Buying A Home in 5 Easy Steps - The Wrap up

Real Estate Broker/Owner with RED Properties NC #129285

So, you've moved passed Steps 1 and 2 - you've picked your lender and found the Realtor® that is going to help you find that perfect home.......  What?  You missed Steps 1 and 2?  No worries - you can catch up at "The 5 Steps to Buying a House".  Go ahead, catch up, I'll wait!  (hint: click the link)

The next 3 Steps in Buying a House are very time sensitive and will take careful coordination.  ** It is important to note that Steps 3 - 5 may differ from state to state and what I am outlining here is specific to North Carolina.

Step 3: The Offer To Purchase  enlightened

RED Properties RaleighRedCongratulations!  You have found "the" home and are ready for the next step - Making an Offer.  Don't be scared!  The lender and Realtor® that you chose in Steps 1 and 2 are there to help guide your through this process.  Your Realtor® will prepare a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) that will "show the story" of the homes that have recently sold in the neighborhood you are interested in as well as other homes that are currently for sale in the neighborhood.  This CMA will assist you in making an informed, fair and solid offer.  Keep in mind, YOU want to get the best deal possible in your new home AND the seller wants to get the best offer possible for their home which may result in counter offers.  

Your initial offer will set forth the terms that you are willing to abide by for the purchase of the home.  They include (but are not limited to):

  • Purchase Price
  • Due Diligence Fee and Due Diligence Timeframe
  • Earnest Money
  • Closing Date
  • Any personal items or fixtures that you are requesting
  • Any other terms such as requesting closing costs, a home warranty, etc

You're Realtor® will walk you through the contract.  It's 10 pages in North Carolina and can be a bit overwhelming but take your time, have your Realtor® explain point by point what you are getting ready to sign.  As I mentioned, there may be a counter offer from the seller.  If there is, it is important to review their terms before accepting.  You can also counter their counter!  Once the offer has been accepted by both parties and executed (meaning both parties have signed) you are on your way......  smiley

Step 4: Due Diligence Period  enlightened

The Due Diligence period is the time that you get to do any and all inspections of the property such as:

  • Physical Property Inspection by a licensed inspectorRED Properties RaleighRed
  • Pest Inspection (Wood Destroying Insects)
  • Septic and Well Inspections (if applicable)

The Due Diligence Period is also the time when you will need to:

It is CRITICAL that all of this be done DURING your Due Diligence period.

Step 5 - Settlement and Closing enlightened

RED Properties RaleighRedNorth Carolina is an Attorney State.  What does that mean?  I'm glad you asked!  Real Estate Closings in North Carolina are handled by a Real Estate Attorney.  In many states they are not. 

Wait.....  I thought settlement and closing were the same thing?  They are not.

Settlement: The settlement is when all of the documents necessary to complete the transaction are signed such as deed, settlement statement, deed of trust (if applicable) and the closing attorney's receipt of funds to complete the transaction.

Closing:  The closing is when the Settlement (above) has been completed, there has been satisfactory title update to the property, the attorney's receipt of funds and authorization to disburse funds AND recordation in the appropriate county register of deeds and deed of trust (if applicable).

Let's say you have your settlement scheduled for late afternoon on a Friday (after 2pm).  There is a high probability that the Closing Attorney may not record the deed until Monday which means technically you still do not "own" the home.  By law, you are not to receive the keys to the home until that deed has been recorded.

enlightenedThought to ponder:  You "settle" late on a Friday afternoon and you get the keys to the home.  The deed will NOT be recorded with the Register of Deeds until Monday (Closing).  You do NOT own that home over the weekend in between and by law you should have signed a "Buyer Possession Before Closing" Agreement.

So, to recap....

Step 1 - Find a Lender

Step 2 - Find a Realtor®

Step 3 - The Offer To Purchase

Step 4 - Due Diligence

Step 5 - Settlement and Closing

I hope that I have shown you a valuable overview of the home buying process and that you'll feel a bit more comfortable in starting the process.  Just keep in mind, your Realtor® is there for you as is your entire Home Buying Team - rely on them!  (Hint: click the link)

If you are thinking that now is the time for you to purchase your 1st home or 5th - give me a call!  I would love to help you through the process.

Posted by
 RED Properties RaleighRed
RED Properties RaleighRed

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Show All Comments
Teral McDowell
Referral Patners LLC - Murphy, TX

Leesa, you have written a clear and concise overview of the home buying process.

May 20, 2013 03:54 AM #1
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

This is a great series for home buyers, Leesa, and a excellent explanation of the offer process.  It can be confusing, especially for first-time home buyers.

May 20, 2013 05:52 AM #2
Mike Young, covering the USA - Las Vegas, NV
FHA 203k Consultant 916-758-1809

where does the renovation consultant fit into this scenario? LOL. buyers don't purchase every day so this is great to help them understand the procedure. Nice post. M

May 20, 2013 03:28 PM #3
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Great list. I love that step four...Time is of the essence, use it wisely!

May 20, 2013 09:21 PM #4
Jackie Connelly-Fornuff
Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY - Babylon, NY
"Moving at The Speed of YOU!"

Leesa you have done a superb job of letting buyers know what to expect!

May 23, 2013 10:03 PM #5
Cassandra Stewart
Future Home Realty - Tampa, FL
Your Tampa Florida Agent

Hi Leesa -  I came over from Chris Ann's post.  This is a great overview  of the homebuying process.  Thank you for sharing!

May 31, 2013 08:01 AM #6
Tish Lloyd
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Wilmington, NC
Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches

Excellent overview of the home buying process, Leesa! 

Jun 07, 2013 11:40 PM #7
Leesa Finley
RED Properties - Wake Forest, NC
RED Properties - Raleigh NC Real Estate

Thanks so much, Teral!  I greatly appreciate your kind words!

Jun 10, 2013 10:45 PM #8
Leesa Finley
RED Properties - Wake Forest, NC
RED Properties - Raleigh NC Real Estate

Thanks so much, Jane!  I have had a huge influx of first time buyers lately and my goal was to help answer a few questions beforehand.  ;)

Jun 10, 2013 11:47 PM #9
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Leesa Finley

RED Properties - Raleigh NC Real Estate
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