buying a house: Buyers: Understand the home buying process - 10/09/19 10:45 AM
You have been renting for a long time and you are starting to feel like it is time to buy your own place.
There is so much information out there, it is hard to know how to start. Should you just get in a car and start driving around? Call on houses that look nice, and have a sign in the yard? Who should you talk to about financing? I am sure you see plenty of ads online--especially if you have been searching on house sites.
Stop! This is no way to conduct a home search!
It is important that you understand the process … (3 comments)

buying a house: How (and Why) To Work With a REALTOR® - 02/19/18 06:28 AM

I think one of the scariest things about buying a new house is deciding how to get started. Should you go it alone, finding the home on line and a mortgage in the cloud? Should you work with the listing agent and the lender that they recommend? Should you interview REALTORS® and pick your own loan officer, or one that they recommend? What is the best way to get the process going?  If you do your research, you will find that the best way to buy or sell a house is to have someone that you trust acting and negotiating … (2 comments)

buying a house: 10 Steps Toward Buying Your First Home - 01/09/18 05:13 PM
 We all know that practice makes perfect, but what are you supposed to do when you have never bought a home before? How do you get that practice? Why you hire a great Agent with a great team to get you through! It is always a good idea to sit down with a Realtor, or two, and talk to them about the process that they follow and the team of people that they work with. Let me give you a brief description of how I work with my clients.  Initial Conversation: this is when we talk about your goals, your dreams, your fears … (1 comments)

buying a house: The Contract is Signed...Now What? - 11/23/14 09:51 PM
You have a ratified contract to purchase your dream home! What happens next?
  When you wrote the contract, you provided an earnest money deposit check. At this point, the check will be deposited in an earnest money account (a special account that can only be used for this purpose)  as specified in the contract (often the Buyer's Broker, but sometimes the Listing Broker or the Settlement company).
  Next, your agent will submit the contract to your lender and to the settlement company and they will each begin their processing. You will be asked to provide them with necessary … (0 comments)

buying a house: What happens after you say 'yes' to the house? - 11/12/14 12:38 AM
You have been looking for a new house in Northern Virginia and you think that you have finally found it. What happens next?   If you are working with a Realtor®, the first thing you will do is sit down and talk about what your offer will look like. An offer is so much more than just what you will pay. This discussion will include deciding when and where you would like to have the settlement for your purchase. You will discuss who will pay for certain inspections, how long it will take for these inspections, you will let the … (3 comments)

buying a house: Are buyers liars? I don't think so! - 05/22/14 07:02 AM
I work with both buyers and sellers. If I summarize what I do for each of them in one sentence, these are the sentences I would choose. 
♦When I work with sellers, I am primarily educating them about the market, buyers expectations and the sales process so they can sell thier house quickly and for a fair price. 
♦When I work with buyers I try to help them refine their wish list so that the house they buy meets their needs now and in the future. 
Buyers often get a bad rap. They are accused, in many cases, of not being … (47 comments)

buying a house: What Every Buyer Should Know! - 07/19/13 05:36 AM
I got one of those wonderful emails a couple of nights ago...'I got your name from so-and-so and I would like to buy a place.'
If you are passionate about selling real estate, this is one of those moments that gets your blood racing and your heart beating faster (ok, maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but it is still exciting!).
What are the first things a buyer needs to do after contacting a Realtor?  Here are some of the things that I immediately ask of any new client:
Have you spoken to a lender? This is number one. The theoretical … (2 comments)

buying a house: What are you looking for in a new home? - 07/18/13 08:50 AM
I got one of those wonderful emails a couple of nights ago...'I got your name from so-and-so and I would like to buy a place.'
If you are passionate about selling real estate, this is one of those moments that gets your blood racing and your heart beating faster (ok, maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but it is still exciting!).
What are the first things a buyer needs to do after contacting a Realtor?  Here are some of the things that I immediately ask of any new client:
Have you spoken to a lender? This is number one. The theoretical … (0 comments)

buying a house: What Can I Do To Avoid a Buyer Who Changes Their Mind? - 02/26/12 08:54 PM
Yesterday, I wrote a post called How Easy Is it To Get Out of a Contract? It was very well received, since this is a topic most buyers and sellers wonder about and most Realtors have to deal with, at some point. Turning the subject around, how do we protect Sellers from a buyer who changes their mind?  That is a little tougher. Keep in mind that each state has a different sales contract, and my comments deal specifically with Virginia. When a contract is ratified in Virginia, more often than not, it has contingencies. There is a mandatory contingency for any … (3 comments)

buying a house: How Easy Is It To Get Out of a Contract? - 02/25/12 10:28 PM
You have been saving your money, watching your credit score, getting advice from friends and family and you think it might be time to buy your first home. Understandably, you are nervous. So much can go wrong; You might change your mind, you might select one house only to find one you like better, you might lose your job. Any one of these things make you wonder if you should actually buy a new house.  Are you wondering how easy is it to get out of a contract? Last year, I wrote a post about this; What if I Change My Mind Can I Get Out of … (52 comments)

buying a house: Are You Ready for Commitment? - 02/13/12 11:01 PM
I hope that you are, I am just not entirely sure. It just seems  that you still have some things to work through.  I know you like to travel and that you love trips that are both long and expensive. That kind of travel might not be as easy for you to do. In fact, it might become very difficult.  I know that you like to go out regularly with your friends. That is also an expensive and time consuming habit and I worry that you won't  always have time for me.  Are you willing to sometimes put my needs above yours? Are you willing to deal … (7 comments)

buying a house: When It Comes To Buying a House, Unique is Not Always Better - 02/06/12 12:43 AM
As I show buyers homes, I am constantly pointing out features that will, and will not, make it easier to sell in the future. I think it is critically important to consider resale, even as you are selecting the home you want to buy.   If you are considering a condominium, for example, it is best to buy the model that has the features most in common with the other units in the development. You might be attracted to a 3 bedroom, 1 bath model, but remember, when you go to sell, that might not be the most popular model available if most … (6 comments)

buying a house: No, Really, It Is Perfect! - 01/12/12 02:19 AM
Compromise has become a dirty word. No longer are we willing to give up something in order to gain something else. In purchasing a home, however, you better get back in that mode, or you will not be moving anytime soon! At heart, most of us are idealists. We truly believe that perfect house is out there. It probably is, but whoever is living in it might not be marketing it while you search for a new place to live. As you begin your home search, it is important that you create a list of 'must haves' and 'like to haves.' You may find that … (5 comments)

buying a house: What Qualities Make For a Good Realtor? - 01/10/12 11:11 PM
What Qualities Make For a Good Realtor?
It is that time of year. Folks are deciding that this year might be the time to jump into the real estate market, either as a buyer or a seller. You have probably read that you should interview several Realtors, and that is good advice. What kind of things should you be looking for in your Realtor?  Here is a list of things you should consider as you try to decide who to hire to represent you in your transaction. Persistent: It is not always easy to find what your client seeks. It can take months--even years--depending on their requirements. … (6 comments)

buying a house: Buyers are Babies! - 02/22/11 10:56 PM
Okay, I admit to using a catchy title to get you to read this because I have noticed a shift in buyer thinking that concerns me. If you are a buyer, a seller, or someone that works with either, please read on... Yes, I am an Accredited Buyers Representative, and I work really hard for my buyers, but honestly Buyers of The World, it is time to realize that you are buying a house, not a custom made, one-of a kind piece of art.  Sure, you might have high expectations, and I believe we all should. But at what point do … (91 comments)

buying a house: 10 Less Obvious Things to Consider When Buying a House - 02/22/11 01:06 AM
There are a lot more than 10 things that you need to consider when buying a house, but we all need to start somewhere. The idea behind this list is to get you thinking not just about the activity of buying a house, but about how you will live in your new home!

Where do you work? It might be obvious to you, but I find that not everyone really thinks about how their lifestyle could change by either living close to, or far away from, home.  If you work in the city, but are recharged by the country, is … (67 comments)

buying a house: Want to Buy This House? Get Serious! - 02/19/11 12:46 AM
I was sitting down to write this post when I read Karen Fiddler's Blog, Do Your Buyer A Favor ....Ask Them To Write An Offer.  Like Karen, I believe in the power of the offer. Instead, this is what I am seeing. On one of my listings, I have had the following inquiries: 1) Will you folks consider our Rent-to-own offer? We haven't seen the house, but we like the pictures. 2) Will your folks take at least $75,000 under asking? We haven't see the house, but that is all we can pay. 3) My client is moving from overseas and … (8 comments)

buying a house: Answering your First Time Home Buyer Questions - 01/18/11 01:35 AM

Answering your First Time Home Buyer Questions
Right after the new year, I saw an ActiveRain contest ActiveRain Challenge: Never Answer the Same Question Twice (5000 points). 
I love a good contest, so I started a series of 'Ask Holly' questions from First Time Buyers. These questions were not actual questions, but rather paraphrased questions that I have received over the years. The response was great (and I even earned a Feature!), so I thought I would post those that I have done so far in a single post.  I am planning to continue this format and welcome the submission of questions that I … (2 comments)

buying a house: Why Should I Sign a Buyer Representation Agreement? - 01/10/11 06:38 AM

Dear Holly,
I have been speaking with a Realtor who has been providing me with information about properties in my price range. We have plans to start looking at homes next weekend. All of the sudden, he is asking me to sign a contract that says he is my Buyer Agent! I don't like to sign unnecessary contracts and I am not sure I want to sign this one. Is he being unreasonable or should I consider signing this so that he will take me out looking at houses?
Thanks for your opinion,
First Time Buyer
If you are ready to begin … (5 comments)

buying a house: Holidays, Weekends and other real estate time - 11/28/10 06:21 AM
The buying public falls into two categories: those who assume that a Realtor® will be available 24-7 and those who are so overly considerate that they wait to call us--even when they should. The truth is, most Realtors® work somewhere in between.
During a holiday weekend, your local Realtor® will, just like the rest of the world, spend time with friends and family. The truth is, however, we signed on to be available at the time that you have some free time--often weekends and holidays. Most of us are willing to tell our clients when we are unavailable and re-schedule for a … (5 comments)





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