The buying process:
- Interview a real estate agent to hire
It’s best to schedule an appointment with a real estate agent before ever looking at a home
and discussing personal information. That way you can first establish an agency relationship
with that specific real estate agent. Also, you can discuss with your agent your goals for your
purchase, your needs and desires, and help them find the home that you’re looking for.
- Contact a mortgage lender for a pre‐approval
In today’s market, you cannot submit an offer without either proof of funds for an all cash
transaction, or a pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender. This is where a lender will provide
you with various mortgage options. To assist in your mortgage pre-approval process, a lender
will review your credit, ask for information related to your income and employment status.
- Search for Homes
This is where the right agent comes in to help you identify options that match your list of
needs. The list of available homes for sale is most current from our realtor database, named
MRIS locally. Sites like, Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com etc all pull from our database. It will have
the most current information and should make your online search much easier. Showings can
be arranged based on specific information for each property (for example – vacant homes can
be shown anytime, occupied homes may have time restrictions). You are also free to visit any
open house. You can see any home listed for sale by any company.
- Submit and Negotiate an Offer
As part of our contract, there are several important details that are submitted in an offer. They
include price, date of closing, deposit amount, specific timelines for inspections, appraisal,
financing, what conveys with the property, and the settlement agent. Specific inspections, if
apply, include but are not limited to: home inspection, radon, termite, well, water, septic, mold,
pre-drywall, and lead based paint. I have resources and referrals for all of these inspections,
but you are always free to choose your own provider.
- Contract to Close
Once your contract has been accepted, your due diligence period begins. Assuming you’ve
successfully navigated each contingency and your financing has been approved and loan
issued, you’ll move on to closing. At closing, you’ll sign paperwork for your mortgage and
ownership of the property. You’ll be given the keys, making you an official homeowner!
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Laura is a licensed Realtor(R) in VA, DC and MD
McEnearney Associates Inc
1320 Old Chain Bridge Rd
McLean, VA 22101