I remember when we bought our first home – I had LOTS of questions. How much can I buy? Where should I buy? How will I know it’s a good deal? How long will this take? How does all this get coordinated?
Here’s the good news. There are answers for all of these questions. My job as a real estate broker is to be a fiduciary to my client. In fact, I am LEGALLY BOUND to provide counsel and advice. I am required to act in the best interest of clients. I am required to be competent and knowledgeable. So, this means that your biggest job is to bring the QUESTIONS and I will bring the ANSWERS. This allows you to make the most informed decisions possible.
Ok – so what’s the process? I will outline it in a few steps.
1) Before you start shopping, get your pre-approval done. The market moves fast. You see a home you love, but you aren’t pre-approved. Guess what? There’s a good chance your offer wont’ be accepted, because sellers want to go under contract with someone they feel confident can close. I give my clients a few suggestions for good mortgage brokers and lenders. It’s important that you shop for your loan. I also highly suggest you work with someone you can see eyeball to eyeball. I have PERSONALLY obtained a mortgage on my own residence through one of the popular online mortgage websites, and I am going to tell you – it was an awful experience. Keep an eye out for more detailed articles on this topic, but just know you will want to get your pre-approval done first.
2) Good job! You are pre-approved. You’ve got confidence in the fact that you qualify for a mortgage, and now you are ready to shop for a home. I like to sit down with my new clients and discuss their preferences. Is a first floor master a “must have”? What about a big back yard? It’s great if we can narrow down your search parameters (don’t worry – we can ALWAYS change them
as we go…). The reason it helps to get clear on your ideal home is because the market moves FAST. EVERYONE is on listing alerts. So..guess what? As soon as a home hits the market, buyers know it. You don’t want to be sifting through so many new listings that you miss your perfect one! I will have both of us set up with home alerts, so that when a new listing hits the market we can quickly go and view it.
3) Offer time! You’ve found an awesome house, and now we are going to sit down and decide what to offer. This is when we review all the specifics about North Carolina. We determine the due diligence parameters and your Earnest Money Deposit. We discuss inspections, surveys, and the appraisal and loan process. We also review specifics about the property and discuss personal vs. real property.
4) Negotiation is upon us! Now I will work with the Seller’s Agent to get you the best terms.
5) You are under contract! This is a great accomplishment – but now it’s time for due diligence, and it’s my job to advise you all along the way. I start coordinating a lot of things on your behalf. We talk about your closing attorney, and all the other vendors you will want to shop. Inspections are scheduled, and any resulting negotiations are handled. I also want to make sure your loan is progressing as expected, so I am in communication with your lender. If any repairs are required upon your inspection, we want to make sure those have occurred satisfactorily. I help you stay on track with this process, because we want to make sure that we get everything done during the Due Diligence Period!
6) Closing day is here! I will advise you on what to expect on this particular day. Closing is usually pretty quick and lasts less than an hour. Once the attorney records the transaction, the keys are yours!
7) Welcome to your new home! But, our relationship doesn’t end here. I will continue to provide you with advice – everything from air filters to refinancing. But, this major milestone has been reached! Time to celebrate with a toast!
I truly love helping clients find and purchase their home. It’s a privilege to help families through an important life decision, and a significant financial transaction. Please follow my blog for additional real estate tips, and “like” us on Facebook as well.
Wendy Atherton is a licensed real estate professional in the state of North Carolina. She has held numerous positions in corporate America, including the Head of National Accounts Underwriting at a major insurance company. Wendy graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BS in Finance, Magna Cum Laude. She also studied for her Masters of Business Administration at Babson College. Wendy is a published author and speaker on the topics of risk and financial management. She lives with her husband, Sean and their very adorable Shetland Sheepdog, Morgan, in Cornelius, NC. Despite being a Southerner by birth (Go Texas!), Wendy is also an avid New England Patriots fan. You can find her about town cheering loudly for Tom Brady during football season.