Steps to Buying a Home

0471. Set Appointment for Consult:  Contact me (202-905-5369 or to set a time to meet for an initial consult.

2. Consult:  We will meet for 1-2 hours at my office or an area coffee shop to discuss your home search.  I will ask you questions about what you’re looking for, tell you about the home buying process and what to expect, and answer any questions you have.

3. Buyer Agency Agreement:  If you decide you would like to work with me and my brokerage, I will provide a standard Buyer Agency agreement that you, me, and my brokerage would sign.  Some terms that would be included, which we would discuss, are the length of the agreement, types of representation, and how payment works.

4. Pre-Qualification: The next step is to apply with a lender for pre-qualification for a loan.  Many lenders offer an online application.  I can provide recommended lenders.  When the process is complete, the lender will provide you with a pre-qualification letter indicating the loan amount for which you’d likely be eligible.  This will help us know what price range in which to search.   The pre-qualification letter will also be included in any offer you submit.

5. Search: Once you are pre-qualified, we will begin looking at properties that meet your criteria.

6. Offer:  When you find a property you like, I will put together an offer for you (they are typically 40-50 pages).  I will review the offer with you and ask you to sign in several places.   Some key items the offer will include:  purchase price, loan amount, earnest money amount, contingencies (e.g. inspection, appraisal, financing), settlement company you select (I can provide recommendations), financial information, your pre-approval letter, and a copy of your earnest money check.  When complete, I will submit your offer to the seller’s agent.

7. Negotiation:  I will relay to you any response to your offer that I receive from the seller’s agent.  If the seller counters, I will continue to negotiate on your behalf, at your direction, until an agreement is reached.  Once you are “under contract” I will send you a complete list of next steps to proceed toward settlement.

8. Prepare for Settlement: The first couple weeks of being under contract can feel a little like a whirlwind.  Specifically, you’ll likely be setting up an inspection and working with your lender to ensure the appraisal and financing steps proceed.  If you buy a condo, you will also be reviewing condo docs at this time.  The settlement company also will contact you for information to prepare the closing documents.  You will want to obtain homeowner’s insurance and set up your utilities at this time as well.

9. Settlement:  Settlement typically occurs at the office of the settlement company and takes 1-2 hours.  The settlement attorney explains and asks you to sign all the necessary documents to transfer ownership and close your loan.  You will then receive the keys to your new home.  Once settlement is complete, you are a homeowner!


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