Real Estate Buyer’s Guide
Buying a Home in DC, MD, or VA? Call Coakley Realty!
Because a house is probably the single largest investment you’ll ever make, the home buying process can be exciting, but also stressful. Whether you’re shopping for a new primary residence or the perfect vacation home, use this real estate buyer’s guide as a starting point.
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Define Your Goals and Start Researching
Understand why you’re buying, what kind of home you want, and what you can reasonably afford. Even with just tentative answers to these questions, you’re ready to start researching your housing and mortgage options and create a timeline for moving forward.
Secure a Reliable Real Estate Agent from Coakley Realty
Once you have definitely decided to buy a home in Washington, DC, Maryland, or Northern Virginia, turn to Coakley Realty to help you handle the immense complexities of buying a home. You’ll receive expert advice on navigating the local market, finding the perfect neighborhood, and negotiating the right price. With more than 23 years of experience helping home buyers reach their goals, you know you can rely on our proven track record.
Seek Pre-Approval for a Loan
It’s recommended that you pre-qualify for a loan before you start looking at houses seriously. The process involves meeting with a lender who assesses your current finances and credit history to determine what size loan you qualify for and whether you are eligible for special programs that could make home buying more affordable. This, in turn, tells you more precisely what kind of home you can afford. It also helps sellers take you more seriously when you make an offer. At Coakley Realty, we have a number of reliable preferred lenders that can help you through the pre-approval process.
Tour Homes and Make Your Selection
View online listings and narrow down the homes you want to see in person. Provide your Coakley Realty agent with specifics about the type of home you’re looking and use their knowledge as another useful search tool. When you visit homes in person, bring your sharp-eyed realtor along to help. Keep in mind the average buyer searches for 12 weeks and tours 12 homes before making a final decision.
Make an Offer
When you find the right home, work with your real estate agent to make an offer. The real estate agent presents your offer to the buyer or the buyer’s agent who then has the option of accepting, rejecting, or countering your offer to initiate the negotiation process. It’s incredibly beneficial to have an experienced real estate agent by your side during this process.
Once your offer is accepted, revisit your lender and finalize the mortgage details, including down payment, interest rate, payment schedule, and other conditions.
Close on the House
Closing should be a positive experience with no surprises. You should get a title search to ensure there are no claims against the property; conduct a final walkthrough; and go through the settlement process, which involves signing paperwork along with paying closing costs, legal fees, transfer taxes, and property adjustments. Before long, you’ll receive the property title, copies of all home-buying documents, and the keys to your dream home!