Buyer FAQ's

Buyer FAQ’S

Should I get a home inspection, radon or other environmental tests? If so, who orders these?

Inspections are not mandatory but are a very good idea. An inspector will determine the safety of your property by focusing on the physical structure, construction and mechanical systems of the house and document any needed repairs. It is advisable to consider testing the home for different environmental hazards whose presence can have adverse health consequences. These include radon, lead-based paint if the house was built before 1978, mold, or other possible problems with water or waste disposal. Consult with your real estate agent for contacts who perform these inspections regularly.

The buyer or buyer’s agent will order these inspections and the buyer is responsible for paying for them.

How long does the home buying process take?

Finding a home that you want to purchase, writing the contract and then waiting to close can take 60 days depending on how fast you find your home of choice and when you and the Sellers agree on a time to close. 

Who orders the appraisal?

The lender orders the appraisal once the loan application has been submitted.

What happens if I see a For Sale by Owner or go into an open house or new home?

If you go to an open house, new home or FSBO, make sure the agent or owner knows that you are working with an agent.

Under what circumstances can the buyer get their earnest money deposit back?

Once all contingencies have been removed and the appraisal has been satisfied, the deposit will be in jeopardy if the buyer does not close. The home inspection, radon and financing contingency and review of the condo documents or HOA documents allow the buyer to void the contract and receive the deposit back.

What happens if the Seller backs out of the contract?

The buyer has all rights to the property but must pursue legal action to remove the Seller from the property. The Seller will also pay any damages and costs incurred by the buyer including reasonable attorney fees.

What's the first step to buying a home?

The first step to buying a home is to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan. This will help you determine how much house you can afford and what your monthly payments will be. You can get pre-approved by contacting a lender and providing them with your financial information.

How much should I expect to pay for a home in Northern Virginia?

Home prices in Northern Virginia vary depending on the location, size, and condition of the home. As of February 2023, the median home value in Northern Virginia is $535,000. However, there are many homes available at different price points.

What are some things to consider when looking for a home?

Some things to consider when looking for a home include the location, school district, size, condition, and features of the home. You should also consider your budget and what you can afford in terms of mortgage payments and upkeep.

How long does it take to buy a home?

The home buying process can take anywhere from several weeks to several months. It depends on factors such as the availability of homes in your desired area, the time it takes to find the right home, and the length of the mortgage approval process.

Should I work with a real estate agent?

Working with a real estate agent can be beneficial when buying a home. Agents have access to a wide range of properties, can provide guidance throughout the process, and can negotiate on your behalf. Plus, the seller typically pays the real estate agent's commission, so it doesn't cost anything to work with an agent as a buyer (except for an broker admin fee).

How much should I offer on a home?

The amount you should offer on a home depends on factors such as the condition of the home, the current market, and your budget. Your real estate agent can help you determine a fair offer based on these factors.

What is the closing process, and how long does it take?

The closing process is the final step in the home buying process. It involves signing all the necessary paperwork and paying closing costs. The length of the closing process can vary depending on factors such as the type of loan you have and the complexity of the transaction. Typically, it takes around 30-45 days from the time you sign a purchase agreement to the day of closing.

What is the difference between a buyer's agent and a seller's agent?

A buyer's agent represents the buyer in a real estate transaction, while a seller's agent represents the seller. A buyer's agent helps you find properties, negotiate offers, and navigate the home buying process. A seller's agent helps the seller list and market their property, and negotiates with potential buyers.

What happens if my offer is not accepted?

If your offer is not accepted, you can either submit a new offer or move on to another property. Your real estate agent can help you determine the best course of action based on the situation.