Are you tired of giving your money to a landlord every month instead of investing in your own home? Are you ready to buy a bigger home, or downsize into something more manageable? Are you overwhelmed by today's market and the details of the loan process? The first step is choosing the right agent. With our agents' unrivaled professional experience, exclusive local knowledge, and a world-class approach to service, Long and Foster is the right choice when you're looking to buy. We have the best-trained and best-equipped agents, in a privately-owned business setting where we offer sensible and dependable advice to our clients.
Your agent will guide you through the whole buying process, from start to finish (and even beyond the close of the sale). There are many steps in the process, and we have included an explanation of the essential steps here:
Choosing an Agent - The first critical step is to choose the right Long and Foster REALTOR®. You should seek someone who can suit your schedule, personality, and needs. Just as no two clients are exactly the same, our agents have different personalities, business schedules, and specialized skillsets. As one of the largest offices in the northeastern NC area, we are sure to have an agent with whom you feel connected.
Mortgage Pre-approval - Especially in times of low inventory and high buyer demand (like our current market), having a pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender is cruicial BEFORE you find a house you like. If you wait until you've already seen the home, you'll most likely miss out on the opportunity to make an offer since other buyers will likely already have a letter in-hand. If you need assistance choosing a lender, ask your Long and Foster agent for recommendations. You will either need to provide a copy of your pre-approval letter to your agent, or you may ask your lender to do so for you.
Viewing Houses - After you have connected with a Long and Foster REALTOR® for an initial interview, and obtained a pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender, it will then be time to view houses. Notify your agent as soon as you know when you'd like to see a home - by giving plenty of notice, we give the sellers the best opportunity to accommodate our request. Bring a notepad and a small camera (or your phone) for the showings. You may need to make notes and take a few photos to reference later when it comes time to make an offer, especially if you see multiple houses in one day.
Offer/Contract - Once you have chosen the home that is right for you, it's time to make an offer. Your REALTOR® will prepare the offer documents and go over them with you before you sign. Speak with your lender in advance to determine if you will need to receive closing cost assistance from the seller, as this will be a part of the offer terms. A Settlement/Closing date will be negotiated during this phase as well; however, this date is only an estimate, and may fluctuate (there is an automatic grace period of 14 days in the contract). Once final loan approval and title work are complete, a firm date will be chosen and you will be notified. A contract will be considered ratified once all parties have signed and initialed all terms and any changes.
Due Diligence Period - The Due Diligence (DD) Period begins as soon as a contract is ratified, and ends STRICTLY at 5pm on the negotiated Due Diligence date (as specified in the contract). There is NO grace period for the expiration of the DD Period. This is your window of time to perform ALL research and inspections regarding the purchase of the property, such as: home/termite/mosture inspections, water tests, septic tests, surveys, homeowners' & flood insurance quotes, title searches, appraisals, loan approvals, etc. This is also the time period when you will negotiate any needed repairs that may be discovered during the inspections. The list seems extensive, but what you must remember is that, after the DD Period expires, you are then obligated to complete the purchase - if you fail to close (except in the case of a seller breach) your earnest money would be forfeited to the seller.
Title Search/Deed Prep- If you hire an attorney to do so, a title search will be performed in order to determine if there are any liens against the property, or other defects that can affect your ability to obtain a clear title. Your attorney will order title insurance if you have elected to purchase it (required by most lenders). The seller's attorney will also prepare the deed for transfer of ownership during this phase.
Settlement/Closing - Settlement consists of the review and signing of the closing statement, as well as the collection of any monies owed from the buyer and/or seller. Following settlement, the deed is recorded at the Register of Deeds office in the county where the property is located. Funds are disbursed to the appropriate parties, and this constitutes closing.
Congratulations! Once closing is complete, you may take possession of your new home!
As you can see, there are many places where things can get complicated along the way...that's why it is so important to have a trusted real estate advisor on your side.