Never put in a bid/offer to purchase without “sleeping on it”. In 99 out of 100 cases 1 or 2 days will NOT make a difference. Buying a new home is very emotional- – heed your emotions: don’t let them master you.
Location, Location, Location…it is always true… the neighborhood is often a large factor in determining the price of a home. After your preliminary selection, drive around the neighborhood and make note of the condition of the homes of your potential neighbors. Be mindful of your surroundings. Often the “worst house” in the “best neighborhood” can provide the best value.
Obtain home inspections as part of your “Agreement to Purchase”. First hire the appropriate persons/companies to do the inspections, making certain he/she/they are state accredited/licensed to perform the vital home inspections required. You do not want to purchase a home that has serious infrastructure issues, as these can lead to costly repairs. The Due Diligence period is a clause in the North Carolina standard contract that provides for the inspections as well as any other option to terminate the contract by the “BUYER”. I can suggest inspectors.
Be mindful of the earth/typography surrounding the home, especially with new construction. Erosion control is very important in the mountains of Western North Carolina.
Ask your agent for these pertinent facts about the home:
When did the house last change hands and what was the selling price?
Is there an existing mortgage on the house?
What are the real estate taxes and when are real estate taxes expected to be reviewed?
Will the purchase of the home trigger a reassessment?
Is information available on the annual utility costs?
If the house has a septic field, can you have a copy of the permit? The permit will tell you where the field is as well as how many bedrooms are permitted. Often a room is added without changing the septic requirements.
Is there a copy of the survey and or plat?
Is the property in a subdivision and are their any restrictions in this subdivision. Are there copies of covenants and restrictions as well as the Buy Laws
What, if any, HOA assessments are due?
What is the name and contact information of the HOA President. ? (This will allow you to engage in a conversation about the community. if necessary.)
Hire the right agent. This should be the first thing you do… and in Western North Carolina that would be me. Interview several people, and remember they will be interviewing you as well. A good agent will ask a great deal of questions beyond the obvious house requirements, and lifestyle preferences should be near the top. Ask the agent what the percentage of listings to buyers he represents…it is difficult to do both well and most listing agents are always “selling”.
Hire a “Buyers Agent”, his/her loyalty is not divided between you and the seller. He/She represents only you.
Here is the description of several types of real estate agents in North Carolina:
Seller's Representative (also known as a Listing Agent or seller's agent): A seller’s agent is hired by and represents the SELLER. All fiduciary duties of the Agent are owed to the Seller.
Buyer's Representative: (also known as a Buyers Agent). A real estate licensee who is hired by the prospective BUYER to represent them in a real estate transaction. The Buyers Agent works in the BUYERS best interest throughout the transaction and owes fiduciary duties to the BUYER. The buyer can pay the licensee directly through a negotiated fee, or the buyer's agent may be paid by the seller or by a commission split with the listing broker, which is most often the case.
Dual Agency: Dual Agency is a relationship in which the brokerage firm and its agents, represents both the Buyer and the Seller in the same real estate transaction. Dual agency relationships do not carry with them all of the traditional fiduciary duties to the clients. Instead, dual agents owe limited fiduciary duties. “Dual agency relationship” is most likely to happen if you become interested in a property listed with your buyer’s agent or the agent’s firm. It may be difficult for a dual agent to advance the interests of both the buyer and seller. A dual agent must treat buyers and sellers fairly and equally. Buyers and sellers can prohibit dual agents from divulging certain confidential information about them to the other party. Material facts are omitted from this rule & should be divulged. Some firms also offer a form of dual agency called “designated dual agency” where one agent in the firm represents the seller and another agent represents the buyer. This option (when available) may allow each “designated agent” to more fully represent each party. If you choose the “dual agency” option, remember that since a dual agent’s loyalty is divided between parties with competing interests, it is especially important that you have a clear understanding of what your relationship is with the dual agent and what the agent will be doing for you in the transaction. This can best be accomplished by putting the agreement in writing at the earliest possible time. Because of the potential for conflicts of interest in a dual- agency relationship, it's vital that all parties give their informed consent. In North Carolina, this consent must be in writing. Disclosed dual agency, in which both the buyer and the seller are told that the agent is representing both of them, is legal in North Carolina.
Offer to Purchase
An Offer to Purchase is a BINDING agreement that compels you to perform under the terms of the contract. Once signed by both the buyer and the seller it is enforceable.
Again because this deserves mentioning twice… Never put in a bid/offer to purchase without “sleeping on it”. In 99 out of 100 cases 1 or 2 days will NOT make a difference. Buying a new home is very emotional; include your emotions, but don’t let your emotions get the best of you
You will want to make the offer compelling, while price is generally considered to be most important element of an offer, the seller will be looking at several other financial terms and your ability perform, including: your capacity to obtain a mortgage, down payment, earnest money, the amount of time you chose to do your due-?diligence. (again, home inspections are strongly recommended.
Hire a North Carolina attorney specializing in Real Estate Law. In North Carolina, the closing is conducted by the “Buyer’s Attorney” at his/her office. I can assist with choosing your attorney representation
“Away” closings are permitted and fairly common for out of state buyers. The closing documents are overnighted to the buyer(s) or seller(s) for execution.
The closing is not official or funded to the seller until the new Deed & Deed of Trust (if the property is mortgaged) is recorded at the County Office of Deeds. The buyer’s attorney performs this function.