How to Buy a Home in Virginia

First of all, do you need a real estate agent to help you locate and buy a home in Virginia? Buying a home is usually the biggest financial investment that the average American makes in their lifetime. While it’s possible to “go it alone,” there are many complications involved in a real estate transaction. A licensed real estate agent in Virginia has passed a 60 hour course on ownership, contract, finance, and Virginia law as it applies to real estate transactions. Furthermore, licensed real estate agents in Virginia have also passed a state exam on these same topics, have passed a thorough background check before they are granted a license, and must complete continuing education requirements to maintain their active license status. In order to avoid making costly mistakes when buying a home, most Virginia home buyers enlist the services of a licensed real estate agent or broker to help guide them through this complex transaction.

When selecting a real estate agent/broker, you’ll want to know if the individual is a “Realtor.” This indicates that they are a member of the National Association of Realtors, the Virginia Association of Realtors, and therefore almost certainly have access to the Multiple Listing Service, which is a vast database of properties for sale throughout Virginia. A real estate sales agent who has made the personal and financial commitment to become a Realtor will be someone who is a serious professional and will guide you through the process of locating and buying a home in Virginia.

Check references, and make sure that the individual you will be working with has experience selling and buying homes of the type you are interested in, and in the jurisdiction where you want to live. There are many different specializations in real estate, and make sure that the real estate agent that you select has the right kind of experience to help you find your dream home.

Make certain that the personal style of the agent is comfortable for you. Real estate agents run the entire gamut of personality types. You will be spending a significant amount of time with this individual, and it’s important that you are comfortable with their personal style. Be sure to meet face-to-face with an agent for at least 20 minutes before making a commitment to work with them.

Get it in writing. As with any business relationship, your agent should provide a written summary that defines your relationship, including the duration. Read this agreement carefully and make certain that you understand and agree to all the proposed provisions.