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Frequently Asked Questions for Home Buyers

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So, it's time to buy a home. Using the FAQ below, we hope you'll gain a better understanding of the home buying process.  Simply click the question that is in bold, and the answer will appear below.

I’m thinking of buying a house without a real estate agent to save money. Is this a good idea?

The buyer does not pay a fee or commission to their agent. This fee is paid by the seller. Therefore, you will not save money with regards to the agent commission should you choose to buy without representation.

Competent buyer representation can save you money and countless headaches that can occur during a real estate transaction.

What is a Buyer’s Agent?

In most real estate transactions there are two agents, representing two parties. There is the Listing Agent who the seller hired to offer their home on the market, and there is the Selling Agent, the agent who procures the buyer to purchase the property.

A Buyer Agent relationship is created when it is agreed to, in writing, between the Selling Agent and the buyer.

Once established, the Selling Agent is now the Buyer’s Agent and has a fiduciary duty to represent you, the buyer, during the transaction.

Can I be notified of new DC homes as soon as they come on the market?

Absolutely. If you’re working with an M Squared consultant, this has already been configured for your search criteria. If not, you can quickly, with no-obligation, create your own, automatic search using our website.

To do so, simply create your account by clicking here.

Login to your new account. Once you are logged in, simply perform a property search using our website. When your search results appear, click ‘Save Search’ Once saved, our server will perform this search daily and email you any new listings.

Our search encompasses every home listed by every real estate agent throughout Washington, DC. Using our system, you can create an unlimited amount of these saved searches.

How much off listing price should I offer on a house?

Your M Squared consultant will pull comparable listings for property similar to one you are considering. The comparative listings will include homes recently sold and those currently on the market. Using this data, your consultant will be able to advise you on the fair market value of the property.

What happens if the property doesn’t appraise for the price I offer?

Your offer will be contingent on obtaining financing. Early in the search stage your M Squared consultant will assist in getting your pre-qualified for a mortgage if financing is required. This is an important step, as many sellers will not allow showings to prospective buyers without evidenced pre-approval.

If you are pre-approved, but fail to actually receive loan commitment, there are a few options. One option is to walk away from the transaction. The second is to renegotiate the contract price to the appraised value, and the third is for the seller to pay the difference. Your options can be limited depending on the type of loan you choose.

Your M Squared consultant and chosen loan officer will assist you during this process, should it arise.

Are all mortgage companies basically the same?

No way. It is paramount that you do your research when choosing a mortgage company and loan officer. Your M Squared consultant will provide you with a variety of companies and representatives that we have previously worked with, and have a proven track record in the industry.

You are under no obligation to use any of the recommendations of your M Squared consultant. Talk to your friends, family and co-workers. Do some research on the Internet? Fees and interest rates vary greatly.

Is it necessary to get a home inspection, or can I save money here?

You must get a home inspection. A home inspection only costs a few hundred dollars. If you’re financing your purchase, many lenders require this prior to loan commitment. Never leave exterior looks or emotional attachment, prevent you from protecting your investment.

Can the seller pay my closing costs?

This depends on your loan type and the seller’s willingness. An FHA loan will allow the seller to contribute up to 6% of the sales price. A conventional loan will allow the seller to pay up to 3% of the sales price provided that your down-payment is greater than 10%. VA loans will allow the seller to contribute up to 4% of the sales price.

Is it a good idea to buy a foreclosed home?

It really depends on the individual property you’re considering. Purchasing a foreclosure can be an opportunity to gain instant equity on your purchase. Banks are not in business to maintain a large inventory of homes. In some instances, a bank can be forced to stop lending should their housing re-sale inventory rise above a pre-determined percent. This doesn’t mean that all foreclosures are good deals. Talk to your M Squared consultant regarding specific properties.