D.C. Metro Area Buyer’s Guide

Types of Agency Representation

Seller Representation

Occurs when a Buyer does not sign an agreement to have the Broker/Agent represent him/her.

Buyer Representation

Occurs when a Buyer signs an Exclusive Right-to-Represent Agreement with a Broker/Agent. Buyer Agency Agreement.

Designated Representation 

Occurs when a Buyer Agent sells an in company listing (not their own).

Dual Representation 

Occurs when a Buyer Agent sells his/her own listing to the Buyer client.

How to Buy a Home

Getting Pre-Approved and Financing

The approval process includes documentation, underwriting, conditions, and appraisal. The first step is to determine what you can afford; decide if you need lender recommendations. Following this, there are some things to keep in mind: Rates change on a daily basis and pre-approval usually expires after two months. If you plan to use FHA or VA Financing, condos must be FHA/VA approved.

Finding Properties

There are many avenues for finding your property! We will work with you to tailor your search and send you customized email results. Look at listings on our web site (or your own favorite site). Attend open houses or walk-bys; if you can’t make an open house, we’ ll take you through on your schedule. Additionally, we can consult our proprietary database to get the answers to any questions you have.

Visiting Properties

We encourage you to visit open houses. To avoid representation confusion tell on-site agent that Andy Peers is your agent. We are available by appointment to tour properties; we will do our best to accommodate you with 24 hours’ notice. We will provide you with copies of the listings for your reference.

New Construction and Off Market Property

Your perfect home may not (yet) be on the market. Our extensive network of developers and brokers keeps us informed on upcoming projects. Our willingness to apply a proactive approach to finding a home in your dream community or building delivers results. Ask me how.

Short Sales & Foreclosures

Short Sales

• A sale that generates proceeds that are less than the amount owed on the property. This occurs when the lender and borrower sell a property and absorb a moderate loss

• As-is condition is typical

• 30-90 day response time from the bank is typical

Foreclosures

• A situation in which a homeowner is unable to make full principal and interest payments on his/her mortgage, which allows the lender to seize the property

• As-is condition

• Varied response time, usually 48-72 hours

Issues

• Liens

• Delays (paperwork, title work, closing statement)

Possible Out-of-Pocket Expenses

Loan Application

Within 7 days of ratification

Credit Report ($15-30)
Appraisal ($300-500)

Home Inspection

Typically after ratification

Home inspection ($400-800)
Radon inspection ($100-250)
Termite inspection ($40)
Other specific inspections are possible on a case-by-case basis and would be an additional cost

Closing Cost

At closing

Rough estimate is about 3.5% of sales price
• Recordation Tax (1.1% - 1.45%)
• Title Insurance and Attorney Fees ~1%
• Lender Fees and Pre-Paid Expenses ~1%

All About Taxes

Homestead Deduction on Property Tax

In D.C., you can reduce your annual property tax by $600 if you are an owner occupant

Your Mortgage Interest, Mortgage Insurance, and Property Tax are Deductible!

Consult your accountant

You Found It! Making an Offer

To Make an Offer

• Earnest Money Deposit (photocopy of check)
• Lender Pre-Approval Letter
• Financial Information sheet
• Sales contract, addenda, sellers disclosures

Contingencies

• Financing
• Appraisal
• Inspection

Home Inspection

• Full inspection (right to ask for repairs, renegotiate, or cancel contract)
• General Inspection (Right to cancel contract, no right to renegotiate)
• As-is

Multiple Offer

(Escalation Clause)

Condo/HOA documents

(Right of rescission)

Loose Ends Before Settlement

• Hazard or Condo Insurance is a must!
• Set up utilities
• Pre-Settlement inspections (walk-through)
• Review the closing statement
• Funds to close (certified check or wired directly to the title company)

Congratulations!

There can be last-minute surprises (good and bad) on the day of settlement. We will be there to help make the entire process as easy as possible. Settlement typically lasts about 1 to 1½ hours. Don’t forget to bring:

• Your funds to close
• Photo identification
• Personal checkbook