FAQ: Thinking of Buying a Home?

Q:  I want to start looking for a house.  What should I do first?

A:  We recommend that you contact a lender to find out what you can afford.  We can suggest several who have served our clients well in the past.  Falling in love with a home that you cannot buy can hurt.

Q:  How does a buyer’s agent help me?

A:  A buyer’s agent is your advocate and has a fiduciary obligation to YOU, not the seller.  Our database is much more detailed than what you can access online.  At the end of the day you and the seller have the same goal EXCEPT as to price.  Your agent will help determine what that price should be, and they will ensure that all the terms and conditions of your agreement are satisfied.

Q:  How does a buyer’s agent get paid?

A:  Your agent is paid on commission.  For homes listed in the MLS, the seller offers a commission to the buyer’s agent.  For homes offered For Sale By Owner, usually the seller will offer a commission to the buyer’s agent, and sometimes you as the buyer pay the commission.  The commission is paid at closing.

Q:  Is there any sort of agreement I have to sign to hire a buyer’s agent?

A:  Yes, the NC Real Estate Commission requires that we operate under the terms of a signed Buyer’s Agency Agreement.

Q:  What happens when I find a house I like and want to make an offer?

A:  Your buyer’s agent will help you determine the terms of the offer, like Purchase Price, Due Diligence Fee and time period, loan conditions, scope of inspections, and closing date.  Your agent will present the offer to the listing agent, along with the Due Diligence Fee, earnest money and (hopefully) a pre-qualification letter from your bank.

Q:  Do I need an inspection?

A:  We think you do.  Professional, licensed home inspectors can uncover problems that might not be apparent to the Buyer or the Seller for that matter.  Read the brochure “About Home Inspections” for more details.

Q:  What happens when we meet with the attorney to close? 

A:  Your attorney will explain the closing documents and get your signatures. You will need to bring a govenment issued photo ID and Certified Funds for any downpayment due. The closing documents will include a settlement statement, a deed which conveys the property to you, and your loan documents, which come from your lender.   Afterwards, the attorney will record the deed at the county courthouse.

Q:  Will I get my keys at closing?

A:  Sellers will often release keys at the attorney’s office, but some prefer to wait until all documents are recorded at the county courthouse.

Q:  Can the Buyer Agent turn around and help me sell my house?

A:  Absolutely!  Buyer Agent is simply a term that clarifies the role of the broker. They can "switch hats" and help you get your house sold, and will be happy to do it.