Buying a House with Us

Alex Escobar Alexandria Realtor Optimus Realty Group

Here’s a rough outline of what it’s like to buy a house with us, the Optimus Realty Group, as your agents. I love working with buyers because it such a rewarding experience. At the end, my clients have found a place where the most important events in their life may take place. I separate the buying process into a few different phases:  The Pre-requisites, the Search, the Deal, and the Relationship.

The Pre-requisites to Buying A House:

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In this phase, you're starting to dip a toe in the water.  You're probably not even sure if you're ready to buy a house.  With us, you’ll discover if you’re ready financially and emotionally.  So I can help by recommending loan officers who can help through the basic application which would result in a pre-approval letter.  At that point, you have some certainty that you could get a loan for a certain, specified amount.  So at this stage, my main advice to clients is to shop wisely for a loan.  If you buy a pack of gum,  it’s no big deal to just pick one.  But for one of the largest transactions in your life, you should shop and compare.  Here's what to look for in a lender.  Interest rates are important, but the most important factor in selecting a lender is SERVICE.

One common question people have is how they should coordinate ending their leases and transition into their new house.

The Search for the House

MOST people have an idea of what type of house they want to buy. But it’s usually not a well defined set of specifications.  So as we start the search we enter into a process in which we define a set of broad criteria (geographic, price, bedrooms, etc) and narrow it down as you visit homes.  Of course every client is different and they each have their priorities, so if a client want to be extremely pro-active and involved I can follow their lead.  Other clients prefer to wait for me to find and suggest homes.

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When you buy a house with us, our goal is to learn something from every house we see.  This is an extremely personal and emotional interaction. I feel I really get to know you here.  Often I’m needed to mediate a discussion between a couple to help them come to an agreement when each partner has different wants/needs.  I find that quickly, I’m able to predict how a client will react to a home.  It takes some patience, but it’s a matter of time until we find a home that YOU want.

The Deal

Once we've found a house you want, then we really start to show how important a realtor can be.  We'll crunch numbers and determine what the house is worth to you.  We take into account your needs, wants, the home, and the market.  Finally, together we decide on a negotiation strategy and make an offer.  My experience negotiating multi-million dollar contracts with the government comes in handy here.  Clients have different tolerances for risk and again, I am here to help you bring that into your negotiation. 

If you can’t stand the thought of paying one cent more than it’s worth, then we’ll offer low, but we must be prepared to lose the home if a better offer comes in and we’d go back to the Search phase.  Buying a house is a game of chicken and I encourage you to minimize your emotional attachment to the home at this stage.  We present a professional, calculated image to the sellers and work for the best deal we can get.  Negotiation is NOT strong arming or somehow convincing a person to take a bad deal for them.  It's a respectful, professional communication where each party looks for the best deal they can get.

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This is how NOT to negotiate.

Under Contract Performance and Ongoing Negotiation

In the next step of buying a house with us, assuming we get the contract, the negotiation would continue.  We'll bring in inspectors with years of construction experience, and a title search company to inform you about what you’re buying.  Does the seller have the right to sell this house?  What kind of problems might occur and how likely are they?  Throughout this stage we continue to re-negotiate as needed as new information comes to light.  Up until the moment you have the keys in your hand and the documents are signed, we can continue to adjust the deal on your behalf.  This is where I get to really earn my keep and protect your interests. 

The Relationship after Buying a House

Finally, after you’ve got your keys and you’ve moved into your new house, we enter the “relationship” phase of our … relationship. Officially you’re no longer my client, but hopefully a respect and trust was gained and maybe even a friendship can form.  I am always available as a resource to help find contractors or other service providers.  I love visiting months later once you’ve settled and seeing you in your home.

When you buy a house with us, the stakes are still high, but you can trust that there's an experienced team looking out for you so you can make the best decisions possible along the way.

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Francisco Escobar

I'm both a people person and an analytical numbers person. A math and physics major with an MBA from UVA's Darden School of Business. I taught middle school math to the very rich, the very poor and in between, started a non-profit in Honduras and worked in international development aid. Now I work my butt off to make sure my clients are informed and smart as they buy or sell real estate. I love how personal this work is. Ask me about the time a guy wanted to literally murder me.

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