Finding the Right House
for Your Home
Buying With The Signature Sales Team
“At the Signature Sales Team, we believe that helping families find a place to live — a place where they can nurture and strengthen and support each other — we believe that to be an honorable and noble profession.”
We are a full-service real estate firm with more than 30 years’ experience assisting home buyers throughout the D.C. metro area. Our team of more than 900 local agents has our fingers on the pulse of what’s sold (and what hasn’t) to provide neighborhood-level market information for price comparisons. As professionals who schedule showings and tour homes every day, our agents objectively weigh the features of each house without the emotional attachment of viewing it as a “dream” home.
When you find the house that is just right for your family, we will put your best interest first as we negotiate fiercely on your behalf. After that, we will work tirelessly to ensure that inspections, appraisals, financing and the myriad other issues that can emerge are all buttoned up long before we sit down at the settlement table (yes, we’ll be there, too). We will remain vested in your successful home-buying experience from our first conversation to the day you start unpacking boxes in your new home — and beyond.
The Buying Process
For planning purposes, and depending on the type of loan program you will use, you should allow 3-4 months for the home-buying process from start to finish. You might decide to put in an offer on the first home you view with one of our agents, or your search might be longer, depending on how flexible or specific your needs, wants and priorities dictate. On average, the offer-to-close period takes about 45-60 days. Regardless of the timeline, your CENTURY 21 New Millennium agent can help guide you every step of the way throughout the entire process.
Before you dedicate hours to researching houses online and in person, create a prioritized list of what you want in your new home. You’ll quickly discover that finding the right house involves striking a balance between your “must-haves” and your “nice-to-haves,” while taking into account your lifestyle, current and anticipated housing needs, and budget.
Think about your new home’s location just as carefully as its size and features. Be sure to communicate your preferences to us, because the more your New Millennium agent knows about what is important to you, the easier it will be to find your best house.
While you are thinking about what you want in a house, you also need to determine how much house you can afford. Begin by using our mortgage calculators. The next step is getting pre-qualified for a mortgage, which will allow you to focus on houses in your price range and indicate to sellers that you are a motivated and qualified buyer.
You always have the option to select your own lender or title company to work with your CENTURY 21 New Millennium agent. However, our New Millennium family, including First County Mortgage and Bay County Settlements are ready to spring into action from prequalification to closing.
Once you’ve prioritized your needs and initiated the loan-approval process, you’re ready to begin your search. Since ninety percent of buyers begin their search online, we’ve designed an innovative and user-friendly property search that will present detailed information on thousands of homes in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
When you have narrowed a wish list of properties you’d like to tour in person, your agent is just one click away. Using years of experience, insider knowledge on potential “coming soon” listings, and a network of other local real estate professionals, your New Millennium agent will empower your search while saving you valuable time and effort. He or she will schedule showings, research properties in advance and provide honest feedback to ensure that you find a home that meets your established needs.
Once you’ve reached a decision, it’s time to make an offer to the seller. Your New Millennium agent will compare the property’s features and list price against those of active and recently-sold homes to help you formulate a competitive offer. You will benefit from your agent’s strong negotiating skills and ability to evaluate and resolve counteroffers and contingencies that may arise during the process.
As soon as the seller accepts your offer in writing, the document becomes a legally binding contract. Assuming you’ve already completed the prequalification process, your loan officer will update your official loan application. You may need to submit additional documents or meet additional criteria during this stage.
Together with your agent, you will coordinate home inspections, navigate the appraisal process, and arrange for homeowner’s insurance. As you continue through the mortgage underwriting process with your loan officer, your agent will address any concerns that surface from these reports—ensuring that you’re fully prepared to proceed to settlement.
Before the big closing day, you should make sure all the necessary paperwork and deposits have been completed. At settlement, you will submit any necessary balance of funds required for the down payment and review and sign final paperwork. Upon conclusion of the closing process, the deed and mortgage will be recorded and all previous obligations of the seller will be discharged. Congratulations will be in order because that’s when you get to start making that new house…your new home!