Boring Title: Top 10 Tips for a Smooth Home Buying Experience in Northern Virginia

Title insurance is boring, but Allied Title & Escrow is here to decode the jargon and make it (somewhat) more interesting. This biweekly column will explore the mundane (but very necessary!) world of title insurance while sharing interesting stories of two friends’ entrepreneurial careers. 

One of the most commonly asked questions from people starting the home buying process is: how do I have a smooth transaction?

We want to make it easy for you to close on your dream home! Read more for our top tips for having a smooth home buying experience in Northern Virginia.

1. Meet with your real estate professionals early

Even if you’ve bought and sold a house before, start the process early. Talking with professionals well in advance of when you want to buy will help you be prepared.

Meet with your real estate agent, title expert, loan officer or home inspector early in the process to know what they will need from you and to get a grasp on what the timeline and process will be moving forward.

2. Listen to the experts

A good rule of thumb in any real estate transaction is to listen to the experts! Make sure you hire someone with experience. Or if it’s a friend you are hiring, make sure they have experts on their team that can provide you the good and bad on every property.

No question is a bad question when you are trying to determine if you are going to buy your dream home.

3. Get pre-approved for a mortgage

Definitely sit down with a mortgage lender before you see properties. A lender will ensure that you are looking for homes that you can afford. In addition, they will make sure you have the proper paperwork so that when you find your dream home you can close quickly.

4. Make a list of must-haves and would-likes

The fewer must-have requirements you have for a new home the more options you will have.

In addition, being flexible means that you can consider homes in your budget range that you might not have considered before. Great real estate professionals will let you know when your expectations aren’t realistic.

5. Make decisions quickly but not hastily

In the greater Washington DC area, properties fly on and off the market. So, it’s best that when you see something you love you make a decision quickly and write up an offer. This will help you be able to secure a home that you want rather than lose out on it during the home buying experience in Northern Virginia.

6. Expect the unexpected during the home buying experience in Northern Virginia

Expect that there will be something that comes up in your home inspection or something before closing is revealed about the property.

Make sure that your timeline allows for a delay. That way you can ensure you know all potential issues with the home and you can request a credit or the seller to fix any issues.

7. Talk to your title and escrow company early

The home title is one area in which a transaction could fall apart.

Engage with your title and escrow company early in regards to the status of the home you’re looking at purchasing. A great title and escrow company will perform a thorough title search to see any potential issues related to the title of the property.

Are there any liens? Any heirs on the title that aren’t the sellers you are negotiating with? Getting title insurance will protect you if there are past or future issues, and you only have to pay it one time at closing!

8. Perform a final walk-through

Ensure that prior to closing you walk the property one last time. Sometime a large rainstorm or unexpected event can change the condition of the property.

Generally, it is 30-60 days from the time that you put a contract down on a property to the time that you go to closing. You want to make sure that the property is intact and there is nothing visibly wrong before signing the paperwork.

9. Read the closing documents

Your closing documents may seem daunting but be sure to read through them! This includes the interest rate, taxes and closing costs.

Ask any lingering questions of your mortgage, real estate and title professionals before going to closing so that you are ready to sign when you go to the meeting.

10. Get the keys and enjoy your new home

The final part of your home buying experience in Northern Virginia is enjoying your new home! Hire moving professionals for a smooth move. When your transition goes well, you can really enjoy your new space even if there are a few items left on your to-do list!

Have questions related to title insurance? Email Latane and Matt at [email protected]. Want to use Allied Title & Escrow when you buy a home? Tell your agent when you buy a house to write in Allied Title & Escrow as your settlement company!

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