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Patty Sargent

Thinking of buying a home?

Tips for buyers

The "market" in Northern Virginia is many different markets; pricing, offers, inventory, and other details can be very different, depending on where you are. Alexandria could be different from Fairfax County; Arlington will be different from Loudoun County. The key to researching communities, narrowing down your choices, honing in on the home of your dreams, and getting it (maybe with multiple bids!) is customizing your search and being smart about where you start. Let's get started!

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Basic Steps

I can help guide you through the buying process, so you're less stressed and more focused on the exciting next steps in your life!

  1. Get pre-appoved by a lender before you start looking (for a few reasons). Give a lender your basic financial information so you can discuss what type of loan you want, what you can afford (estimate your down payment and your monthly payment), and estimate closing and other costs. Being pre-approved not only helps define your search, it keeps us agile on making a quick offer when you find a home you love.
  2. Create a budget that not only includes your down payment, but your moving costs, any storage costs, and a modest budget for work you might want to complete in your new home before moving in. You may get lucky and find "move-in ready," but if you don't, budgeting for some paint, maybe new furniture, and other initial comforts will help you plan and prepare.
  3. Once you have your budget, review your lifestyle criteria and begin to work with me on finding your perfect neighborhood. Need at least three bedrooms? Need a home office? Need to be near major commuting routes? Can't live without a pool? Don't mind a fixer-upper to get a lower price? We'll discuss location and budget in relation to your Wish List and begin to narrow down locations. Sign up for listing alerts, so you'll be the first to see when new properties come on the market.
  4. Prepare to visit homes on the market! This can be really fun, but also emotional and tiring. We'll limit the number of properties we see in one day; we'll try to see properties FAST (as they come on market); and we'll be prepared to negotiate aggressively and make a winning offer quickly. I pride myself on working with agents collaboratively every step of the way, creating a terrific working relationship with the listing agent and building trust and faith in our offer. I write & present great offers.
  5. Once our offer is accepted, I create a customized timeline from contract ratification to closing. I help you manage all the details from the home inspection to removing all the contingencies.