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Louise Molton, Principal Broker, RE/MAX West End
703-244-1992
info@moltonrealestate.com
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Louise Molton, Principal Broker, RE/MAX West End
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703-244-1992
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moltonrealestate.com
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FAQ's for Buyers

We would be so happy to help you find your new home and to assist your family in any other areas of the transition process as well.  I'll answer your questions in order below but just to give you some background, I am a member of a real estate team, The Molton Group with  Wiechert, Realtors, with Louise Molton (our principal) and Bruce Turner.  We work closely together to cover all our clients' needs so that, if we are given the opportunity to work with your family, you will actually have all three of us available to you.  I mention this upfront because, as you noted in your previous email, FCC is a very competitive housing market and we are seeing homes go under contract within days of being listed with multiple offers.  It's advantageous to have the three of us available to you, as opposed to a solitary Agent, so that we can jump as soon as you see something like!  
 

1.  How long have you been an agent?  Louise has been an Realtor for 10 years with Weichert and is a specialist in Falls Church City with over $20 million in successful transactions last year.  I have been a Realtor with Weichert for 3 years here but I grew up in a real estate family and have been surrounded by it my entire life.  I originally moved to the DC area 9 years ago to work in Economics in the Middle East and after a few years in Cairo I returned here and realized I needed a career change.  So I went back to what I grew up loving... finding homes!  Louise, Bruce, and myself have been lucky to form such a strong, cohesive team and we take a lot of pride in making sure our clients are getting the very best in our guidance, expertise and service!  


2.  As housing in FCC is in demand and there aren't many out there, what strategies would you recommend? For instance, how will you search for my new home?  If we compete against other buyers, how do you advise clients when there are multiple offers? You are definitely right about FCC being in high demand!  Initially we will set you up with a customized search for homes listed in our brightmls database.  There are a lot of search engines out there like Trulia, Zillow, RedFin, etc. but you'll find that a lot of the listings can be out of date. The brightmls database is required to be updated daily and only accessible by Agents so you'll know that any listings you receive from us there will be correct information.  That is just the first step though.  Because Louise has been so immersed in FCC real estate for years, we have a lot of contacts with other Agents there and will network to find you options before they are even listed on the market.   We will reach out on your behalf to scour any coming soons and we have also had success this past year with delivering personalized letters on our buyer's behalf, directly to homeowners, in neighborhoods that our clients have liked.  That strategy is time-intensive but it produces results!  Louise also runs a weekly ad in the Falls Church City Newspress and we can create a "Wanted!" ad specifically for the type of home(s) you are looking for and the general price range. Basically we do anything we can to help you get a jump on the competition!  And again because you will have all three of us available to you, you will never have to worry that your Agent is tied up with other clients and not focused on your search.  

If/when we are in a multiple offer situation (and these days that's almost always the case), we will be creative in thinking of ways to make your offer superior, while still protecting your interests in the contract as much as possible.  Because each offer is different, and Sellers all have different needs and priorities, there is not a one size fits all strategy.  The options that we choose will also depend a lot on your comfort level and flexibility.  We can go over contingencies, providing seller rent-backs, or flexibility in settlement date, etc. as soon as we nail down some specifics with lender financing.  
3.  Could you provide references that we can contact? Absolutely!  We take great pride in our business by referral and would be happy to provide you with as many references as you'd like.  I'll start with three below and then if you want any others just ask!


4.  What are key characteristics that distinguish you and how you work from other agents? Our defining characteristic as a team is our commitment to excellence.  We are career real estate professionals and we care deeply about our integrity and making certain that our clients get our highest and best efforts.  That's why we are so happy to have potential clients ask for referrals; we want you to talk to our past clients about their experience!  As a team you will have the benefit of the three of us to look out for every opportunity for you and yet we are not so big that you get lost in the shuffle.  We also know that while our expertise in FCC and guiding you through the contract process is valuable, we view our role as a service provider and not just a broker.  We want to make the process as stress free and efficient as possible for you, and we want to foster a kind and trusting working relationship.  Our job doesn't end when you sign the deed, we stay in touch with our past clients (since most of them become our friends!) and are always available to them in the future with any housing questions, neighborhood updates, remodeling ideas, etc.  

5.  Will I be able to review forms before I have to sign them/up front?  Eg, is there a buyer's broker agreement, agency disclosure, purchase agreement etc? Sure, we can send you blank forms that make up our Buyer Broker Agreement, disclosures, and the contract itself so you can familiarize yourself with those beforehand.  Because the market is moving so fast we like to go over blank contracts with our clients before submitting offers so that we can answer any questions for you upfront and then be ready to jump when the right opportunity comes.  I'll attach the documents below and please let us know if you have any questions or would like further information.  We also use an electronic signature program to facilitate all the signing so that we don't have to delay for hardcopy signatures in case we are in competition.  

6.  Can you recommend mortgage brokers, home inspectors, title companies, etc? We are fortunate to have worked with some really great people over the years and we keep them as close as possible because we know they can be trusted to perform well for our clients.  I would actually recommend that you contact  Amit Kaim as soon as you have time to ask him about your mortgage approval and the loan process in Northern Virginia.  He works with George Mason Mortgage and handles about 75% of our Buyer's loans because his rates are fantastic and his client service can't be beat!  I can also give you contact information for a few other lenders as well if you want to compare rates, but he is a good starting point so you can begin to know what price range we should zero in on.  His contact information is below:

Direct:  (703) 615-0866
Cell:     (703) 615-0866
Fax:     (703) 653-8137
Email: akaim@gmmllc.com


7.  How much do you charge?  In our Buyer Broker Agreement our commission will be listed at "3% or per brightmls".  The seller has an agreement with their Agent to pay a commission of x% (usually 6% in this area) and the listing agent will pay our commission out of that.  You don't actually pay us directly and you are not responsible for any charges for our services other than Weichert's $345 flat fee that is charged to buyers or sellers at settlement for the Broker's processing.  

8.  Anything else we need to know? There's a lot to the process but once you find a house you like and ratify a contract, the pace to settlement is fairly fast in this area.  Typically settlement will occur between 4 and 6 weeks after ratification if you are using conventional financing.  I know you are hoping to get settled before the girls start school so we will want to move quickly when you return to the DC area.  The very first step on your end will be the mortgage pre approval, which is just a general overview of your finances and produces the amount you are pre approved up to.  It does not lock you into any particular lender, but we will submit that pre approval letter with any offer so the Sellers know to take your offer seriously.   We would love to meet you and your family in person so you can get a better feel of our personalities and working relationship and to talk more in depth about your housing criteria!  If you want to set up a meeting for when your back in this area, just let us know the best time/date for you and we will make it happen.  We have an office in McLean and an office in Old Town but we can also come to you if that is more convenient.  Should you have any further questions please don't hesitate to call me (202-656-5206) or Louise (703-244-1992) at anytime!