The Buyer's Process

Buying a house can be an intimidating process, and here at Schatz Hayes Homes we take pleasure in simplifying it for you. After all, that's our job, to use our expertise to make the process easier for you, and making sure someone (that's us) has your back during the process.

Here is a quick overview of the buyers process. We use this to help explain where we are as we go through it - and to give you a heads up about whats coming next so you can start to prepare in advance (e.g., gather financial documents or contact insurance companies).

Walk Through 42696 Hollyhock Terrace

What an amazing video done by our great friend Jamal Warner at Blue Ridge Visuals. You can tell the difference in quality between this and many of the walkthroughs you'll see done by others. Here's why.

A lot of companies just do a quick walk through with a stabilizer. They charge a little less so they can crank out up to 3 homes a day - but at a reduced level of quality. They’re just first person views of literally - a walk-through.

I like to show the fine details in a home. I take up to 4 hours on a home under 3,000 square feet because I use my own lighting, sliders, gimbals drones and other gear and techniques to get the best results I can. I may not be the quickest, but I think the quality is more important!
— Jamal Warner, Owner, Blue Ridge Visuals

Waiting to Buy a Home?

You might miss out on low interest rates!

In December, the Federal Reserve raised the key interest rate by a quarter-point to a range of 0.25% to 0.5%, the first rate increase in nearly a decade. While some experts expect the Fed to raise rates gradually this year, some economists expect rates to increase three or four more times this year.  Increases are anticipated to amount to a quarter-point each time, and when they do occur are sure to impact mortgage rates.  What’s a homebuyer to do? 


While a quarter-point increase in interest rates doesn’t seem like much, it could mean the difference of hundreds of dollars a month in your mortgage payment, depending on the price of the home, your interest rate, how much you’re borrowing and the size of your down payment. This is money you could use to renovate, go on vacation or save for retirement.


  • Get pre-qualified for a mortgage if you haven’t done so already. Getting pre-qualified means you can spring into action when you find the home you want to buy. I work with great lenders in our area. If you’re looking for a lender you can trust, let me know and I’d be happy to connect you with someone from my network.
  • Narrow down your search criteria. What neighborhoods do you have your eye on? Do you want three or four bedrooms? Do you want a big yard or no yard at all? This list goes on and on. While buying a house is a process of elimination, not a process of selection, the more you know what you want, the better prepared you are to make the right decision.  
  • Get hunting. If you’ve been passively house hunting online, now is the time to ramp up your search. Let me know what you’re looking for and I’ll work with you to find a great home that meets your criteria.

Don’t wait for another rate increase to buy. Call me today to discuss the home buying process and your options within our local real estate market!

(c) Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved

Coming Soon: 9 Worthington Court, Sterling, VA 20165

Proud to present a well loved single family home in Countryside with 5 bedrooms, 3 full baths and a converted two car garage for an accessible entrance to a bedroom with a wheel chair accessible bathroom. It has a private, fenced back yard that looks into beautiful treed common area. This house is perfect for entertaining!

Pre-market showings are possible, please contact Andrea for appointments! (571) 384-8752

Discounts aren't the deal they appear to be

We're not discount agents. This means that we will occasionally pass on working with potential clients. Some clients are only willing to pay for discount service - and we understand why they make that choice. Sometimes the cost seems lower, at least on paper and in the moment. Smart shoppers are learning that discounts often claim to provide additional value, but not always. Here's a story about how retail discounts are mostly theatre. I think this is true in real estate too, and worse, I don't think it really is cheaper either. Here's why:

  • Discount brokerage often means unresponsive service, and unresponsive service leads to missed deals. Rather than coming up with solutions to problems - driving towards closing and making it work, discount agents are often reactive.
  • Discount agents are often willing to price a house however an owner would like. We are not willing to do that, because it's not in the best interest of the client - whatever they might think.

Why? Because when you list a home above its value, you lose time. Houses sell highest when they sell quickly. Well priced homes - even when listed lower than an owner might like, will sell for more money than when listed too high. This is because it won't sell until the price is lowered - and as homes age on the market, there is less negotiating powers available to sellers. If you want to sell at the highest possible price - you have to price the home properly to start.

We're also willing to have the hard conversations - about reducing prices, updating elements, cleaning up, and otherwise getting your house in the best possible condition. We're not afraid to speak openly and honestly with you because this is a major financial transaction in your life, and you deserve experts who help you even when the information is hard to hear.

We will tell you what your home is worth, and will work with you to list it close to its value. And when you do:

It will sell faster.

A well-priced home not only captures the attention of potential buyers, it also prompts interested buyers to act. The sooner they act, the more likely one of them will make an offer and get the process underway.

You’ll target the right buyers.

If the price is right, your home will attract the right buyers who can afford your home.

It will sell for closer to its list price.

When a home is priced well interested buyers will see its value and may submit an offer at or close to your list price. In some areas, a well-priced home may even set off a bidding war among interested buyers!

There are many buyers on the market right now, so if you are interested in selling your home, NOW is the time to do it!

For the buyers, another word of advice: Don’t obsess with trying to time the market and figure out when is the best time to buy. Trying to anticipate the housing market is impossible. The best time to buy is when you find your perfect house and you can afford it. Real estate is cyclical, it goes up and it goes down and it goes back up again. So, if you try to wait for the perfect time, you’re probably going to miss out.

Working with Spa Swag for Warriors

We are super excited to announce our partnering with a great organization called Spa Swag for Warriors. This organization is dedicated to providing high quality bath and body products to deployed female service members overseas in order to increase the morale, well being, and retention of women in the military, and to reduce the stresses of hardship tours.

We've chipped in already as a platinum sponsor, but in addition, we've made arrangements to make further donations when folks identify Spa Swag as a referring source for our services. We'll be kicking in a portion of the proceeds to Spa Swag to help with their awesome and inspiring mission.