Overview of what's needed when buying in our region
- Meet with a qualified loan offer to discuss your financing options. You should request he/she prepare a lender letter showing that you are approved or pre-approved for financing. Although this letter will not obligate you to work further with the lender who issues it, you’ll need to submit a lender letter with an offer when you are ready to buy. I can recommend several mortgage professionals who have worked successfully with my clients. Discussing financing is the most important first step in purchasing a home.
- I hope I am able to help you find the perfect home, and we’ll eventually put together an offer to purchase it. The offer will outline your proposed sales price and other terms to be included in the contract. You will need to include two things with an offer: a lender letter and a personal check for about 3% of the amount of your offer price. This check serves as your earnest money deposit, demonstrates your good faith to buy the property, and cannot be deposited until the contract is ratified (all parties agree to the terms). The funds will be held in an escrow account, and ultimately go towards your closing costs. In the D.C. metropolitan region, no offer is submitted without a lender letter and earnest money deposit check.
- The Seller will either agree to all of your proposed terms, or propose alternate terms in a counter-offer. Both parties’ terms are negotiated through Realtors, and must be in writing in order to be included in the contract. Realtors make sure all the terms of the contract are met on behalf of their clients. Settlement will take place on the date both parties agree to in the contract. All contract documents are signed at settlement. You should plan on about two hours. Settlements are officiated by title attorneys. The title company and attorneys are neutral in the transaction and assure both buyers and sellers the property transfer is legal with no outstanding issues. I will be present at your settlement, and your lender may also be present.
My job is to help you find the new home you want to buy, advise you on the most favorable terms to buy it, make sure all your contractual obligations are met, and stay actively involved through the day of settlement. Real estate transactions involve lots of paper and deadlines. I’ll work to keep you informed every step of the way, and make it a fun experience.
Mary Lowry Smith, REALTOR® e-Pro® ASP®
RLAH Real Estate