How to Lose Your Dream Home Without Even Trying

No matter what type of market you are in, Murphy’s Law applies. And it has never been more true than it is here in the Alexandria real estate market right now.

See a house you love, but it has been on the market, gasp, 43 days?

Your mind immediately goes to “WHAT’S WRONG WITH IT?? ”
…and THEN you think, “hmmmm, it has been on the market awhile and we all know sellers are desperate, right….” And you start to contemplate just how LOW the sellers will go….

Of course, while you are pondering just what kind of “bargain” you may be able to pick up, WHOOSH, here comes someone else who falls in love with it – someone who is ready, willing and able to write an offer…right then…and…

Poof! The house you love is gone while you are left wondering, “whaaa…just happened here?”

What happened? I’ll tell you what happened. You were not a serious, motivated buyer who really wanted to buy a house.

“That’s not fair!” you protest. “I AM ready. I DO want to buy a
house. Really.”

Well, not to be too blunt, but it is time to put your money – and your motivation – where your mouth is.

The Alexandria VA real estate market is not for the faint of heart or the hesitant, no matter what you heard on tv or from your cousin’s best friend’s bank teller. This continues to be a strong and competitive market, particularly in certain price points and locations.

The first step to buying a house is NOT identifying the house you want. It’s not setting up a search on realtor.com or any other website.

Nope. Not even close.

The first step to buying a house is to find a qualified real estate agent who can help you through every step of the process.

And that agent is going to tell you, hey, you need to talk to a reputable mortgage lender who can give you the straight scoop on how much mortgage you qualify for, how much cash you are going to need, what, if any, credit issues you need to clear up and so on.

There is no point in looking at houses you cannot afford. Trust me on this. It only sets you up for major disappointment down the road and makes it impossible for you to “settle” for what you can afford. So why go there?

Besides, these days, you will need to have not only been qualified for a mortgage, you will need to have submitted your initial documentation to the lender.

No, I am not kidding about this. Saavy listing agents and their sellers are going to great lengths to insure they are ratifying a strong offer that stands a good chance of getting to the settlement table. One of the criteria they consider is how far along the Buyer is in the process – and that includes the Buyer being well on their way to getting a mortgage, not just showing up with a computer generated “pre-qual” letter (not that anyone pays any attention to those these days, I don’t think). Even a solid preapproval from a reputable lender is not enough in some cases – you have to prove you can go the distance.

These days, buying a house is not a matter of saying, “I want…”
It’s a matter of saying, “I CAN!”

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