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Buyer Guide

01 Find A Great REALTOR®

Since the DC Metro RE market is so competitive, your REALTOR® is essential in the process. The Davenport Group (TDG) is here to be your professional advisor. We focus on giving clients competitive advantage via access to properties off market, helping yo.u get the lowest interest rate, knowing how to win in multiple offer situations, providing recommendations on the neighborhoods that meet your needs, and so much more.

02 Get Pre-Approved

Before house hunting, your first step is to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan (unless you will be paying cash). TDG can connect you with several local lenders. Based on your income, debt/assets, and credit history, the lender will determine how much a bank will lend you. However, we recommend you focus on what monthly payment you feel comfortable with instead of the purchase price. Getting pre-approved is free and there’s no commitment to using that lender. You will have to have a pre-approval letter to make an offer in this market.

03 Study the Past Sales

TDG will show you the past 6 months of sales based on your wants and needs. This exercise can be eye opening and allows a buyer to quickly understand the local market and what they realistically should expect over the next couple of months. Since most homes sell within a couple of days, this allows you to explore neighborhoods months in advance and make you feel like you are making a solid decision when making an offer. If you love a community that has no properties for sale, TDG will go to work to find a homeowner who is willing to sell their home off market. This is a game changer! Multiple offers good bye!

04 Go House Hunting

This is the fun part of the home buying journey. Together, we will tour properties in your desired neighborhoods and point out things you may not have considered. Not every home is a solid investment so TDG wants to point out aspects of the home that will cost you thousands of dollars in the immediate future like the roof, windows, HVAC, plumbing, etc. A lot of times, TDG will discourage more homes than we will encourage as not every home is a solid investment. Additionally, TDG will activate notifications for exclusive Coming Soon and Off Market properties as they hit the market.


05 Making An Offer

Since the DC Metro RE market is so competitive, your REALTOR® is essential in the process. The Davenport Group (TDG) is here to be your professional advisor. We focus on giving clients competitive advantage via access to properties off market, helping you get the lowest interest rate, knowing how to win in multiple offer situations, providing recommendations on the neighborhoods that meet your needs, and so much more.

06 Escrow Process

Once you’re under contract, this is where TDG will be coordinating with all of our vendors (title, mortgage, insurance, inspectors, appraisers) to make sure all deadlines are met. The settlement/closing typically happens about 30 days after going under contract. High level steps of that process include:

  • Deliver your EMD (Earnest Money Deposit)
  • Perform home inspection and negotiate repairs
  • Start the loan application + submit an further documentation
  • Order an appraisal of the property
  • Obtain home insurance
  • Obtain loan approval and final closing disclosures
  • Perform a final walkthrough of the property
  • Wire the remaining funds
  • Closing/settlement

07 Home Inspection

TDG will help you schedule a general inspection of the property within the timeline agreed upon in the contract. This is your opportunity to learn everything about the inner workings of the home and the overall condition of the property. Depending on the contract, TDG will also help you negotiate repairs of issues found in the inspection report. Sometimes other inspections may be advised such as: chimney inspection, mold inspection, septic/well, etc.

08 Loan Application + Appraisal

TDG will help you submit your loan application to the lender. This is where you may have to supply them with supporting documentation. The lender will order the appraisal to make sure the home is worth as much as you are buying it for. TDG will make sure everything is submitted before any deadlines specified in the contract. It typically takes about 14-21 days until the lender issues a loan approval.

09 Wiring Funds + Final Walkthrough

The lender/title company will tell you a couple days before closing, the exact amount of money that you will need to wire to buy the home. It will consist of your down payment + closing costs – your EMD. TDG will perform a final walkthrough a day or two before closing with you to make sure the home is in the same condition as the home inspection and ensure that any repairs have been made.

10 Closing/Settlement

TDG will meet you at the title company to sign the documents necessary to buy the home. This typically takes about an hour and after signing your name 20+ times, you are now a home owner. Congrats!

11 Moving + Your Housewarming Party

TDG will help you coordinate your move. If you need to paint, make small repairs, etc, we have a long list of vendors that we can coordinate with to make this transition as smooth as possible. Once you are all moved in, we will throw you a housewarming party and invite your friends, family, and neighbors!

12 Welcome to
The Davenport Group Family!

The fun doesn’t stop with your new home as you are now a part of our growing community! TDG hosts several client events throughout the year that you will be invited to plus we do trip giveaways and so much more. Click here to learn more about how The Davenport Group creates an Unmatched Real Experience.

Work With Us

Discover an unmatched real estate experience. We are focused on building a community, exceeding expectations, providing competitive advantage, delivering beyond a 5 star experience, cutting edge marketing, and giving back. Our talented team of agents are redefining what it means to buy and sell in the DMV. Reach out to today to start the experience!

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    Key Terms

    • Appraisal - A 3rd party evaluation of the property’s value based on recent nearby comparable sales that is required by the lender to obtain a mortgage.
    • Closing Costs - Expenses in addition to the down payment when purchasing a home such as loan fees, title fees, escrow fees, and recordation taxes. Plan for roughly 2.5% of the purchase price.
    • Closing/Settlement - The end of the real estate purchase. This is the day where the buyer and seller sign the paperwork to transfer the property. Settlement is typically performed at the title company and the buyer and seller usually sign at different times. All of the closing costs are prorated based on the day of settlement. The typical under contract to closing timeline is 30 days.
    • Contingencies - An element of the sales agreement that makes a contract contingent upon something being fulfilled. Contingencies protect a buyer’s EMD and potentially allow the buyer to back out of the contract penalty free. Common contingencies are the home inspection, appraisal, and financing contingency. Each contingency has a time frame so the longer one is, the more protection it gives to a buyer which in turn makes an offer less appealing to a seller.
    • Conventional Loan - A mortgage not guaranteed by the government. It is the most common type of loan and a buyer only needs 3% down up to a loan amount of $726,200. At 5% down, there are ways to avoid PMI when the loan is below $726,200.
    • Discount Points - A borrower’s way to buy down the mortgage interest rate. Typically, one point costs 1% of the total mortgage to lower the interest rate by 0.25%.
    • Down Payment - Portion of the purchase price that a buyer pays upfront when purchasing a home. The remaining % of the sales price is paid with a mortgage. The typical down payment size in the DC Metro area is 5-10% of the purchase price.
    • Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) - Good faith deposit that is typically held by the title company that shows the seller how serious a buyer is about purchasing the home. It is deposited shortly after the property goes under contract and is later applied to a buyer’s down payment and closing costs. The EMD is protected by the contingencies of the contract and could be forfeited by the buyer to the seller if they back out of the contract. There is no set amount required for an EMD but the typical EMD given is roughly 1-5% of the sales price.
    • FHA Loan -

      A mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration that only requires 3.5% down. Usually FHA loans are best suited for borrowers that have lower credit scores (below 700). These typically have high PMI payments since it is a riskier loan product for the lender.

    • Final Walkthrough - A walkthrough of the property a day or two before closing to ensure that the property is in the same condition as the date of the inspection/offer and that home inspection repairs were made if applicable. If issues arise, appropriate repairs will be made / closing credits will be given to the buyer.
    • Home Inspection Contingency - A buyer’s right to inspect a property for a set number of days (Usually 1-7 days). Types of inspections that take place may include a general home inspection, radon test, termite/WDI inspection, sewer line inspection, chimney inspection, mold test, septic system inspection, and well inspection.
    • Home Insurance - general insurance to protect the home that is required by the lender if there is a loan. Depends on the level of coverage, size, and condition of the home but typically ranges from $25/month for a condo to $150/month for a larger single family home.
    • Home Warranty - An extra insurance policy that covers repairs typically not covered by general home insurance like appliance and heating/cool repairs. Usually they are valid for one year periods and cost around $500-$600.
    • Monthly Payment - Will consist of a buyer’s PITI (Principal and Interest of your mortgage, Property Taxes, and Home Insurance) plus any extra fees like Condo/HOA dues and Private Mortgage Insurance.
    • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) - An extra monthly mortgage expense (Around $75-$400) typically assessed to borrowers with a down payment less than 20% until they reach an equity of 20-22%. There are loans however that avoid PMI with 5% down.
    • Title Company - A third party that works with the lender and buyer/seller to ensure that there are no issues with the contract and title of the home. They typically hold the EMD and perform the settlement of the property. Some states use an attorney for this role but the DC Metro area uses title companies.
    • Title Insurance - One time insurance payment to protect the buyer and lender against any title claims against the property.
    • VA Loan - A mortgage available for active-duty service members, veterans and eligible surviving spouses where the borrower can put 0%. No PMI is assessed and there are more generous credit requirements. There is a funding fee (Roughly 2.3-3.6%) assessed at closing that is rolled into the loan amount. This funding fee is waived however if the borrower qualifies for VA disability.
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