Home buying Process
Our first meeting, how exciting! We're going to be working a lot together over until you move so this is more an interview where you make sure we're a good fit. (We already know you're amazing.)
This is the fun part and what you see on TV. After we discover what's important to you, we'll send you homes you might want to see in person.
Working with your preferred lender, you'll find a mortgage amount that fits your budget. If you need some help, we're more than happy to assist!
This could take some time and refining, and that's ok! We're going to go through your list of "must-haves", location, and price and target the best neighborhoods for you.
This could be the day you get the keys or some time after, but this is when the home becomes your own.
It's been a pleasure working with you.
The day before, we will all "walk through" the home to ensure everything is as it should be. Then it's on to the closing attorney to sign a bunch of paperwork!
Walkthrough & Settlement
You'll want to make sure the lights stay on after the current owners move. Set everything up to transfer the day of closing. You're almost there!
Insurance & Utilities
After the appraiser has rendered their verdict and you've sent all the paperwork to the lender, they will verify and give you three of the best words in real estate: "cleared to close".
After you've fallen in love we discuss the home's value and how to craft the best offer for you and not the seller.
Now the bank wants to ensure the home is worth what you've offered to pay. They schedule a time for an appraiser to come out and make sure you're not over-paying.
Congrats! The seller has agreed to your terms and the home is under contract. Now we really get to work!
The period where we inspect the home and make sure financing can be secured (and make sure you still want it) is called "due diligence".
During this period you can still walk away, but you could stand to lose a deposit you've made on the home.
What about "representation"?
Luckily, North Carolina buyers do not have to pay a commission to have a licensed real estate agent represent their interests in a transaction.* We are paid by the listing agent when a transaction closes, but your buyer's agent looks out for you!
Here's a little more on who-represents-who in a real estate transaction:
*Hart & Olive Real Estate Group, eXp Realty charges a brokerage fee of $395.00 per transaction to our buyer-clients.
Types of Representation:
These arrangements are further outlined in a document called "Working with Real Estate Agents" which must be reviewed at the first meeting between a real estate agent and a potential client. We'll ask you to sign this for our records, but don't worry - it is not a contract!
Seller's or Listing Agent
If you list your home with a real estate agent, that agent's duty is to represent only the owner of the home being purchased.
All agents are to keep confidential information, well, confidential, and act only in the interests or legal wishes of the owners, even if that means an agreement cannot be found.
Things here can get a bit tricky.
"Dual agency" is when the same real estate agent represents both the seller AND the buyer. It's legal, but all parties must agree.
Why is it tricky? In this situation, the agent is to treat both sides fairly. Since both sides usually want two totally different outcomes - the seller wants the most money while the buyer wants the least - it limits the effectiveness of the agent.
Only certain information can remain confidential in dual agency and clients are deprived of having a fully engaged advocate.
Designated Dual Agency
A normal occurrence is when the two parties work with two agents within the same brokerage.
As with seller and buyer agency, any confidential information is kept private. The two agents may share an office or be best friends, rest assured that any details that should not be disclosed, such as sellers motivation or buyer's maximum budget, remain under lock and key.
If you choose to have a real estate agent represent you, their job is to only represent you.
This means researching the home to keep the buyer as informed as possible, and if the agent is aware of a material issue, the agent must disclose it even if the seller has not.
Most of the time, this job boils down to getting the most amount of home for the least amount of money regardless of the commission that agent is due to receive.