Buying a home

Real estate is not like completing a Mad Lib.


First-time buyers Ryan & Lauren in front of their new home.

According to a former friend, being a REALTOR is “easy” because “all you’re doing is filling in blanks.” SMH

Real estate is hyper-local to a neighborhood; sometimes even a street. It’s also very personal.  So crafting an offer and negotiations are more complex than filling in blanks. Multiple offers could be involved. Perhaps you’re dealing with an estate or a seller who is so attached to their home they don’t really want to sell. The clients could be first-time home buyers who have robust incomes yet limited savings for a down payment. Maybe the client is newly divorced and trying to find a home for herself and her children. Perhaps you’re dealing with a multimillion dollar property with vast untapped equity needed for the next purchase. Each property and each person’s story is different which means putting together a deal that works could have several layers. Putting together an offer and calling it filling in blanks as if the offer were some convenience store Mad Lib demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the complexities of a real estate transaction.

Getting the offer accepted is just the start of a long process involving fulfilling and/or removing contingencies and working toward an on-time settlement. Further negotiations are almost certain if a home inspection is involved or if there’s a low appraisal. In fact, the “Addendum of Clauses” used with the Regional Contract in the Washington DC metro area offers up six pages of possible contingencies that can be included with a home purchase. Each contingency must be removed prior to settlement.

For me, one of the most interesting and enjoyable parts of being a REALTOR is everything that’s not covered in the pages of the contract or listed in a marketing brochure. In addition to representing my clients, negotiating the best deal and working toward a successful settlement, I manage multiple other tasks. In the course of being a REALTOR for more than ten years I have been a pseudo marriage counselor and therapist, listened to anxious clients and helped manage their expectations, walked dogs and been a cat sitter, staged and decorated homes, cleaned homes and touched up landscaping, decluttered years of accumulated keepsakes, helped with minor maintenance (i.e. hung from a balcony six stories high to attach an air conditioning cover, repaired broken toilets, etc.), managed contractors, been a crime scene investigator and home secret solver. Every transaction brings a new adventure. And I love it!

I also show homes, hold open houses, attend home inspections, meet contractors, research information, develop and implement marketing plans, put together marketing materials and virtual tours, coordinate settlement, coordinate with appraisers, and so much more.

Many times buying or selling a home can be a complicated transaction. Working with a professional who can provide vital information, expert advice, and special service is critical to helping people make informed decisions when faced with many real estate choices. For me, it’s not just about helping people buy or sell a home. And it’s certainly not filling in some blanks. It’s about you reaching your home ownership goals and finding the perfect place to call home.

If you or someone you know would like to buy or sell a home, please give me a call. I welcome the opportunity to earn your business and your referrals. Call/text: 703-963-0142; Email:

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