Home Buying Guide

Dated: December 12 2023

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Step-by-Step Guide to Buying a House in North Carolina

Whether you’re a first time homebuyer or you’re purchasing your 10th property, the buying process can be a stressful experience. Here, at Patton Allen Real Estate, we work hard to guide you through the experience and help alleviate a lot of the anxieties that can occur anywhere from the early steps in getting your prequalification to the end of the finish line at the closing table (and all the steps in between).

What are the first steps to take before starting your home search?
Before you even begin scouring the MLS for properties that fit your needs, you need to find out how much you can afford. If you will be utilizing financing for your purchase, speaking to a loan officer is the first step in understanding your budget. Getting a prequalification or preapproval letter will not only give you a number to stick to but also strengthen your offer when that time comes.

View listings and put in an offer.
Compile a list of homes you would like to see and share this with your real estate agent. They have probably already created an online search for you, so this may be as easy as favoriting the properties at the top of your list. Once showings are scheduled, remember to bring a pen and paper to take notes. It’s easy to forget the details when you’re away from the property.

When you find “the one,” it’s time to put an offer on it. Consider what price makes the most sense for you based on the market value and your loan parameters. Your real estate agent will help guide you through the process and also take into consideration factors such as if you should ask the sellers to pay for a home warranty or closing costs. After you submit your offer, you’ll wait for either an acceptance, counter, or possibly a rejection to your offer. At that point, your Realtor® will share what the next steps will be.

What happens during due diligence?
Once you are under contract, your due diligence time period begins. You’ll need to contact your lender within 24 hours to get things rolling on their end and lock in your interest rate. During this time, you’ll need to stay in communication with your real estate agent to schedule inspections, surveys, and any other evaluations the property will need. Connecting with your chosen attorney/paralegal is another important step so they can start drafting important documents and conducting a thorough title search to make sure you have a “free and clear title”. Watch for emails and sign documents in a timely manner.

After your inspections are complete, you’ll read over the results and work with your real estate agent to make any requests for repairs or credit. Remember, in North Carolina, you can decide to walk away for any reason or no reason at all during the due diligence period. If you do walk away, you forfeit your due diligence fee.

Pre-Closing & Closing Day
After due diligence is complete, you’ll need to coordinate a closing day and time with your closing attorney, and once you have this schedule, it’s wise to transfer all utilities into your name to begin the day of closing. Just before closing, you and your real estate agent will conduct a walk-through of the property to ensure everything looks as it should and there are no surprises or problems with the property. On closing day, bring your ID and a certified check for cash due at closing. Once the property has been recorded with your register of deeds, it’s officially yours to enjoy!

Remember, your Patton Allen Real Estate Realtor® is here to help with any questions you have and help make the buying (and selling) process as seamless as possible. For a printable of the Step-by-Step guide, contact us today!

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Heather Radford

A native of Western North Carolina, Heather was born and raised in the Asheville area. Over the years she has worked in various roles within the home industry including working with several local home....

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