Buyer's Guide

Buying?

If you are looking to buy, look no further. We are a top buyer team at our high producing brokerage, KW Metro Center. Following an in-depth consultation, we work closely with our buyers to design a home search that is tailored to their specific needs. Our buyer services include recommending excellent lenders for clients in need of financing, preparing extensive online searches, and planning itineraries to visit promising properties. We work tirelessly throughout the entire process, from identifying a property that checks all the boxes and crafting a competitive offer, to negotiating inspection and walk-through items. We are also in regular communication with the lender and title company to ensure a smooth and seamless closing. While not Angi’s List, we are proud to offer our clients a long list of excellent vendor recommendations such as movers, locksmiths, and contractors. And for those who are interested, we offer unique bike house hunting tours! It is a great way to tour a new community and get a great real estate workout. Do not bike? Not a problem, we house hunt via foot, car, bus, and Metro too!

A Step-by-Step First Time Buyer's Guide

Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by your agent will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.

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Step 1: Research

Do you already know where you want to buy? If you want a condo, townhome, or single-family home? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? If you answered no to any of these questions, now is the time to start researching. In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could give you valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and help you when the time comes to make an offer.

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Step 2: Decide on Your Budget

Notice I said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. If you’ve lived in an apartment or with roommates, you may overlook new expenses like garbage, water, or HOA fees that could easily blow your budget.

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Step 3: Get Prequalified

Just because you think you can afford a certain payment every month doesn’t mean the mortgage company will agree. Just as they may approve you for too large of an amount, they may also approve you for a lesser amount or deny you a mortgage altogether. Lack of time at a job, insufficient credit, past bankruptcies, or other financial issues can cause major problems when trying to secure a mortgage. Before you get your heart set on a home, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. This will also be an advantage when you make an offer on a home, as some sellers won’t entertain offers from those who aren’t already prequalified for a loan.

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Step 4: Choose a Real Estate Agent

Can you shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a home without a real estate agent? Technically yes, but why would you when it costs you nothing for an agent like me to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will I help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but I also have a knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. I may be able to steer you away from certain homes or neighborhoods, suggest hidden gems, or give you pointers that will help you find your dream home for the right price.

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Step 5: Find the Right Home

This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). I will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. Take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and run the faucets in various rooms. Don’t limit your inspection to the home itself. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores.

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Step 6: Make an Offer

Once you have selected the perfect home, work with your agent to craft a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or even above the asking price. I will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement. At this point, the house will go into escrow.

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Step 7: Have the Home Inspected

In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. I can help you arrange this, and you can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there is, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, or you can withdraw it.

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Step 8: Select Your Loan

Now is the time to go back to the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and choose your mortgage. You will be presented with various options based on your unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, 15-year, 30-year, or special programs such as VA loans or FHA loans. Work with your mortgage lender to select the option you feel the most comfortable with.

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Step 9: Get a Home Appraisal

Your lender will have your new home appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.

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Step 10: Finish Paperwork

No one looks forward to all the paperwork involved in buying a home, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by your lender and title company and, when you’re finished, you’ll know you are the legal owner of your new home.

Congratulations!

After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, you are now the owner of a new house. It may take a few days for your loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams. 

Testimonials

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Alain Lapter

Natalie is a gem. In a field saturated by mediocrity, Natalie stands out for her intellect, competence, business acumen, market understanding and appreciation, and willingness to go above and beyond for her clients. While so ...
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Andrew W.

Andrew W.

First met Natalie when she represented a client of mine in the purchase of his first home (I work in the mortgage business). We had chatted over the phone, and finally met in person at the closing. Based on the total experience...
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Ana Lapter

Natalie is a phenomenal agent and a true professional. She listens to her customers, is responsive, brings deep local market insight, and recommends creative marketing solutions to accelerate the sale process. She helped me twi...
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David & Toni

David & Toni

My wife and I suddenly found ourselves needing to sell our Arlington home quickly, so we turned to Natalie Roy. We had seen her name on several houses for sale in the neighborhood, and had intended to shop around for an agent, ...
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Vickie P.

Vickie P.

When Natalie was refered to me, I already knew I was going to have an excellent professional who would help me sell my house. However, more than an impressive Realtor®, I met one of the best human beings in my long life. Natali...
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Collins J.

Collins J.

My first experience with Natalie was two years ago when I asked her to take a look at my home and help get it ready for sale, with the idea that ‘down the road’ I would ask her to help me sell. She quickly provided specific sug...
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Larissa & Jeff

Larissa & Jeff

Natalie was a huge help to us in buying our first house! She answered all of our many questions throughout the process and went above and beyond in helping us select a lender, title company, etc. She was incredibly responsive a...
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Nikki & Justin

Nikki & Justin

Cannot recommend Natalie enough. As anxious type A first time home buyers, we considered several Realtors®, but were so impressed with Natalie's experience, knowledge of the DMV (especially Arlington) and personality, that we k...
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Serpil & Raul

Serpil & Raul

Natalie is a rockstar! We can't speak highly enough of our experience with Natalie, we were very fortunate working with her. Natalie is an excellent agent, with an extensive experience, very engaging and has a dependable person...
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Diane R. & Dan L.

Diane R. & Dan L.

Natalie is a top notch agent who knows the Arlington neighborhoods cold. We had moved out of the area and needed an agent who could be trusted to work directly with contractors for needed repairs and sprucing up, to get our hou...
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Donnan & Sarah B.

Donnan & Sarah B.

We were extremely lucky to have Natalie assist us with the purchase of our first home! She is extremely professional and worked tirelessly on our behalf. Her extensive knowledge of Arlington and energetic approach helped naviga...
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Donald C.

Donald C.

As a service member, I can attest that frequent moves with accelerated timelines and strict budgets are commonplace, and that finding the right real estate agent is critical. Natalie Roy is that agent. Her attention to detail, ...
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talmidah46

I first met Natalie when my husband, Andrew Whearty, mentioned that she is the ONE to work with when we decided to sell our house. He had an opportunity to meet her when one of his clients (he works in the mortgage industry) w...
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user35027389

I first met Natalie when my husband, Andrew Whearty, mentioned that she is the ONE to work with when we decided to sell our house. He had an opportunity to meet her when one of his clients (he works in the mortgage industry) w...
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amarra351

Natalie helped my husband and I find out first home, the perfect condo in Arlington. We had some big “musts”, including an open concept, a great kitchen island, and a condo association that was OK with our 60 pound dog. Natalie...
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05/31/2018 - skirtz

Natalie helped my wife and I buy a home in Arlington back in the fall of 2014. We had such a fantastic experience working with her that we obviously had to do so again! Natalie listed our house for sale on a Friday, and we acce...
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06/19/2018 - tonyandbecca

We worked with Natalie to buy our first home last year. She was constantly on the hunt for exactly what we wanted from the first meeting. As we continued through the buying process, she gave us excellent advice, which also ende...
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05/31/2018 - skirtz

Natalie helped me find exactly what I had been looking for in Fairlington in the spring of 2018. She was very responsive and knowledgeable and even helped me after the purchase was complete with recommendations and resolving a...
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07/05/2018 - Cyndymmartin

Natalie helped me find exactly what I had been looking for in Fairlington in the spring of 2018. She was very responsive and knowledgeable and even helped me after the purchase was complete with recommendations and resolving a...
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06/12/2022 - Larissa Korach

Natalie was a huge help to us in buying our first house! She answered all of our many questions throughout the process and went above and beyond to help us select a lender, title company, etc. She was incredibly responsive at e...
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