Tips for Buyers

The purchase of a new home is an exciting venture and likely your greatest capital investment. Choosing where you will make your new home will affect you and your family’s daily routines for years to come. As long-time residents of the Durham area and members of the National Association of REALTORS®, we pledge to work with you to protect your interests and guide you through the home buying process. Agency representation will allow you to refine your search, see more of the kind of houses that suit your needs, and provide you detailed property information available through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). We have organized these tips to inform you about the home-buying process and help your relocation go smoothly.

The term "agency" refers to the fiduciary relationship that exists between a buyer and the real estate agent who represents them. A buyer’s agent can be compensated in different ways. Buyer’s agents most often earn compensation by presenting your offer as a qualified buyer to the seller’s agent and arranging our agency’s compensation on behalf of you, the buyer, from the seller or listing agent when the sale is complete. Some form of written disclosure is recommended between agents and the consumers they are working with to help ensure there is no misunderstanding regarding agency relationships. The NC Real Estate Commission provides detailed information about various types of agency-buyer working relationships, to help your decide on agency representation. See http://www.ncrec.state.nc.us/publications-bulletins/WorkingWith.html We would like an opportunity to meet with you in advance of any agency agreement to make sure you understand these guidelines and our services and commitments.

Services you Can Expect from Us Working as Your Real Estate Agent
Finding the Right Location/ Size/ Price

There are many factors to consider as you find the right new home. Our first step will be to help you prioritize the pertinent factors that are most important to your family. Is it location relative to your work? Do you need to be near day care, schools, or parks and recreation? Do you want to locate near your friends or extended family? Do you require a certain architecture style or amenities such as a garage, work space, extra bathrooms? We can help you process these important factors and through our affiliation with the Triangle Multiple Listing Service (MLS), we are able to search homes available that meet your criteria.

Digging into the Details/ Property Disclosure

Once you have narrowed your search to one or more properties, Hayes and Adkin are well qualified and positioned to work with you to find out the important details of each potential property. All homes for sale require the owner to complete a property disclosure form which you will want to have before you make an offer. http://www.ncre.state.nc.us/forms-html/forms.html

Financing / Taxes/ Insurance

Our duty to you and to those selling their property is to assure you qualify for any financing you will need to purchase your new home. The Loan Qualification Estimator on our side bar is an excellent way for you to determine right now the price range of houses for which home lenders are likely to qualify you for a loan. You must take into consideration along with your monthly mortgage payment the additional costs of property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and any home association dues associated with your property. As we dig together for the facts, we will help you determine these additional costs. Triangle Mortgage Lenders is an excellent place to review current rates and find a mortgage broker http://www.trianglemortgagelenders.org/. It will be important to the seller to know in advance of accepting your offer that you qualify for any financing you need to buy their home.

Home Inspection/ Home Warranty

Most offers to purchase include a home inspection clause. This is a contingency clause incorporated into the offer to purchase stating your offer is contingent on an acceptable property inspection by a knowledgeable, independent and state licensed home inspector. This clause further specifies the time frame for the inspection and often includes options you may require regarding any finding during the inspection. You will schedule this inspection and accompany the inspector on a tour of the house, discussing any issues. The home inspector will do a detailed inspection to assure that the home is structurally sound and that primary systems are in good working order. The home inspector will provide a detailed written report on property condition, items inspected, and items which may be of concern. Many sellers include a home warranty service. A standard home warranty pays to repair or replace, for a period of one full year, an existing home's covered mechanical systems and major built-in appliances that break down due to normal wear and tear. We can explain this option and may recommend it in the purchase of older homes.

Step-by-Step Guidance with all Transactions

Perhaps the greatest service our firm can provide is helping you sort through the myriad forms and steps in the home buying transaction. Our aim is to help your home purchase proceed as smoothly as possible so that you are able to move into your new home avoiding disappointments and the unexpected along the way. We will guide you and explain all the forms required to accomplish these important steps as you buy your new home.

  1. Agency Forms
    We will decide together how much help you want finding a new home and review together The NC Real Estate Association’s information on working with real estate agents.
  2. Property Listing Print Outs
    For each property you decide might meet your needs, we will provide and help you understand the standard Multiple Listing Service (MLS) property information sheet. Today’s buyers often would like to review these electronically and take advantage of other online information to help them narrow their search. When you are ready, we will arrange appointments to visit promising properties with you.
  3. Loan Qualification Paper Work
    As you formalized your mortgage needs, there is specific information any loan officer will require. We will help you find a mortgage lender and know in advance the documents you will need to provide as you are qualified for a home loan. When you are ready, we can help connect you with mortgage lenders.
  4. Offer to Purchase and Contract
    A binding contract to buy property results from the communication of a seller’s written acceptance of a valid written offer to purchase and contract from the buyer or the buyer’s written acceptance of a new offer (counteroffer) made by the seller. We assist buyers in the process of making offers and responding to counteroffers by providing a preprinted contract form approved by the NC Real Estate Commission.
  5. Property Inspections
    As indicated above, it will be important to contract a home inspection. Depending on your loan officer and the unique characteristics of the proposed property, you may also need a property survey and a pest inspection. Sometimes septic, well, soil and radon inspections are needed. Let us help you demystify these processes.
  6. Closing (Short for the closing meeting between and among the buyer, seller and their representatives to officially transfer the property.)Closing is the official transfer of your property—you are ready to move in. Closing is typically held at the office of the buyer’s attorney. You will need legal representation to review the legal steps as you assume ownership in your new home. If together we have all paper work in order, this will not be a major cost. The buyer pays those closing costs that assure the merits and orderly transfer of the property, including that insurance and property taxes are current. We can help you plan for these expences and include costs as part of the closing costs. Before you go to closing our agency working with the seller’s agent will draft a closing statement (HUD-1) and review this with you. This closing statement itemizes all charges imposed upon the buyer and seller for a real estate transaction. It gives each party a complete list of their incoming and outgoing funds. You will know in advance exactly any dollar amounts you owe at closing.