What to Expect When Moving from NY to DC: The Real Estate Transaction

April 29, 2024 | Buying a Home | By: The Goodhart Group

Thinking about relocating to the DMV? Amidst the moving preparations, and relocating logistics, you might also need to consider differences with the transaction itself. it all depends on the state you are moving from.

Attorney Contract State Vs. Realtor Contract State

New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Jersey are considered “Attorney Contract States” while the DMV Regions (DC, Maryland, and Virginia) are considered “Realtor Contract States”. It’s important to understand the key differences, especially if you are planning to move from an Attorney Contract State to a Realtor Contract State. Buying a home can look very different for you!

What to Know About Moving from an Attorney Contract State to a Realtor Contract State

In NY, CT, MA, and NJ, Real Estate Agents assist in the home search, property viewings, and negotiations. However, Attorneys write the contract. In the DMV area, your Real Estate Agent assists in the home search, property viewings, negotiations, as well as preparing and negotiating the contract. Real Estate Agents in the DMV are the key players in the process, and the involvement of attorneys in the transaction is limited to Settlement Attorneys at Title Companies who conduct the closing. These Settlement Attorneys ensure that all legal and financial obligations are met before the property is transferred, providing an additional layer of security in the transaction.

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How are Closings Different?

The handling of the closing process differs significantly in Attorney Contract vs Realtor Contract states. In Attorney Contract States, the concept of closing escrow is prominent, whereas, in the DMV area, a structured timeline is established when the contract is written, with all deadlines for contingencies included in the offer. This allows for more flexibility within a reasonable time frame for closing, typically about 30 days, emphasizing adhering to the agreed-upon contract dates. The efficiency of title work in the DMV area also stands out, with the ability to expedite the process and even close cash deals within a week or so, versus the sometimes lengthy title work in New York and New England. 

The Bottom Line

The transition from NY, CT, MA, and NJ to the DMV area brings big differences in real estate practices. It’s key for homebuyers making the move to understand the characteristics of the home buying process in their new location so that they can confidently navigate the transition and make informed decisions as they embark on their real estate journey in the DMV area.

If you have questions about relocating to the DMV, we’d be more than happy to help! Give us a call at 703-362-3221, email us at sue@thegoodhartgroup.com or allison@thegoodhartgroup.com or fill out the form below.


If you’re looking to buy or sell in the DMV, we’d love to help. Contact us today!

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