FAQs

Info glossy icon (set 1)Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from consumers. If the question you’d like answered is not here, just let us know and we’ll be happy to answer it.

How Much Do You Charge to Help Me Buy a Home?
When we work for you as your Buyer’s Agents, we are compensated by the Listing Brokerage, so being exclusively represented does not cost you anything.

Do I Have to Sign a Contract With You for You to Help Me Buy a House?
Virginia law requires that once a real estate licensee and a member of the public have agreed to work together, they must put their agreement in writing. To understand more what this means, read more at our blog post Why Would I Want An Agent to Represent Me?

Why Do I Need a Lender Letter?
First of all, it is to your advantage to speak with a reputable local lender before getting too serious about your home search. You not only want to find out what price home you qualify for, but you also want to double check your credit worthiness and make sure there is nothing on your credit report that could be problematic. Sometimes there are errors on credit reports and sometimes folks find out about past due accounts that had been paid off but were still showing up on their reports. There are also a myriad of loan programs and you need a loan professional help you determine which loan best meets your needs. When it comes to mortgages, one size does not fit all.

Secondly, when you find the home you wish to make an offer on, you must include a letter of qualification from a reputable lender with your offer. That’s right, your lender letter is one of the factors used by listing agents and their sellers when determining whether they wish to sell their house to you or accept your terms.

What is Earnest Money or an Earnest Money Deposit?
When a Buyer submits an offer to purchase a property, an Earnest Money Deposit (EMD), typically in the form of a personal check, accompanies that offer. An EMD is a sign of good faith and reflects how serious the Buyer is about purchasing the property.

What Happens to My Earnest Money Deposit Check Once I Give it to My Real Estate Agent?
By law, your EMD check must be deposited into a trust account and will be credited toward your down payment and closing costs at settlement.

Why Must I Apply for Homeowners Insurance within 7 Days of My Offer Being Accepted?
Obtaining property insurance is typically a requirement of the lender in order to
secure financing. If your offer includes a financing contingency, then the contract obligates you to make written application within 7 days for both your financing and property insurance.

Insurance rates and availability are determined in part by the number and nature of claims and
inquiries made on a property‚Äôs policy as well as the number and nature of claims made by a prospective Purchaser, so it’s critical to determine this early in the process to avoid any last minute surprises.

What is a Home Warranty?
A home warranty is a service agreement that can protect homeowners from certain costly repairs. We can provide you with information on a variety of home warranty plans, as they vary in coverage and detail. A home warranty is often a good way to buy “peace of mind” on a home purchase, particularly if you are a first time home buyer, are buying a home with aging appliances or systems or don’t wish to make costly repairs or purchases soon after buying a home.

How Does A Financing Contingency Work?
When you have a ratified offer with a financing contingency, this means you have a defined period of time during which to get your financing secured. For more details on the contingency itself, please read our blog post on the specifics of the financing contingency.