The PreApproval

If you are like most singles or young couples, the thought of buying a home is overwhelming. You probably have credit card or student loan debts and/or very little money saved. Even with good salaries or current home equity to put toward a new home, home prices in the Washington DC area are among the highest in the country. You aren't alone in wondering if you can afford the home you really want.  

Luckily, there are many loan programs available that can help get you into a place you'll want to call home.  To find out what program is right for you, a mortgage pre-approval is the critical first step.  

A pre-approval is a formal process of applying for a loan. The process is quick, easy, free and with no-obligation, so don't be intimidated. Verification of income and a credit report are often all that is required.   

Once you are pre-approved, your home search will be much more productive, as you'll know in advance a general idea of the down payment, closing costs and monthly payments to buy the home.  Plus, you'll be in a position to make a strong offer by showing the seller you are already approved for the loan.

This is also a great time to start "playing house". Using the info from the lender's estimate, deduct your current rent or mortgage payment from the new payment. Each month, put the difference away into a savings account. That will help you get adjusted to the new payment, give you time to make sure you can live with the new higher expenses, and build a moving expense fund.  This is also NOT the time to miss or be late on any existing payments! To qualify for the best rates and loan programs, you need to have good credit.

Choosing a good, reputable, LOCAL lender such as Prosperity Mortagage is critical for a smooth transaction. If you do not currently have your own lender, ask Jeff Escher for a referral.


Find Your Dream Home

The Home Search

Once you have a Preapproval, you can turn your attention to the Home Search.

It's ideal to start your home search 60-90 days before your desired moving date.  It's never too soon to start thinking of your requirements in a home - location, features, and price. Which features are must-have? Which won't you compromise on? It's been said in Real Estate you rarely get all three! Which is most important to you?  

 A Reator's role is much like a "match-maker" - based on your criteria, Jeff will carefully select properties for your consideration. Feel free to search the MLS on your own, and email the homes you want to see. Working together, both lists will be coordinated to determine which houses to tour.

When working with Jeff Escher, you can expect the following:

  • Patience and No Pressure
  • Tour of homes that's relaxed and fun
  • Honest Feedback and Advice
  • Show you any homes for sale in Maryland and DC
  • Provide you with the resources needed to help you determine which homes are a good buy, overpriced, desirable, or have good resale potential
  • Be accessible via phone, email, and in-person (Weekdays/Evenings/Weekends)
  • Geographically-optimized house tour and navigation system equipped vehicle for optimum use of your time

You can search homes for sale in Montgomery County Maryland, DC, and surrounding areas by clicking on the "Search" tab.  Or contact Jeff to get a customized MLS search that will email you new listings the day they come on the market - so you are the first to know!


The Offer

Once you've found the right home, it's time to make an offer!  All real estate transfers must be in writing, so it's important to have an experienced Realtor like Jeff at your side to help you sort thru all the terms, conditions and determine which contingencies you need.  Jeff will also be handling the negotiation, so you can avoid the stress of dealing directly with an emotional seller.

When working with Jeff Escher, you can expect the following:

  • Market analysis of the home you want to buy to make sure you aren't paying too much
  • State-approved, electronically-filled Contract forms
  • Explaination and review of contract terms before signing
  • Offer presentation in-person to the listing agent and seller
  • Strong negotiation skills to ensure you get the best possible price, terms and closing assistance
  • Discussion of all your options if the seller counter-offers
  • Honest Feedback and Advice
  • No pressure - you make all the final decisions

Once your offer is accepted it becomes a Contract of Sale. Your deposit money will be required at time of contract and held in an escrow account until settlement. 

As part of Long & Foster | Christie’s International Real Estate, I work alongside a family of mortgage, insurance and settlement companies that can help you land your perfect home. During your home-buying journey, I can connect you with these trusted partners—the mortgage consultants of Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC, the risk protection experts at Long & Foster Insurance, our home warranty providers, as well as the settlement pros at Long & Foster Settlement Services. I will coordinate all the moving parts and make sure you are ready for the big day.

Our Network Is Your Network

Contract-to-Closing Phase

 The Contract-to-Closing phase is where the role of the Realtor is most important.  Time is of the essence to have various inspections and financial commitments finalized per the terms of the contract to avoid default.  Careful coordination and communication is critical to keeping everything on schedule.

When working with Jeff Escher, you can expect the following:

  • Weekly updates and notification of to-do items
  • Referrals to reputable and established businesses
  • Setup of inspections, appraisals, and escrow work on your behalf
  • Online Relay Account to track Contract-to-Closing activities
  • Attending of the final walk-thru inspection and settlement with you
  • Everything possible being done to eliminate delays or problems
  • Home Warranty provided to you at no cost
  • Any agent bonuses offered by the seller applied to your closing costs

 This is the time where you will be busy getting final documents to the lenders, obtaining homeowners insurance, scheduling movers and much more.  All of Jeff's clients are eligible to join Long and Foster's Home Service Connections - a free service that offers a wide array of choices and options to assist you with your move or to help you maintain your home. Home Services can help with details like estimates from moving companies, insurance information, contractors, transferring utilities online and much, much more!   


Care Beyond Closing


Once you've moved, the service of your Realtor doesn't have to stop.  

Jeff Escher is always available to provide answers to your questions, send referrals to contractors, or give advice on whether any home improvements will be good for your resale value. 


Download Our Buyer's Guide

For more home buying help, get our step-by-step how-to guide, as well as our mobile search app.

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Jeff Escher

Rockville/King Farm
402 King Farm Blvd. Suite 150
Rockville, MD 20850