Home Buying Process

I will assist you through the home buying process to make it as smooth and stress free as possible. I will meet your objectives, exceed your expectations and accomplish your goals using highly professional and ethical standards. Although I am using existing homes here as an example, the process works the same for new or proposed construction as well as vacant building lots and large tracts of land. Here is how it works in North Carolina:

  1. First we will discuss Real Estate Agency relationships. You will probably choose me to represent you as your Buyers Agent. (The alternative is that I represent the Seller, which of course is seldom the form of representation chosen by buyers!) My working as your advocate is a free service to you (see "Buying A Home"). Also at our first meeting we will briefly discuss financing to be sure that you are comfortable with your monthly payment for the price range in which you are looking. I will ask you a series of questions to determine what features are most important in your new home. It is most helpful if you can provide me with a list of "wants" and "must haves". For must haves, if an otherwise perfect property did not have that feature, you would not actually buy that house. For wants, if an otherwise perfect property did not have that feature you would most definitely want to still see that property. I will search the Multiple Listing Service database using your criteria and send you photos and descriptions of each property that meets your criteria. I will help you go through them to eliminate listings and choose those which best fit your needs so you do not waste your time going to see unsatisfactory listings.
  2. I will make appointments for us to see several of the houses you choose. It is usually best to see no more than 5-6 in a day, as most people begin to confuse the listings with each other and start to forget which properties had which features you liked and disliked.
  3. After seeing several houses together I will be able to refine my understanding of your wishes to better locate the perfect property for you. As we view more homes, you will become more confident in analyzing square footage, lot sizes, features and price, how they relate to each other and to your priorities in a home.
  4. After seeing the houses currently available on the market, if we haven't yet found your dream home, I will search the MLS daily and let you know of any close new matches as they are listed or have a price drop. Many buyers like to search online themselves, so feel free to send me any listings that attract your attention. As a member of both the Triangle Multiple List and Burlington-Alamance County Multiple List Services, I have access to additional information not available through public searches that may help you decide whether or not you want to go and see a particular property.
  5. OK, we have found the perfect property for you!
  6. We will discuss your offer options, how to strengthen your offer in ways other than price, and how much risk, if any, you want to take in an effort to get the property for a lower price versus the prospect that the seller receives another offer in addition to yours and chooses that one instead. Following your directives, after offering advice to assist you, I will complete the Offer to Purchase and Contract, a form with which you will already be familiar because I will have given you a copy at our first meeting. We also will have discussed it while viewing homes. To submit along with your offer we will need checks for the Due Diligence fee and for Earnest Money. These are "good faith" deposits to support your offer and show the seller that you intend to buy the house if all of the conditions we have put in your contract are met. The Due Diligence fee is nonrefundable and essentially holds the house for you while we verify it's condition and any other information essential to your decision to complete the transaction. If you choose to exit the contract no reason is needed; a provision in the standard NC Offer To Purchase And Contract defines Due Diligence as "Buyer's opportunity ...to decide whether Buyer, in Buyer's sole discretion, will proceed with or terminate the transaction". Unless you have chosen to exit the contract, upon the expiration of your Due Diligence period your Earnest Money becomes nonrefundable and is your assurance to the seller that you are proceeding towards closing. Both your Due Diligence fee and Earnest Money deposit are credited towards your purchase price at closing.
  7. After you sign your Offer, I will submit it to the Listing Agent along with reasons why the seller should accept your Offer. Negotiation is one of my strengths, and I will get you the best price, terms and conditions possible. My sale price to list price ratio is well below the average percentage of list price paid, so on average my Buyers pay less for their homes!
  8. Once our offer is accepted I will help you arrange for your inspections and attend them with or for you. I recommend that all home buyers have a structural inspection, termite inspection, and well and septic inspections (if applicable). Depending on your needs and any specifics of the property, additional inspections may be indicated.
  9. I can recommend lenders, attorneys, inspectors, insurance agents, and other service providers you may need from among those who my prior clients have recommended based on their satisfaction and success with the provider. You are of course welcome to use anyone you may already know. I also will assist you with obtaining answers to questions about zoning, surrounding property or any other information you need to confirm that you can do with the property what you intend.
  10. We will have all the inspections done during the due diligence process. Therefore if the inspector notes any issues which need to be addressed, the seller has time to respond and correct the items noted. If the seller decides not to address the items, we can either accept their response and proceed, or request that your earnest money be returned and find a new property. Keep in mind that any decision to not go through with the transaction and receive a return of your earnest money deposit must be made before the expiration of due diligence.
  11. While the inspections are being done, those using a loan for their purchase will also be making loan application with your bank and moving ahead towards loan approval. I will be in contact frequently with your lender to provide any information they need to expedite the process. I will remind you to set up your homeowners insurance which needs to start the day you take title to the house, as well as change all utilities into your name for the date of closing.
  12. Throughout the entire process, I will manage the little details that can seem so overwhelming, make sure none slip through the cracks and help you complete all necessary steps to buy your new home.
  13. We will do a walk-through of the house the day before or the day of closing. This is to make sure the house is in the same general condition it was when you contracted to purchase it:  no unexpected holes in the wall or appliances missing that you paid for as part of the contract, etc. The walk-through may be the first time you see the house without the seller's personal belongings inside. People find that they love the house even more in that state!
  14. On Settlement day we will meet at the attorneys office for the closing. At settlement you will sign the Settlement Statement as well as forms associated with your new mortgage (if applicable). Your closing attorney will address any questions you may have about the loan documents and before signing we will review all documents for accuracy. Soon you will have the keys to your new home, and I will always be available after the sale to assist you in any way I can!

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