Buyer's Guide

The Home Buying Process

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Loan:

Choose a local trustworthy lender to work with and obtain a PRE-APPROVAL Letter. Recommendations are key!

2. Realtor Introductory Meeting:

We will talk about issues such as:

1. Why you are considering Buying?

2. Do you have a home to sell as well?

3. What can you afford & what do you want to spend- Financial obligations: your income, liquid assets for down payment, closing costs (estimate @ 2.5% in DC area), credit scores, mortgage payments.

4. Areas of Interest in your price range.

5. Criteria for homes in your price range.

6. Ownership types: Condo, Coop, Townhouse, Single family home...

7. Style of property if important: Colonial, Ranch, Victorian, Cape, etc.

8. Market Conditions.

9. Go over the Buyers Agency Docs: this way we can legally represent you! The Buyer’s Broker Agreement details the contractual agreement between agent and Buyer allowing us to represent you.

10. Sign the appropriate paperwork when ready.

3. Home Search:

1. Research: Once we have a Buyers’ Agency agreement, your Buyers’ Agent will set up a COMPASS Search and Collection, and start sending you information and listings matching your criteria and collaborating with you about likes/dislikes.

2. Visit Open Houses when possible to research neighborhoods and properties. We do ask that you let the Open House Agent know that you are working with us.

3. Showings: Schedule time with Buyers’ Agent for “Property Showings.” *Ideally, all Buyers are present for showings*.

4. Find “The One” & Make an Offer:

Buyers and their Agent discuss issues like:

1. The Purchase Price

2. Terms and Conditions of the Contract your Realtor will write for you

  • Will there be a Home Inspection?
  • Financing Contingency (which includes an Appraisal)?
  • Other Contingencies?
  • Are you competing against other Buyers? Escalation Clause?
  • When will you Settle?

5. Offer to Purchase:

Yours will likely include the following:

1. Your Fully Signed Contract Offer with the Seller’s Disclosure/Disclaimer.

2. Your Good Faith or Escrow Deposit Check or wire, which is put toward your closing costs at Settlement. The amount here represents your “seriousness” because if you are found in default of the Contract, the Seller is entitled to keep your Escrow Deposit. This check/wire is typically 3-5% of purchase price (more if there are multiple offers) and WILL BE CASHED once we have a ratified contract.

3. Your Loan Pre-Approval Letter from your Lender.

4. Your completed Financial Information Sheet.

6. Negotiate the Contract:

Once the Contract has been submitted to the Sellers, the Buyers’ and Sellers’ Agents serve as liaisons in the negotiations. The Sellers can either:

1. Accept

2. Reject

3. Counter – essentially a rejection of the initial offer and creation of a new offer. If 2 or 3, then the contract is back in the Buyers’ hands to do the same.

7. Ratify the Contract:

Both parties sign that they are in complete agreement about the terms of the Contract and the document is “Ratified.”

8. Remove Contingencies:

1. Our Contracts to Close Manager will guide you through the process to get to closing.

2. We will help you schedule and conduct any Wood Destroying Pests or Home Inspections (we are happy to recommend inspectors – usually cost several hundred $ and take several hours- please plan to be there!)

3. We will help you negotiate the findings in the inspections if necessary.

4. We will help you Perform/Negotiate any other contingencies (Appraisal, Financial Contingencies...)

9. Mortgage Lender/Broker:

Unless this is a cash sale, during this time the Lender/Broker will likely:

1. Collect any remaining information from the Buyer.

2. Give the Buyer a Good Faith Estimate of costs.

3. Send the request for the Buyer’s Loan to Underwriting for commitment.

4. Schedule Appraisal of the Property (several hundred dollars, paid by Buyer up front or at Settlement).

5. Have Buyer arrange for Homeowner’s Insurance Policy.

6. Communicate with Settlement Agent to ensure Loan Package/financing arrive in time for Settlement.

7. With the Settlement Agent, provide parties with a Closing Disclosure (CD) which displays debits and credits to Buyer and Seller.

8. Tell Buyers amount they need to bring to settlement (funds can be either a wire transfer arranged between Buyer & title company, or a certified check from bank).

10. Settlement Agent:

During this time, the Settlement Agent/Attorney will:

1. Complete the title search to ensure property can convey free and clear of encumbrances.

2. Put together the Lender’s and Owner’s Title Insurance Policy to protect Buyer’s and mortgage holder’s stake in your property in case of unanticipated future title issues (this insurance is one time cost and Premium Insurance is highly recommended to protect your investment).

3. Schedule the settlement time/date with all parties.

4. Communicate with Lender to ensure the loan package and financing arrive in time for settlement.

5. With the Lender, provide parties with a Closing Disclosure (CD) or Settlement Sheet before settlement, which displays debits and credits to Buyer and Seller.

11. Walk- Thru:

Buyer and Buyer’s agent typically walk-thru the property immediately prior to Settlement to ensure that it is intact and in the same condition as the last viewing.

12. Settlement:

1. Buyer and Seller exchange property title for payment.

​​​​​​​2. **Buyer must bring a CERTIFIED Check or arrange to WIRE FUNDS for the amount needed for closing costs, including Down Payment. This amount can be estimated by your Mortgage Lender in their Good Faith Estimate. It will be a Final figure when the Settlement Agent sends out the Final CD Settlement Sheet before closing. ALWAYS VERIFY w/RECIPIENT BEFORE WIRING FUNDS.

3. All parties bring ID.

4. Property transfers, keys are exchanged & YOU OWN A NEW HOME!

13. Post Close:

Long after you get the keys to your new home, we are here for you as a resource. Our clients call us if they need a painter, plumber, contractor, handyman, tub re-glazer, decorator, restaurant recommendation, etc. We are here to help!

Our business is based on referrals, which is why providing unparalleled customer service and total attention to your specific needs are our top priorities. We hope your experience will make you want to refer your friends, co-workers and family to The Jeanne Phil Meg Team for their real estate needs. Please know that we will take great care of anyone you send our way!

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Our Team's mission is to build community by helping our clients navigate one of the most rewarding things a person or family can achieve - buying or selling real estate.
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