home buying: The Listing Agent Showed Me The Property...Now What? - 02/20/19 09:06 AM
Before you read too far in this post, let me just say that I am writing from Virginia. Each state handles Dual Agency differently. If you are in a state other than Virginia, I am happy to try to help you find the resources to get clarity on your state guidelines.
  You are standing in front of a home in a neighborhood that you really like. There is a sign in front of the house with a phone number. You call the number, you set up a showing time and the listing agent shows you the property.  You really (really) like … (0 comments)

home buying: Think you aren't ready to buy a house? - 01/07/19 04:44 AM
Many first time buyers lived through the recession as teenagers. They remember the scary stories of people losing homes and inadequate downpayments contributing to the problems.
We are on more stable ground right now, economically. Lenders are doing a good job of evaluating buyers and the checks and balances in place mean that the loans that they make are, generally, more sound.
So if you are a first time buyer, what is keeping you from moving forward?
While it is easy to 'do your research' online, a lot of that information is incorrect. Most of that misinformation is about how much of … (1 comments)

home buying: The Myth of the Millennial Home Buyer - 04/12/18 09:53 AM

I was at an event last week and one of the speakers, very profoundly, said that statistics bear out that Millennial home buyers are behaving much as their predecessors did when it comes to home purchases and other life decisions. They might be making these decisions a little bit later, due to social norms and student debt, but they are, nonetheless making predictable choices. The negative/antecdotal info about the way they behave can really be attributed to a small percentage of the group. My thought is that the same was true of every other group in history. Wasn't there a group … (1 comments)

home buying: 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)

home buying: Don't Judge a House By Its Exterior - 11/29/17 11:18 AM

I love symmetry. There is something about it that makes me feel like all is right.  The picture below shows great symmetry!               Alas, my home is NOT symmetrical. Despite the fact that my home is not as visually appealing to me as it could be, I am glad that I came inside on that fateful day. When I did, I saw that the inside of the house was nearly perfect and exactly what I was looking for. We have all heard,' Don't judge a book by its cover,' and I would suggest that you also look beyond the exterior of a home. Through … (2 comments)

home buying: What is the most important thing? - 03/31/17 02:18 PM
When you are preparing to buy a new home, a lot of time and effort goes in to putting together your 'must have,' 'should have,' and 'can't have' lists. What if you turned those ideas upside down and, instead, started thinking about what is the single most important thing you must get in your new home?   Often, when I work with couples, the husband's and wife's lists look very different. Trying to get two people to have the same list, with the same priorities, can be a challenge.  We always end up finding the right place, but I wonder … (2 comments)

home buying: How to Help Me, Help You with Your Real Estate Transaction - 01/31/17 08:19 AM
This morning I was thinking about the fact that I had not heard back from someone that I had left a message for yesterday afternoon. It occurred to me that there are people who are still able to work business hours and respond to calls during those hours. It has been over 20 years since I had that kind of job; Real Estate is certainly not a 9-5 job.   If we are working together to buy or sell a house, you should plan to make yourself available. Here in Virginia, we have a paragraph called "Time is of the essence." It says that … (2 comments)

home buying: Buyers: Should you call the Listing Agent to see that house? - 01/22/17 03:15 PM
Last night I got an email from a family member saying that they had found a property that interested them and they wanted to see it. They were not sure what the next step was...should they set up a showing with the listing agent? I told them, not if you want to be represented in the purchase!   It is a common misconception among buyers  that the listing agent must show you a property. In fact, unless you know what you are doing (and I mean you have years of experience as a purchaser), you should not go directly to the listing agent. … (5 comments)

home buying: As a buyer, do you suffer from Analysis Paralysis? - 02/07/15 01:06 AM
Do you suffer from home buying analysis paralysis?   Working with buyers can be a satisfying job. What can be more fulfilling than helping someone find the home of their dreams? Of course the other side of that equation is being unable to find someone the home of the dreams and, yet, continuing to try and try and try.   There is always a reason that a home won't work for you. It can be too big (or too small), too far out (or too close-in), on a busy street (or isolated), too overdone (or not done enough).  If a buyer is … (6 comments)

home buying: How to get started finding your next home - 01/06/15 01:12 AM
You have made the decision to buy a new house, but how do you get started?   Here are 5 things you can easily do to get you going on the path to home ownership:   Identify some areas that you like and that are in your price range. This is a step towards getting started, but it is also one that will continue until the day you settle on your new home. Ask your friends and family for a Realtor® referral. Most people report being very satisfied with their Realtor®, so why not take advantage of their experience?  Wouldn't … (4 comments)

home buying: "Hey Uncle Jim, Can You Sell My House?" - 12/02/14 11:49 PM
You have a house to sell, he has a real estate license. What could be simpler? And best of all, Uncle Jim will cut the commission. It seems like a perfect fit...not so fast!
I read an article this morning that got me thinking about this scenario. Why You Shouldn't Mix Real Estate with Relatives. The points made in this article are all very valid.
What it doesn't address is WHY people choose to work with a relative. Sometimes it is pressure from Mom.  Some of us are still not too good at ignoring her unrelenting nagging.  Sometimes it is for … (5 comments)

home buying: 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)

home buying: 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)

home buying: What if I Change My Mind? Can I get out of a Contract? - 01/12/11 02:14 AM
Dear Holly,
I have been working with a Buyer's Agent and feel like we are getting close to writing a contract
 for my first home. I am very nervous about writing a contract--so much could go wrong! My sister says not to worry, I will be able to get out if it if I change my mind. That doesn't sound right to me.
How easy it to get out of a purchase contract for a home?
First Time Buyer
The contract to purchase a home varies from state to state. As a Realtor practicing in Virginia, my knowledge of contracts … (39 comments)

home buying: Buy Now, Save In the Long Run! - 08/26/10 09:13 AM
If you have been on the fence about buying a home, you really should consider getting into the market.
Home prices are competitive, sellers are often motivated, interest rates are unbelievable and you may find that with school starting soon, there aren't as many buyers to compete with.
'All real estate is local,' has been touted a lot lately because it is true. Before you believe the gloom and doom of the National media, you need to do yourself a favor and talk to a local Realtor.  Select someone whose expertise you trust and ask them for a read on your … (5 comments)

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