Your first home buying experience can be smooth sailing or complicated. It depends on who you work with and what you do to prepare for the process.
Of course, we want your first home purchase in Virginia Beach to be a pleasant experience. Here are five things you need to know before you shop for a home.
- Find a local real estate agent.
The best way to navigate Virginia Beach real estate is with an experienced local realtor by your side. Nowadays, it’s easy to look for one. If you can’t source referrals from friends and family, you can go online and find several candidates to invite for an interview.
In addition to helping you search for a home and drafting your offer, your real estate agent can also provide assistance in understanding local laws and regulations such as the following items.
- Disclosure requirements are not as strict in Virginia.
Here in Virginia, sellers are only mostly obligated to remind buyers of their responsibility to inspect the home. They’re only required to provide additional information if:
The property is located near a military installation;
The drywall is defective; or
The property was a former meth lab and it has yet to be cleaned as per state guidelines.
- Finalize your offer after having a home inspection.
Since it is part of your due diligence to double-check the condition of the property, don’t hesitate to arrange for an independent home inspection when you look at properties.
If issues were found, negotiate first. You might be able to draw up a more agreeable contract. The seller might agree to shoulder repair costs or to reduce the price of the property. In the event that an agreement wasn’t reached, feel free to cancel the offer.
- You might be required to get a title insurance policy.
If you are taking out a mortgage loan to finance your home purchase, your preferred lender might ask you buy a title insurance policy. This can work to your advantage as it essentially protects your claim to the property.
If problems were identified during the title search, don’t proceed with the closing until the seller resolves the issues. If the predicament at hand is much too complicated to immediately settle, you can choose to cancel the purchase.
- Real estate purchase agreements are a must.
In Virginia, it’s mandatory to have a purchase agreement signed by the buyer and the seller. It’s a legal document that outlines details such as your offer, the acceptance of that offer, a description of the property, and the terms and conditions of the sale.
Make sure to sit down and take the time to outline the main terms at the negotiation table. Have your real estate agent add contingency clauses in case issues were found with the title and/or the property itself.
You can read more about the Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act here.
Learn more about buying a home in Virginia Beach
Our team is more than willing to help you understand the home buying process in Virginia Beach. All you need to do is get in touch with us today.