Get Pre-approved for a Loan
This has never been more important! Lending guidelines have changed dramatically. Start off on the right foot by getting pre-approved so we will have no surprises. There is no cost or obligation. I will be happy to recommend someone to help! Once you are pre-approved, it’s time to go shopping!
Find a Home
Before we begin touring neighborhoods and walking through homes, we’ll discuss what’s important to you, so I may get a clear understanding of your ideal home and neighborhood. There are many great homes, neighborhoods and communities to choose from in and around Charlotte. I will ask a lot of questions to make sure I am very clear on what’s most important to you.
Once I have a really good idea of your criteria, I will assist you with the search and discovery of the available properties that best fit what you are looking for – price range, style, location, etc. I’ll make appointments for us to view homes together. Normally it takes a few trips touring properties to narrow the search and get to a “short list” of your favorite homes and neighborhoods.
Write an Offer
Once we find the right home, we’ll do research to see how long the home has been on the market, what the owner paid for the property and recent home sales for the area. We will use this information (and more) to come up with an offer price. In North Carolina, verbal offers are non-binding, so all negotiations will be in writing. Our offer will also specify who will pay closing costs, what appliances you want included, etc. We will also propose a closing date, usually 30-45 days from our agreement date. The offer will also include a Due Diligence period for inspecting the home, negotiating repairs, getting an appraisal done, reviewing any neighborhood covenants, finalizing financing, and more.
Inspect the House
Our current North Carolina Offer to Purchase and Contract offers two primary ways to accept a home’s condition. The primary means is a “due diligence” period. Our contract will specify the number of days for our Due Diligence period. During that time, you have the right to have a home inspection, termite inspection, property survey, appraisal, etc. Once inspections are complete, we will write up a “Due Diligence Request and Agreement” identifying any repair items we request the seller handle. You can also buy a home “as is”, which means you accept the home with all of its faults. It is still highly recommended that you hire a professional home inspector to perform a mechanical, structural, and termite inspection. Other inspections are available, and I am happy to recommend reputable inspection firms in the area.
When we’ve finished our inspections, we will make a list of the items we would like the Seller to address. This is a second round of negotiations for the home. The Seller considers our repair request, and can accept, reject, or counter it. If the Seller’s response is acceptable, then you move forward to closing. If the Seller’s response is unacceptable, then you have the right to cancel the contract with full refund of your earnest money (in nearly all cases) and start again with finding a home.
Final Loan Processing
Once we’re through repairs, there’s usually about two weeks where everyone else springs into action. The loan officer puts the loan through final underwriting, reviews the appraisal, produces loan documents, and the Seller has any repairs completed that were negotiated.
Insurance – Prior to closing, you’ll need to select an insurance company to provide hazard insurance for your new home.
Utility Connections – I’ll give you the contacts for utilities – power, gas, water, sewer, trash, etc.
Walkthrough and Signing
We’ll go back to the house and do a final walkthrough to make sure that it is in the same condition as when we went under contract, repairs are complete, personal property has been removed and that you are satisfied with the condition of the home and are ready to close. Then we will head to the closing attorney’s office.
In North Carolina the buyer selects the attorney to conduct the settlement and closing. I am happy to recommend reputable attorneys in our area that specialize in real estate closings. You will need to bring certified funds and your driver’s license to the closing. Once all the documents are reviewed and signed by the buyer, seller and attorney, the pertinent documents will be taken to the Register of Deeds by a representative of the attorney’s firm for official recording – typically within a few hours of settlement. Once the recording is accomplished, you are officially closed and can take possession of your new home!