So you have decided that now may be the time to buy that home in the Southern Pines and Ft. Bragg area. What is next?
Find a Realtor®:
Please see Working with Real Estate Agents brochure: JoanneWorkingWRealAgents.pdf
- Find a good and knowledgeable Realtor® that will dedicate the time and attention that you need.
- Get pre-qualified. If you don’t have an established relationship with a lender, your agent should be able to give you some resources for this.
- Your agent should listen to your needs, be understanding, and knowledgeable about the area.
- Be honest and upfront with the Realtor® about your situation, wants, and needs. Is there a crucial time factor regarding the move? Are there specific things that you require in a home? Ex: handicap accessible, certain number of bedrooms, etc.?
- Start your home search
- Give honest feedback on all the homes you see. This helps the agent better understand exactly what you are wanting.
Once you have found the home that you want, now what?
Time to make an offer.
Your agent should be able to show you what similar homes in that area have sold for. After looking at this information, decide on what you think is a fair offer. Once you’ve come to a decision as to what you want to offer, the agent will write it up and submit it.
These are things to be considered when writing up an offer:
A) Down payment and financing options
B) earnest money and due diligence money
C) Price you want to offer
D) Closing date
Be prepared for a counter offer. It is rare that your first offer will be accepted. You will also need to put earnest money and due diligence money down with your offer. Earnest money is like “good faith money that is held in the attorney's trust account. It will be credited at closing. The due dilgence fee is nonrefundable and is made directly to the seller at time of offer acceptance.
You may find the following publications from the real estate commission useful.
Earnest money: EarnestMoney.pdf
Due Diligence due diligence brochure.
Offer and Acceptance: Q&A on Offer and Acceptance
Questions and Answers on home inspections: HomeInspectionsAnswerandQuestions.pdf
Lead based paint: leadbasedpaint.pdf
The offer has been accepted:
In the state of North Carolina, we have what is called a “due diligence” period. During this time, you get the loan process started. Be prepared to for the loan officer to ask you for a lot of documentation. It is important that you respond quickly when they make requests. The appraisal along with inspections will be done during this time. You will also need to choose a real estate attorney to represent you and handle the closing.
Getting inspections done:
It is imperative that you get the home inspected prior to buying it. It may be the best money you’ve ever spent. The common inspections consist of a home inspection, termite inspection, hvac (heating and air), and septic inspection (if there is a septic system). These inspections can uncover current material and structural problems with the home as well as things that could possibly be problematic in the future.
Once the inspections are done, you should sit down and go over them with your agent. You can then request/negotiate with the seller to fix certain things. Once the repairs have been negotiated and settled, it’s time to relax and wait on closing day.
Final walk-through before closing:
It is a good idea for the buyers to make a final walk through the property prior to closing. This is usually done either the day before or the day of closing. This provides assurance to the buyers that the home is still in the same material shape that it was in when it went under contract.
On closing day, you will meet with your attorney to sign the paperwork needed to become a homeowner. The attorney will take care of getting all required paperwork signed, seeing that funds are transferred, and the deed is registered at courthouse. After all this is done- congratulations, you are a homeowner!