Real Estate Questions

  • Why is Your Company Policy Not to Do "Dual Agency"? What is it Anyway?

    Virginia, DC & MD state laws surprisingly let Realtors act as "dual agents" when disclosed to all parties (also known as "dual representation"). We feel that dual agency isn't a good idea. In fact, we'd go so far as to say that it's a [...]

  • What is the "Buyer Representation" Form? How Does it Work? Do I Have to Sign It?

    Here are our buyer representation forms. They make us your Realtor, which allows us to represent your interests. You might not even be sure why you need a Realtor. Hopefully reading through all these FAQs will show you the types of pitfalls [...]

  • YouTube Video: How to Buy Auction & Foreclosure Homes

    What are real estate auctions like? What's the difference between courthouse auctions & REO auctions? What is a good foreclosure buying strategy? We have answers! The first thing you should do is visit our blog describing process. Then, [...]

  • YouTube Video: How to Use is a site that helps home buyers find homes. After you watch the video, you can visit to use the site.

  • How DROdio is Different From Other Real Estate Firms

    We've created a business model that's very different from most real estate firms. Here's some audio about how we are different, along with some text below that. A Note from our Owner: How We Can Help You If you're wondering exactly [...]

  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong With My Lender?

    We often have buyers ask us if there's any type of problem with them using a lender from or other lenders which aren't local. The answer is complicated, but then again, that's why you're here reading this FAQ, right? So let's [...]

  • Give Us Your Feedback! Call our Customer and Testimonial Line

    We'd LOVE to hear your feedback if you've interacted with us, either as a client who we've helped close a transaction, or as a prospective customer who has interacted with one of our agents. Just call (214) 615-6505, ext 9119. You'll [...]

  • What is the 'Final Walkthrough' Inspection?

    A client wrote: is it ok with moving on the same day? I think you mentioned a final "walkthrough" inspection. Do we check the house before or after the closing? Our response: Settlement is at 1pm. We'll need to schedule a final [...]

  • What if the Sellers Want to Do Some of the Home Inspection Work Themselves?

    When we do a home & walkthrough inspection, 99% of the time, the buyer & sellers agree to have a professional fix the agreed-upon items. But once in a while, a seller will want to fix items on his own. While we don't recommend this, below is [...]

  • Why Should I Drive by Properties on My Own Before You Show Them to Me?

    We really, really encourage our buyer clients to drive by the properties they want to see on their own before we show them. While it may seem counter-intuitive at first, we've found it's absolutely the best way to buy a home. Here's [...]

  • What is it Like to Start Working With You?

    Wondering what your interaction will be with us once you retain our services? Below is an email one of our agents sent a new client; the email is pretty typical of our approach, which is to enable you with access to as much information as you [...]

  • Searching DC is Tough - How Do I Search by Neighborhood?

    Searching properties in Washington, D.C. can be hard because there aren't "cities" like in regular states, but instead there are "neighborhoods" (like DuPont or Capitol Hill, etc.). Since the Realtor MLS system isn't set up to search by [...]

  • How Can I Find a Condo Close to the Metro?

    A client of ours wrote: "Do you think I could get a condo on the orange line for under $300k? Areas: Roslyn, Courthouse, Clarendon, Va Sq, Ballston. Looking for a 1BR. Must be less than 10 or so years old. Mid or high rise. Decent [...]

  • Q&A: What are the Risks with a Short Sale?

    We recently helped a client navigate the challenging roads of making an offer on a short sale, and we thought we'd share the results for all to learn from! Q: Is there any difference between a short sale and a short sale where the bank [...]

  • Falling Interest Rates! What This Means for You

    You've probably heard it on the news... 30-year loan rates have dropped to their lowest levels in 37 years! What caused this? It's a result of the Federal Reserve pouring money into the mortgage market to spare the U.S. housing market, [...]

  • How Can I Find Out How Much a Property is Worth?

    There are several ways to find out how much a property is worth. The "in-depth" way to do it is to do an analisys of comparable sales. We have a special, proprietary spreadsheet model that allows us to evaluate the last 100+ sales in an [...]

  • Foreclosure: Suffering from a “Side Effects” Hangover

    Everyone knows the cost of foreclosure is high but I would argue that the side effects that go along with foreclosure, can, in some cases be even higher. Consider this: An article just recently appeared in The Fairfax Times which talks about [...]

  • How Does the Homestead Deduction work?

    Here is information on Maryland's homestead deduction: Virginia's homestead deduction has a limit of $5,000 in value. You can see what this site wrote about it: For Virginia, the [...]

  • Do I Take Possession of the Property on the Day of Closing?

    A client wrote: Just checking that we can actually take possession of the house on the date of closing. We're planning to "move in" that afternoon. Any restrictions in DC on that? Yes, absolutely! Once you sign the settlement papers, [...]

  • Transfer Tax Rates/Recordation Taxes for DC, VA and MD

    The information below is courtesy of Federal Title. You can find the complete page here. DC Purchase Transactions DC Recordation is calculated using the purchase price.Transactions $399,999 and under are taxed at the rate of 1.1% of [...]

  • What's the Difference Between Walkthrough Items and Home Inspection Items?

    Regarding Walkthrough vs. Home inspection: Walkthrough items are items that MUST be addressed by the seller, as per paragraph 7 of the ratified sales contract. Anything plumbing, electrical or appliance related falls into this category. The [...]

  • Where is Your Office?

    Directions To Our Office: Our office is located at: 309 6th St SESuite 100Washington, DC 20003 We are located at the corner of Pennsylvania Ave. and 6th St. on beautiful Capitol Hill, just 6 blocks from the US Capitol and across from [...]

  • Do you have any video tutorials?

    Yes, here are our video tutorials: Making a lowball offer on a home: Learn our successful strategy that requires you to modify your behavior as much as it requires us to negotiate the deal! How to buy a bigger house but pay the same [...]

  • Transfering Utilities

    In Virginia: Fairfax County Water Washington Gas (Natural gas service) (703) 750-1000 (Local) (800) 752-7520 (Toll-free) Dominion VA Power(Electricity service) Customer Svc webpage(888) 667-3000 In Washington, [...]

  • 4 Tips to Avert a Foreclosure Your Bank Doesnt Want You to Know About

    You have to admit, the current economic landscape makes it difficult for everyone, even the banks although you may not see it that way. So what do you do if you've come upon hard times and you're no longer able to make your mortgage payment? [...]

  • How Do You "Lift," or Remove, a Home Inspection Contingency?

    A home inspection contingency is removed by sending the seller a list of home inspection items that the buyers wish to have repaired. Remember - the home inspection items are different than the walkthrough items; a difference that is explained [...]

  • The Market is Slow and it's Hot; Here's Why

    We often have investors who want to jump into investing because of all the media attention on the foreclosure market, and we're happy to help them craft a successful strategy. But - it's not as straightforward as you might think. Here's [...]

  • What is a Plat?

    A plat is basically a blueprint diagram of a community showing the layout of all the lots. Many buyers say "plan" mistakenly, but the correct term is "plat"! Here's a sample Plat (click to enlarge): Do you notice the dotted lines [...]

  • The DROdio Analysis Document

    You can find the DROdio Analysis Document Here:DROdio Property Analysis Spreadsheet

  • What Does a Ratified Contract Look Like?

    Here is a sample Virginia sales contract, which has been ratified & passed through the fax machine several times: DROdio - Sample Ratified Agreement You'll notice that several items were negotiated back & forth between the buyers & sellers [...]

  • How Can I Get the MLS Numbers to Put in a Spreadsheet?

    If you'd like to be able to manipulate our data yourself, we don't mind. In fact, in the spirit of empowering you with data, we make it easy for you to get the MLS numbers of properties you're interested in. Here's how: Do a search on [...]

  • I'm Not Sure I Need a Realtor. What Would You Say to That?

    Not sure you need a Realtor? Read this... Dear Buyer, If you're wondering exactly how a Realtor can help you find a home, you'll probably enjoy this whitepaper: I was wondering the exact same thing when I bought a home (before I was a [...]

  • Home Inspection Basics

    Part of the buying process is making sure you're not getting a 'lemon' of a home. The home inspection helps you ensure the quality of the home. As your Realtor, we highly recommend you choose a home inspection. It ensures you know of problems [...]

  • Our Special CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) for Sellers

    Many real estate firms may tell you they can do a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) of your home. They just go to the MLS and print out some listings that have sold in your area. There is even a "CMA" button in the MLS system which makes the [...]

  • What to Expect at Closing

    The following will take place at closing: You will arrive at the settlement company (sometimes called the title company). Usually the sellers will also be present, although occasionally the sellers complete their part of the settlement [...]

  • The 30 Year Loan Principal Myth

    Many of our clients think they need to get a 30 year conventional loan because they cannot run the risk of getting an ARM. The truth is that each client must carefully evaluate their loan options because in most cases, the 30 year loan is not [...]

  • The Four Main Loan Types

    There are four main loan types. Learning the differences in these loan options is very important to your home purchasing process. The 15 year conventional loan: You pay the entire loan off in ?fteen years. The rate stays ?xed for the entire [...]

  • Don’t Believe the Hype: Buyers Can Still Buy a Home With Nothing Down!

    If you are a prospective home buyer and are keeping a watchful eye on the market, it is easy to get lost in the media frenzy that the nation’s housing mess has resulted in lenders requiring a stellar credit score and at least 10 to 20 percent [...]

  • Wonder What is Not Being Disclosed to You When You Buy a House? Get the “CARFAX” Report

    Ever wondered if there are cracked floors in that beautiful home that you are about to buy? What about any flood damage that was never fixed? Does this have to be disclosed to you? It can be a little complicated to figure out since [...]

  • Selling in a Down Market: First Tip, People Don’t Want a Fixer-Upper

    If you are planning on putting your house on the market, leaving your house “as is” without steeply discounting the price will likely result in very few bites from prospective buyers (after all, there are so many properties on the market, why [...]

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