Why should I work with a Real Estate Agent?
Buying a home in South Charlotte NC is often the biggest financial investment you can make in your lifetime. Real estate agents have extensive current knowledge of real estate law and current market value that will provide you with significant protection in a listing or buying transaction. An experienced and successful South Charlotte NC Realtor® can make the difference between a good and bad real estate investment!
Remember, Buyer Agents are typically paid by the seller – NOT the buyer! Unless you are interested in buying a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) home that does not offer compensation to a buyer agent Realtor/Broker, or a limited service listing that pays less than what your buyer agent firm charges (rare) your buyer agent representation will be at no cost to you! You should always have representation in your South Charlotte NC real estate transaction to protect your best interests! Real estate law in North Carolina is complex and comprehensive, and professional licensed Realtors® have completed hundreds of hours of training, exams and continuing education. Not having buyer agent representation is like going into court without a lawyer!
Finding The Right South Charlotte NC Agent For You
Chemistry is important, so are credentials and training. Above all, you’ll want an experience South Charlotte Realtor® who has current market knowledge and upholds the highest ethical and professional standards.
- Ask friends, family members, neighbors and/or co-workers for referrals.
- Trust your intuition.
- Share as much information as possible with your South Charlotte NC buyer agent about your lifestyle, tastes, needs and dreams for your home.
- Focus your search on a few geographic areas.
- Get pre-approved for your mortgage so that you and your Buyer Agent can focus on homes that you can truly afford.
Narrow Your South Charlotte NC Home Search
- What style of home do you prefer - two story, ranch, split-level, something else?
- What size of home do you need – number of bedrooms, baths, square footage?
- What are your priorities in home features – garage, gourmet kitchen, main level master, etc.?
- Is it important to you to have additional space that could be finished such as an attic or basement?
- Will you need a home office space or flex room such as a bonus room?
- What type of lot would be best for you? Size, location (on golf course or water), cul-de-sac, wooded or landscaped?
- Are school assignments important to you? If so, determine which schools you want to target.
- How close to work, shopping, schools or recreational facilities do you want to be?
- What is the maximum commute time that you would consider?
- Do you need to be near any particular recreational activities (golf/tennis/pool, youth sports organizations, parks)
- Does anyone in your family have special needs that we must take into consideration (wheelchair, allergies, etc.)?
- Do you have any pets that require a fenced yard?
- Do you have any large furniture that must fit in your new home (piano, pool table, large dining room set, etc.)?
- How much can I afford? This is not a maximum, but what you are COMFORTABLE with!
Ready, Set, GO!!!
Armed with the information gathered above, you and your South Charlotte Realtor will begin to look at homes and neighborhoods that may be suitable for your family. During this time together, I will start to gain a clearer picture of what types of homes and amenities are most appealing to you. I’m looking for the “happy dance” – signs that you could see your family living in a particular home! I will provide information on every home we tour, as well as recent sales data for the neighborhood and information on the schools. I will ask you to tell me what you like and don’t like about each property so that we can fine-tune your search and find a great South Charlotte home to buy! Remember, you may have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince, but learning what you DON’T like is often as important as finding out what you love!
Contract Negotiations on Your South Charlotte NC Home
You’ve found the perfect (or almost perfect!) and you’re ready to make an offer! I will fully brief you on the offer to purchase and all related addenda that must accompany your offer. We will discuss all the negotiable terms of your offer, including price, amount of earnest money and the due diligence fee, the due diligence date (the period during which you inspect the property and secure your mortgage), the settlement or closing date, closing costs (if any), any personal property you are asking for (refrigerator, washer/dryer, window treatments, playlets, etc.), and a home warranty.
Once your offer is complete to your satisfaction, I will present your offer to purchase a South Charlotte NC home for sale to the listing agent, who will present it to her sellers. The sellers can respond with a counter offer on any of the terms of the contract, they can reject it (this may happen if the offer is insultingly low to the seller), or they can accept it as written (rare!). This process of counter offers will continue until all parties agree. Once agreement is reached, buyers and sellers will sign the revised contract reflecting all the agreed-upon terms, and copies will be transmitted back to both the buyers and sellers. Congratulations, you are now under contract! Now your due diligence period begins.
Due Diligence Period and Fee for Your South Charlotte NC Home
After you go under contract on your South Charlotte NC home for sale, the due diligence period begins. This is a very important time (time period negotiated in the contract, but usually 30 days) during which the South Charlotte home buyer fully investigates the property and applies for the mortgage to determine if he/she is willing and able to buy the home.
I will guide you every step of the way during this important time when you are digging into the home and area to see if you really want to go through with it. Typical investigations include a home inspection, termite inspection, radon inspection, structural inspection (if warranted), HVAC and roof inspection (if a more thorough inspection of these systems is desired), ordering a survey, checking out any HOA/neighborhood covenants and restrictions, etc. During this time, your lender will collect all of your financial information, order an appraisal (your cost), and submit your loan package to underwriters for loan commitment. Any repair negotiations take place during the due diligence period.
It is crucial that you use your due diligence period wisely! The current NC Offer to Purchase and Contract (effective January 1, 2011) specifies that you may terminate your contract for ANY or NO reason at all, as long as you request termination, in writing by the due diligence period deadline. To compensate sellers for taking their house off the market during your due diligence period, buyers may pay the South Charlotte NC home seller a due diligence fee, which is non-refundable if the buyer terminates the contract. However, the buyer is entitled to a refund of his full earnest money deposit if he terminates the contract BEFORE the due diligence period expires.
So…you should be satisfied with your investigation and the progress of your mortgage BEFORE the due diligence date expires. After that red letter day, if you terminate the contract on your South Charlotte NC home for sale, you will lose BOTH your earnest money deposit and your due diligence fee!
Settlement and Closing on Your South Charlotte Home
You’re in the home stretch! You’ve completed your due diligence and your mortgage has been approved – you are ready to close on your new South Charlotte NC home. NC is an attorney state, so you will need to retain a real estate attorney to handle your settlement transaction. Your attorney will conduct a title search, arrange for title insurance for both you and your lender, and prepare the HUD1 settlement statement documenting all the details of the transaction. The HUD1 must be approved by your lender and the buyers and sellers.
At the settlement, the buyers and sellers will sign all the appropriate documents, the lender will wire the mortgage funds, and the attorney will record the deed to your South Charlotte NC home at the courthouse. Once the deed is recorded, you are now the proud owner of your wonderful South Charlotte NC home!