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Advice for Home Buyers

There are few choices in life that can bring more enjoyment and relaxation into your life than a home that is a great match for your lifestyle. A house isn’t a dream home because of its size, location or color. It’s about how it makes you feel when you walk inside…the way you begin to envision your life unfolding there making memories together with your family and friends.

Owning your own home is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. The ability to choose interior designs, finishes and colors that are taste specific to you, create landscaping that is serene, enjoy relaxing in your outdoor living spaces or by a fire pit in the evening.

Your home is also one of the most important assets that you will likely purchase in your lifetime. While your home can offer you significant investment potential, it also enhances your life in ways that are different than your other investments.

Successfully negotiating the complex world of real estate, however, requires the guidance of a knowledgeable, experienced professional.  Most of us wouldn’t intentionally choose an inexperienced surgeon or solicit advice for other important financial matters from someone lacking a track record of success.

It matters who you choose to represent and guide you through the process of a real estate transaction.  Take time to do your homework in choosing professional, ethical, experienced representation. The recommendations of a knowledgeable, trusted advisor will give you the best chance of success and help you avoid frustration or costly pitfalls. Testimonials

Most people have busy, demanding schedules and don’t have time to waste endlessly running around searching for their dream home. A knowledgeable agent can streamline the search process, preview &vet properties on your behalf and ensure that the process will be more efficient, enjoyable and successful.

In Seattle’s competitive real estate market, it’s important to choose a full-time dedicated agent who will be available evenings, weekends or whatever days and time periods work best for your schedule. Well priced properties in desirable areas are often only available for a brief time before they are under contract. So, it’s important that you and your agent will be able to react quickly when a new listing becomes available that meets your search criteria.

Neighborhood quality is the single most important factor for most consumers in choosing where they prefer to live. So, it’s important to work with someone who can identify and recommend the more desirable neighborhoods in the Seattle area. Often, these may be areas that you may not be familiar with and may overlook.

Mary Pong is a long-term resident of the Seattle area and has intimate personal knowledge of the diverse, unique neighborhoods located in Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Woodinville, Seattle, Mill Creek, Bothell and other areas of King and Snohomish County.

Seattle has a strong economy and housing market, which generates competitive demand for well-priced properties in desirable areas. Nothing is more frustrating for a buyer than investing the time and effort to finally locate the home of their dreams…only to lose to a buyer submitting an offer sooner or in a competitive multiple offer situation.

Negotiation skills are a key aspect of the strategies that Mary Pong will recommend for positioning you in a competitive offer scenario to maximize your chances of success. Her clients have been successful when competing with more than 20 other purchasing offers for properties in the Seattle area. This process starts with establishing trust and a good communication rapport with the listing agent early on…the reputation of your broker matters.

Mary has earned a stellar reputation for being a fair, knowledgeable and successful negotiator with both her clients and her peers.

Compass Concierge for Buyers…

Often buyers don’t know experienced service providers for the repairs or updates they would like to make for their new home. In addition to Mary’s own resources, Compass now provides you an “A” list of service providers with professionals that are licensed, bonded and vetted by the company for your convenience. The list includes experienced tradespeople with the following skill sets.

  • painters
  • handyman
  • general contractors
  • roof repair
  • plumbers
  • electrician
  • landscaping
  • interior design
  • professional cleaning

The following is a brief description of some of the steps involved in buying a home.

Getting Ready for Home Ownership…

  • build good credit history
  • save for your down payment
  • research the types of loans available

Find a Real Estate Professional…

  • Interview real estate brokers to find out how long they have been in the business, their level of education, professional designations, track record, client testimonials and availability for showing and communicating on nights and weekends
  • ask about buyer’s representation contracts and agreements, make sure you understand them


  • contact mortgage brokers or lenders to prequalify for a loan
  • ask about various loan options to determine which is the best choice for you
  • make sure you understand financing terms…ask the lender for clarification, if needed
  • make certain that the lender you choose will be available nights and weekends on short notice to provide pre-approval letters for offers…this is extremely important for your success in a competitive market

Find the Right Property…

  • determine what is important to you, such as school districts, size of home, architectural styles, floor plans, neighborhood amenities, monthly mortgage payment, public transportation, walkability, etc.

Make an Offer…

  • your agent will prepare a competitive bid with price, terms and contingencies to protect you…be prepared for a counter-offer from the seller
  • read all contracts before signing…make sure you understand all the terms, ask questions
  • ensure the property is inspected by a qualified, licensed home inspector
  • acquire title insurance, which insures against financial loss due to title defects or clouds
  • keep your credit score stable, by avoiding purchasing any big-ticket items until after closing

Closing and Tips After Purchase…

  • protect your new asset by obtaining insurance for risks such as fire, flood & natural disasters
  • create files for all warranties, insurance documents and contracts
  • keep closing documents in a safe place, such as a safety deposit box
  • set up utility bills in your name, maintain files
  • if possible, implement desired remodeling changes, such as painting, floor coverings or minor construction prior to moving in
  • set a date and hire movers or plan a moving party with family and friends
  • get to know your neighbors and explore your new neighborhood
  • if you are pleased with the guidance and results of your real estate professional, be sure to recommend her/him to friends and family