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How to buy a house in North Carolina

How to buy a house in North Carolina

If you decide to buy a house in the secondary market or invest in a house during the construction phase, I can:

  • Be your representative and adviser when discussing the price, taking into account all the options for which developers are asking for additional payment.
  • Check the quality of the house and assess the possible risks when renovation is necessary.
  • Consider a contract from the developer, find potential “pitfalls”.
  • Monitor the progress of construction and solve all problems that may arise during construction with the developer. Be your advocate in case of problems with the developer, including the quality and timing of construction.
  • To advise you which mortgage is better to take and why, explain in detail the conditions of the mortgage, as well as “bargain” from the bank for favorable financing terms for you
  • Advise and organize all necessary inspections for you
  • Agree with the developer about the benefits for you in case of a delay in the delivery of the house

Below is one of the examples of “deficiencies” that I came across when the developer passed the house and which was agreed to be fixed at the developer’s expense:

Russian realtor hepl to buy home North CarolinaBuy home in North Carolina

So, here are the standard steps you need to take if you decide to buy a home in North Carolina

Step 1. Assess your financial ability to purchase and pay for home

  • Contact a bank or mortgage broker and ask to do a “mortgage pre-approval” (a process that will give you not only an understanding of the cost of a home that you can afford, a percentage of the loan, monthly payments, etc. but you will also be ready to make an offer to buy when you find the house you like). Many sellers often ask for a pre-approval letter from the bank before considering your offer to buy their home; this saves them time and gives you quicker close the deal.
  • In the process of buying a house, do not take any actions that may affect your financial situation (do not change jobs, do not make large purchases, such as a car, do not open new credit cards, do not withdraw money from accounts, etc.). As a realtor, I can also advise you on a suitable loan broker and a bank with the best conditions.
  • If you come to “Open House” – try not to disclose information that can be used against you to raise the house price (for example, that you urgently need to move).

Step 2. Contact your realtor

  • For buyers, the services of a realtor (agent of buyers) are absolutely free in North Carolina, so always look for a house with your agent.
  • Share as much detail as possible with the realtor about the house you want to buy (maximum price, number of bedrooms, plot, schools, year of construction, area, proximity to schools and shops, ocean view, etc.) – the more information you give, the faster you can find a suitable option. Sign up for a newsletter with information about the houses that are currently on the market and that will enter the market soon. Realtors, unlike popular websites, use their own network, and have access to information that may not be available on regular websites.

Step 3. Start your home search.

  • View information about homes that will be sent to your email. If you decide to see the house live, call your realtor and he / she will set a time to view it.
  • Houses in North Carolina and, especially in the Wilmington area, are sold fairly quickly, so do not delay your viewing. If you still decide to make an offer for a house, immediately negotiate the price and terms with your realtor.
  • I will help check the history of the sale of the house, as well as the prices of homes in the neighborhood. I can also check the tax payment history and other information that will help us negotiate a negotiation strategy and lower the price.

Step 4. “Due Diligence” and “Earnest Money”

  • Be careful! A purchase offer signed by buyers and sellers is an official contract whereby you undertake to buy a house and sellers undertake to sell it to you
  • In North Carolina, there is a notion of “Due Diligence” (usually 20-30 days) during which you will inspect the house, negotiate repair conditions with the seller (the seller may agree to do partial or complete repairs, or he may refuse). In the same period, you must apply for a home loan. Also, it is during this time period that you have the right to terminate the contract for any reason or, in general, without giving a reason, notifying the seller of the termination of the contract. Since sellers will “remove” a house from the market and “keep” it for you, it is customary to offer a so-called “Due diligence fee” – the money that you pay directly to sellers. The amount of “Due Diligence” has not been established and depends on many factors, for example, the “popularity” of the house, the fact that the seller has several offers, the amount of the house, your desire to “win” a certain house, etc. At this stage I will help you to discuss the strategy and the amount of due diligence fees. Remember, if you decide not to buy a house (to terminate the contract), then this money WILL NOT BE RETURNED to you!


“Earnest Money” is an additional amount that is usually paid to an independent person (usually your realtor or lawyer who accompanies the transaction), thereby showing the sellers that you not only have money to buy a house, but also that you have serious intentions bring the deal to the end. If you decide to interrupt the transaction before the “Due Diligence” period expires, the “Earnest Money” check will be returned to you. If you terminate the contract after the “Due Diligence” of the period, or you are denied a loan (therefore, it is important to have a pre-approval from the bank in advance), then “Earnest Money” will be paid to the sellers. If you complete the transaction (buy the house), “Due Diligence” and “Earnest Money” will be taken into account in your closing costs.

  • At this stage, I will help you decide on the amounts of “Due Diligence” and “Earnest Money” and control the deadlines, as well as represent your interests in negotiations with the bank and the seller’s agent.

Step 5. Offer.

  • Be careful! A purchase offer signed by buyers and sellers is an official contract whereby you undertake to buy a house and sellers undertake to sell it to you.
  • In North Carolina, there is a notion of “Due Diligence” (usually 20-30 days) during which you will inspect the house, negotiate repair conditions with the seller (the seller may agree to do partial or complete repairs, or may refuse). In the same period, you must apply for a home purchase loan. Also, depending on the situation, you can ask the sellers to pay for a home warranty for the first year, suggest cleaning the carpets before handing over the keys, requesting a general cleaning, etc.
  • I will help you make an offer and together with the pre-approval letter from the bank and all the necessary documents (disclosures), I send this offer to the seller’s agent.
  • The seller reviews the offer and reports his decision. If the seller sends your offer in response, your offer is considered to be canceled.

Step 6. Offer is accepted, contract signed. What’s next?

  • As soon as the contract is signed and you have written the checks, it’s time to apply to the bank for a loan. The bank starts reviewing your application and orders appraisal (house valuation by a licensed house valuer).
  • At the same time, we are ordering a home inspection. The inspector makes a list of all the shortcomings and faults.
  • This is a period of ”Due Diligence”, so it’s time to agree with the seller about the repair and elimination of all faults.
  • Also during this period, I recommend ordering a mapping of your future site (so-called survey), which will indicate the exact boundaries and all that is on your site, but belongs to the neighbors (e.g. fence, shed, bushes, and etc.) and vice versa.
  • As soon as you receive approval from the bank for a loan and final financial settlement, you go to your bank and do a “wire transfer” at the expense of your lawyer. Now you are ready for the final step – closing the deal.


Step 7. Closing the deal (Closing)

You, together with your realtor, a lawyer and a banker, meet in the office of your lawyer or your realtor, and sign all the necessary papers. The meaning of each of them will be explained to you by your attorney. After signing, you give him a check, and he gives you the keys to YOUR NEW HOUSE!

If you are ready to start searching for your home, contact me and we will start searching.

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