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Get Organized

Figure out what type of property you would like to live in and make a list of essential features that you can not live without and things you can compromise on. If you are buying with someone, discuss your expectations together, and then present them to me so I can show you properties that best suit your needs.

  • Condo, Single Family, or Multi-family
  • How many bedrooms and baths needed for your use?
  • Parking requirements
  • Neighborhood requirements (ex. Close to parks, shopping, schools, etc.)
  • Transportation needs-Close to public transportation, highway?
  • Outdoor Space-yard, balcony, deck, space for pets
  • Condition of house-Fixer-upper or Move in condition? 

If you are looking for a fixer-upper, what extent of renovation are you willing to handle? Painting and floor sanding, or a major remodel?

If you are looking for Move-In Condition, what does this mean to you? What aspects need to be essential in the home for you to live with? (ex. Gourmet kitchens, etc.)

  • Style of property (New construction, modern or Older home with details such as hardwood floors, etc. or more specific for example Rambler or Victorian, detached or attached)

How to finance your new home

  • Do I have a down payment? If so, how much?
  • How is my credit?
  • Meet with a recommended mortgage broker
  • Discuss different mortgage programs such as fixed rate or adjustable rate mortgages
  • Find out an estimate of closing costs and/or points
  • Estimate taxes and insurance into monthly payment
  • Get a pre-approval, not a pre-qualification
  • What do I feel comfortable paying each month?
  • Figure out a target price from pre-approval figure that translates into a comfortable monthly payment

Get a grasp on the market

  • Discuss with me what your ideal home situation would be
  • With target neighborhood and target price, what kind of property can I find?
  • Prioritize what are absolute requirements and what are wish-list items for your ultimate home if the target price and neighborhood do not work together.
  • Browse through listings and let me know your picks, and I'll make arrangements for you to view them
  • Go to Open Houses (be sure to write my name as your agent on the sign in sheet-if not, you may loose your opportunity to have a buyer representative. This also applies to any homes you may find from signs or other advertising-call me to set up all appointments for you as your buyer representative.
  • Soon, you will find your perfect home!

   Make an offer

  • Writing an offer

Bring your pre-approval letter

Bring a checkbook for your earnest money deposit. Expect this deposit to be between 1-5% of the purchase price.

  • Make a decision on what contingencies you will add to the offer, for example mortgage and home inspection contingencies.
  • Figure out when closing date will be (the average time is 30-60 days contract ratification)
  • Wait for response from seller

 Contact Settlement Company

  • I will make arrangements for you with a settlement company to schedule closing and order a title search for the property.
  • Complete and submit any paperwork provided to you by the settlement company.

 Home Inspection

  • Coordinate all necessary or desired home inspections.
  • Make a note of an major defects that the inspector points out
  • If the inspector finds defects that were not disclosed at the time of ratification, you may be able to negotiate a seller credit or contract terms to reflect defects.
  • If the Home Inspection is unsatisfactory and you wish not to move forward, you can release yourself from the contract without penalty as long as you are within the time limits of the inspection contingency date. After the home inspection date has expired, your earnest money is in jeopardy. Time is of the essence, so be aware of keeping to all the dates set forth in the ratified contract. (This is rare!)

 Work with your bank to get a commitment letter

  • Provide a copy of the ratified contract to the bank (your realtor usually does this)
  • Verify with the lender that the appraisal has been ordered.
  • Provide any information the bank requests such as pay stubs, tax forms, etc. Again, time is of the essence.
  • If you have a financing or appraisal contingency, be aware of all deadlines.

 Pre-Closing Activities

  • Obtain Home Owner's Insurance
  • Transfer utilities over to your name.
  • Get final number amount from your lender you will need to bring to the closing. This usually is done the day before settlement. Get a certified bank check for this amount to bring to closing. Make sure to take your license and personal checkbook just in case there are minor last minute adjustments.



  • Schedule a final walkthrough to make sure the place is ready to move in and no defects have been made to the property from the last time you went in. Also, if the seller agreed to remedy any issues that came up at the home inspection with a repair, make sure these issues were addressed. If there are defects, these will have to be negotiated at the closing table.
  • Attend settlement, bring all closing checks, sign documents, and collect your keys!

Enjoy your Home! 

Rachel Burns. Your Home. My Mission. Evers & Co. Washington DC Real Estate, DC Real Estate, Alexandria Real Estate, Northern Virginia Real Estate, Luxury DC Real Estate.
Rachel Burns
(202) 384-5140
Rachel Burns. Your Home. My Mission. Evers & Co. Washington DC Real Estate, DC Real Estate, Alexandria Real Estate, Northern Virginia Real Estate, Luxury DC Real Estate.
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