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 and have someone guiding you every step of the way.
First step: Seek out a real estate professional, preferably a REALTOR® since they are subject to the National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics. How do you find someone? Ask your friends or family for a referral. REALTORS® are licensed by state (not locality), so someone who helped your cousin one community over may be the perfect person for you. Find someone who you can trust is working in your best interest and has extensive knowledge of both the process and the community. Interview them before you sign a representation agreement to make sure you will work well together.
Second step: I ask my clients to meet with a great lender. Sometimes they come to me with their own lender, having already been pre-approved. That works, too, but I still like to have a conversation with the lender so that I understand the process of review. Knowing that you have been qualified makes all of the difference in where and how the home search goes.
Third step: This is the most fun, but often the most stressful. We start looking at homes. Sometimes we get lucky quickly, but more often, you need to be willing to be flexible if I call you and say that there is something I think you should see. This is especially true in the first time buyer price ranges--those same homes often also appeal to investors and down-sizers.
Fourth step: Negotiations. This is where I work to help you get the house you want with the best possible terms. This is an interactive process and one of the reasons that trusting your agent is SO important.
Fifth step: Administrative. You lock down your loan, review homeowners or condominium documents, attend the home inspection and be available for questions, concerns and additional negotiations. In the background, I manage the process of getting all of the moving parts taken care of so that you can close on your new house!
Home Ownership! The final step is doing a pre-close walkthrough, closing on the house and getting your keys.
Keep in mind that steps 3-5 can happen more than once if you decide that the home you selected was not the right one (once you've seen the home inspection report or the homeowners/condominium documents) and that is okay!
My object is, always, to get you in the right house at a price that you can afford.
Call/text/email today and let's get the process started so that you can celebrate your new home!
I am a REALTOR® and Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR) in Northern Virginia. I work with buyers and sellers from Arlington to the Leesburg area. My objective is to be your resource and guide in the process. If I can't be that, I will find you the best person to represent your needs.