estate professional, negotiate the offer. If you have any personal interaction with the homeowner, don't give out any information about your move, your current housing status, financial status or your feelings about their property - positive or negative. This could hurt you in future negotiations. When writing your purchase agreement you will have the opportunity to consider a home protection plan, have a licensed home inspector examine the property, and other options your CENTURY 21 Pride Realty agent will explain to you.

Step 5: The Final Closing
In most cases you will also have the option of a "walk through" within 3 days of the closing. This is your chance to make sure that all of the items that you and the seller have agreed upon meet your satisfaction.

Before you arrive at the closing, make sure all the necessary paper work and deposits have been completed. If the mortgage, title work, homeowners insurance and other items necessary are not completed and brought to the closing table, the closing may not happen on time. Once you close, it's official - you own the house.

Buying Questions? Call our Customer Service at 815-485-4421. We are here to help you.

Your Agent should be:

  • Aware of the local and state laws and requirements that affect your transaction.
  • Knowledgeable about the communities and neighborhoods that you are interested in.
  • Effective at negotiations.
  • Highly-trained, with access to programs for continued learning and additional certifications.
  • Technology-focused.
  • Supported by professional legal counsel.
  • Finding the Right Home

There are many factors to consider in selecting a home, including location, size, school district and amenities. Based on what you're looking for, your sales associate will help you find the perfect home.

Your Realtor will apply their extensive community knowledge and professional resources to research available properties and show you the homes that best meet your needs. If you find a property that interests you through the Internet or your own research, let your Sales Associate know so that a showing can be arranged.

As you view different properties, your criteria may change. Open and direct communication with your Sales Associate is a key element of a successful property search.


Once you have found the home that you wish to purchase, your Sales Associate will apply their professional training and do all the necessary research to help you structure an effective offer.

This is where your Sales Associate’s negotiation skills come into play. When an offer is made, the seller will have the option of accepting, rejecting or counter-offering. Your Sales Associate will negotiate the best possible terms for you.

Your Sales Associate will draft the purchase agreement, advising you of protective contingencies, customary practices, and local regulations. Home warranty, title and escrow arrangements will be detailed in the offer. Although your Sales Associate will give you advice and information, it is your decision as to the exact price and terms that you wish to offer.


When the purchase agreement is accepted and signed by all parties, your Sales Associate will open escrow for you and your earnest money will be deposited. The escrow is a neutral third party that will receive, hold, and distribute all funds associated with your transaction.


Prior to closing escrow, all of the contingencies of the Purchase Agreement must be met. Your Sales Associate will coordinate this process. Typical contingencies include:

  • Approval of the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement.
  • Approval of the preliminary title report.
  • Loan approval, including an appraisal of the property.
  • Physical inspections of the property.
  • Pest inspection and certification.
  • Acquisition of homeowner’s insurance.
  • Closing Escrow and Moving In!

When all of the conditions of the purchase agreement have been met, you will sign your loan documents and closing papers. You will deposit the balance of your down payment and closing costs to escrow, and your lender will deposit the balance of the purchase price. The deed will then be recorded at the County Recorder’s office and you will take ownership of your home.

Your Sales Associate at Century 21 Pride Realty is a valuable source of helpful tips for planning and coordinating your move.

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Thinking about buying a home? Tell me what you are looking for and I will use the local MLS to find just the right property for you.



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