Recent Posts

Tuesdays On The Town: Discovery Square by Lennar in Oak Hill

Tuesdays On The Town: Discovery Square by Lennar in Oak Hill

There appears to be a Bermuda Triangle of zip codes east of Highway 28 between Dulles Access Road to the north and Highway 50 to the south. If you’re coming from Reston, you probably refer to this area as Herndon. If you’re coming from the […]

Local Real Estate Agent Earns e-Pro® Certification

Local Real Estate Agent Earns e-Pro® Certification

June 13th – Krissy Cruse of Keller Williams Realty has successfully completed the e-PRO® Certification Program and has been awarded the e-PRO® Certification, the official technology certification program offered by the National Association of Realtors®. Krissy joins more than 30,000 real estate professionals who have earned NAR’s e-PRO® certification and […]

Local Realtor Achieves National Recognition

Local Realtor Achieves National Recognition

Reston, VA – Krissy Cruse with Keller Williams Realty has been awarded the Accredited Buyer’s Representation (ABR) designation by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council. (REBAC) of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS (NAR).

Krissy Cruse joins more than 30,000 real estate professionals in North America who have earned the ABR designation. All were required to successfully complete a comprehensive course in buyer representation and an elective course focusing on a buyer representation specialty, both in addition to submitting documentation verifying professional experience.

REBAC, founded in 1988, is the world’s largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer. There are more than 40,000 active members of the organization world-wide.  THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is the world’s largest professional association, representing over 1,000,000 members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry.

You may contact the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council by telephone, (800) 648-6224, by e-mail, [rebac@realtors.org], or by visiting the REBAC website, [www.REBAC.net].

What To Do Now: Storm Damage and Insurance Claims

What To Do Now: Storm Damage and Insurance Claims

I recently listed a home in Woodbridge that sustained damage to the roof during tornado-strength winds. Fortunately the home was vacant, no one was hurt and we had insurance professionals at the ready. This isn’t uncommon in the Northern Virginia area and I’ve had plenty […]

Video Vednesday! Top Ten New Construction Communities

Video Vednesday! Top Ten New Construction Communities

 Top Ten New Construction Options with New 2018 VA Loan Limits Good Morning Everyone, it’s Krissy Cruse, agent with Keller Williams and the Growing Home Team and we’re bringing you the Top Ten New Construction Options Under the New 2018 VA Loan Limits. Announced […]

Multiple Offers and the 5-Minute Boyfriend

Multiple Offers and the 5-Minute Boyfriend

As I sit here counseling my buyer clients through this home inspection, it occurs to me that there’s an opportunity to explain how we got to this point. Because this is common. And it will become more prevalent in the Spring Markets when listings move so fast, you don’t get a second chance.

My clients are a couple returning to the United States after several years in Belize. They’re familiar with the DMV area and they have family scattered around Northern Virginia but they haven’t bought a home in over 20 years. We’ve been emailing back and forth over the past few months, watching listings and setting aside neighborhoods that they’d like to consider. Arriving last week, I had set aside 8 properties in Fairfax that I thought would be a good fit. I posted to Facebook on Saturday morning that 3 of those 8 had already gone under contract. This is really unusual for a December market. I can understand the older inventory being absorbed because sellers are frustrated, desperate and ready to be done – rock bottom prices designed for bottom-feeding investors. But if a seller approached me about listing in December and wasn’t desperate to sell fast, I’d advise waiting until February/March when sellers historically have a much better opportunity to get fast sales with balanced terms. Best market of the year in my opinion.

So why are sellers listing their homes in December??

Truthfully, I don’t know. What I have is buyers. After spending several days in Fairfax, Falls Church, Annandale and Alexandria, my clients and I have encountered several listings that were sold before we even toured. Properties that were still listed as active, agents that hadn’t even changed the status. So frustrating. So the clients ask me – they’re heading back to Belize this weekend, what are they supposed to do?

Meet the 5-minute boyfriend. Hang in there with me, this is all going to make sense. I hope. When I was in high school, there was a guy I thought would make pretty boyfriend material. Driving around with him one afternoon (ahem, after band practice), we hit a red light and he asks me out. “You know I think you’re awesome, we should go out.” Like, totally. So I did the cool girlfriend thing and I was, like, yeah, whatever, it’s cool. I accept. It’s on. And we keep driving. Then at the second red light, we make out. Passionate, “gropey” high school make out sesh. And it was awful. I mean shockingly bad. By the third red light, I dumped him. I know. I’m the worst. But it felt so wrong. Worse than Luke and Leia, just wrong.

This is NOT the 5-minute-boyfriend. But this is me 20 years ago. I was a senior in high school working a dinner theater job where I had access to the most outrageous costumes. So. Yeah. For reference.

You’ll probably stop reading here. I sent this post to Carly and Brittini for edits and they INSISTED that I find a picture. You don’t want to know what Google comes up with when you search “5-minute-boyfriend” in images.

Anyway, back to the point. Buyers go through this emotional roller coaster. So I use this as an example to help clarify your options when you feel like you’re missing out on a good opportunity. When buyers find hot properties that they think might be the home of their dreams, I advise them to just go for it. You need to write the offer, do whatever it takes to get it accepted and get it off the market. Now, no one else can consider it. Then go sleep on it. Think about it. If you feel that gut-wrenching “I just kissed my cousin” feeling, then it was a mistake. This is ok. This happens. So frequently in fact, they call it Buyer’s Remorse. Cancel the contract. Everyone understands. No harm, no foul, no penalty – you just wanted to know what it felt like and now you know.

The alternative is missing out. Watching that dream home go to someone else that jumped before you did. Characteristically I’m an aggressive agent and that means giving you the opportunity to consider it before any one else, then making an offer that the seller can’t refuse. In the case that it does get competitive, I’ll work to make sure you have the final say – not the seller. But that’s a post for another day.

P.S. “5-Minute-Boyfriend” is not on Facebook so don’t even bother.

 

Tuesdays On The Town: One Loudoun by Stanley Martin

Tuesdays On The Town: One Loudoun by Stanley Martin

We’d be surprised if you hadn’t heard about One Loudoun in Ashburn. An oasis of luxury living surrounded by an impressive list of amenities, the community is not even fifteen minutes from Dulles Airport and routes 28, 66, and the 267 Toll Road. You might think […]

Questions to Ask Your Buyer Agent: Part Four

Questions to Ask Your Buyer Agent: Part Four

In the fourth part of the series, I’ll share with you the good, bad and ugly of the Internet and how it continues to change the way we sell real estate. When I first started in this business in 2002, the Internet was not in […]

Questions to Ask Your Buyer Agent: Part Three

Questions to Ask Your Buyer Agent: Part Three

In the third part of the series, the conversation goes beyond what you can expect from me and touches on the level of service clients receive from the referral partners I recommend. In the course of a purchase transaction, buyers can select their own lender, title company, home inspector, insurance representative, accountant and more. Much like a wedding, a home purchase is a time where most vendors recognize the wallet is open and the cost for services can get outrageously high. While a client is more than welcome to spend whatever they’re comfortable with, I make it my responsibility to offer a wide range of options and set realistic expectations.

7. What other professionals do you typically partner with to help me buy a home?

After meeting with a buyer for an initial consultation, I’ll give out a list of names and contact information for lenders that I’ve personally worked with and feel confident about recommending. If the purchase is less than 90 days away, buyers will need to know what the price range is before seeking out properties that aren’t a good fit. A lender can help determine the best way to utilize your available cash and how to achieve short and long term goals. A good lender is someone that will explain the numbers and communicate in layman’s terms how the financial jargon translates.

A few things to keep in mind when selecting a lender:

  • A lender can answer questions but can’t make any recommendations until after they’ve reviewed a full application
  • Lenders can offer competitive rates and terms but they won’t be able to commit until there’s a ratified contract


In addition to lenders, I can recommend home inspectors. Some inspectors are better with older homes, others are more familiar with certain areas or styles, but I won’t recommend anyone that doesn’t allow buyers to walk with them through the inspection. As this is the only opportunity buyers have to attain an orientation on how things work, what to expect and how to maintain, it is of paramount importance that a home inspector addresses a buyer’s concerns.

There isn’t a whole lot of engagement between a buyer and a title company but I have several recommendations for title services. Again, it’s best to work with someone that is available to answer questions about fees, policies and the way the laws affect ownership. Frequently I have been asked for contractors, accountants, tax professionals, attorneys, insurance providers, termite inspectors and more. Everyone I’ve recommended has done work for me, some of it my own personal home or transactions.

8. Do I have to work with the lender, inspector or other service providers that you recommend?

Absolutely not. You may choose to work with whomever you like but I will be ready with stories about why we don’t work with people we know and trust. The most complicated part about the transaction is the mortgage. When lenders don’t ask the right questions and gather all the necessary information, we end up with delays and it’s not uncommon for loans to fall apart three weeks into a transaction after a buyer has already spent $1,000+ in inspections and an appraisal. Just this year I’ve had buyers rejected for financing because they hadn’t paid their taxes, student loans weren’t considered or the cash needed to close was grossly underestimated.

The same can apply to a home inspector. It’s not uncommon for an inspector to give their professional assessment on a situation but defer to an expert for further evaluation. Cracks in the foundation walls can be a major repair item, ultimately it may mean terminating the contract. Keeping in mind, a home inspector can only inspect what they can see and can’t be held liable for everything.

9. If I choose to work with my own lender, how would you communicate with them?

We will remain professional, utilize email/text/phone conversations until we achieve a clear to close but there are many cases where banks simply close for the day and don’t respond while on vacation because they’re not as emotionally tied to your settlement as the other parties involved. Big banks are notorious for being slow, expensive, inflexible and generally disconnected. They certainly aren’t going to remember you at the holidays.

We respect the relationship you have with your lending institution and will uphold our professionalism by keeping you and your loan officer informed of deadlines throughout the transaction. But you’ve been warned.
If you missed the first part of the series, click here.
To read the second part of the series, click here.
In the coming weeks, I’ll continue posting the questions and my responses so that you can learn about me and how I operate my business. Have a question you want me to address? Post it below!

Questions to Ask Your Buyer Agent: Part Two

Questions to Ask Your Buyer Agent: Part Two

In the second part of the series, I’ll address (haha, pun intended) the way I help buyers feel comfortable when considering options spanning the Northern Virginia area. With such a vast inventory of options and the need to prioritize between schools, commute, amenities and active social […]