DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS FOR A SUCCESSFUL HOME BUYING EXPERIENCE
YOU ALREADY FOUND A GREAT AGENT J WHO CAN WALK YOU THROUGH THIS PROCESS
We can also help you start the loan process. EG Real Estate Consultants partners with some of Charlotte's best mortgage professionals, so you're in great hands. They can assist you with determining which kind of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.
Step 1 - GET PRE-QUALIFIED FOR A LOAN
a. Rates and programs fluctuate you want to know what you can afford OR if you don’t want to necessarily spend what you can afford.
b. Sellers will demand to see a loan approval letter with an offer
c. DON’T USE JUST ANY LENDER: You need a lender who your agent or another trusted person could tell you performs well. Someone local who can look you in the eye but also has great technology to keep up with new government changes in the loan and closing process. Someone with an excellent track record! We can make the following recommendations but in the end it’s totally up to you.
i. Do you belong to a credit union?
ii. Its Charlotte so do you work for a bank that will give you a special deal? Keep in mind sometimes an outside bank or broker can still beat your employers deal so shop at least 2 lenders
iii. If you are thinking of changing jobs, buying a car, or doing anything that will affect your credit or income status WAIT! Don’t do anything yet until you talk to your lender and likely close on your new home.
iv. Determine your down payment. Its likely you will need a minimum of 5-10% however talk to your agent and lender about government programs that still make it possible for some buyers to get 100% loans.
d. Create a list of questions regarding your loan program
i. Be sure to bring a list of questions if you do not completely comprehend the ins and outs of all the different programs. It's hard to understand the differences between fixed and adjustable rate mortgages. One of my lenders or I will be able to assist you with understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each program. Do you need a renovation loan? FHA? Do you qualify for a have a VA loan from military service?
e. Determine when to lock your rate
i. When you lock in the interest rate, your lender is sure to keep to the mortgage interest rates for the loan – commonly at the time the loan application is received. Are you buying new construction? Lots of lenders have long-term lock programs available for buyers who are in the building process. By floating the rate, you can lock the rate anytime between the day you apply for the loan and the issuing of closing documents. Those who opt to float presume that the interest rates will decline in the near future. Click here to see the outlook for the next 90 days of interest rates.
f. Decide if you want to pay additional points to reduce your rate
i. Generally you can elect to pay additional points to lower the interest rate of your loan. Each point is 1 percent of the loan and is payable in cash at closing. Click here to use my points calculator. This tool will help you determine if buying points is the best option for you.
g. Gather your paperwork
i. Obtaining a mortgage loan sometimes requires lots of paperwork, so you should spend some time getting all your documentation together. Compile your last 2 years tax returns, your W2’s if you have them, bank statements. Click here to get a feel for general information that goes on a loan application.
h. Get ready to purchase !
i. Before you start looking for a home, there are plenty of things you need to take into account. You'll want to create a check list of features you need to have, plan for what neighborhoods and school districts you want to live in, and begin planning around your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than or close to 1/3 of your monthly income is a good principle to follow. Your agent can create a home search that comes straight from the MLS or you can create your own from our website by just signing in. WE DO NOT SHARE YOUR INFORMATION AND YOU CAN ALWAYS OPT OUT. We Do NOT recommend that you spend a lot of time on sites like Zillow or Trulia that are NOT fed with accurate up to date MLS information. These sites sometimes are accurate but prevent realtors from correcting a lot of mistakes or the outdated status of a property. Don’t find your dream house on those sites only for your agent to tell you its been sold for 8 months. We hate to tell people that. Use OUR SITE its up to date MLS information. If it’s a FSBO ask us about that too. We can look up records and we are highly networked and experienced in this market. We may know the owner? Representation is WORTH IT! Our team is experienced in real estate sales; design, construction and we will represent your best interests fairly and competently. We are REALTORS and we follow a strict ethic that goes beyond most other companies and state requirements. See North Carolina agency disclosures at the bottom of this page. We are happy to review them with you.
Step 2 – Talk to your real estate agent
That's where I can help. I'd like to arrange a time to meet with you and speak with you about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll talk about everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the Charlotte area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that may potentially affect your buying decision today or in the future.
Step 3 – Begin your home search
After our initial meeting, I'll start finding available houses on the market that suit your needs. I'll research most of the homes and eliminate the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the homes whenever it's convenient for you.
As we tour the homes, I'll point out good features and negative ones. And I'll ask you to talk about things you like and don't like. As a rule, buyers change their must-have list as we tour houses and some things become more essential than others. If that happens, I'll go back through the listings another time and trim it down to the home of your dreams.
Step 4 – Get a feel for the housing market
Your agent's awareness of the Charlotte market is a fundamental aspect in your home search. And I can assure you I'm familiar with all the schools and neighborhoods, and I will communicate certain neighborhoods are "hot" and warrant prompt action and the rest that are "cool" and allow for cautiousness.
As we view houses, I'll let you know when the seller's asking price has room for negotiation and when I think the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and be sure to ask lots of questions, as any REALTOR® will tell you they truly know the home market. If it seems like they don't know everything, contact me at 704-333-2260 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'd be happy to answer any questions you have. My market expertise will help you stay a step ahead through the entire deal.
Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
I'm sure we'll find your dream house in Charlotte, and when that happens, I'll precisely create your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be written exactly to your needs. Whenever necessary, I never forget to make contracts contingent upon items like acquiring financing and the results of the home inspection.
When turning in your offer, you'll probably want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the home seller to secure an offer to buy the property, and it's often applied to the cost of closing. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.
Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Unfortunately most contracts aren't closed on the initial offer – it's widely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it alarm you. We'll figure out whether or not to consent to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and go on.
The state of the market will play a big part in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll compose a contract that's best for you.
Step 7 – Get a loan
After the contract is finalized, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you're pre-qualified, this won't take long at all. But you should to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll manage all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.
Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will send you a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) outlining your closing costs within three days of taking your application. This estimate is based on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements order that it has to contain all closing costs and fall within a precise range of accuracy. I'll go over the estimate and let you know if it all looks adequate.
Then it's time to close on your home. This will most likely occur at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and peaceful event.
Step 9 – Move in
You made it! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, be sure to call me at 704-333-2260 or send me an e-mail .
Charlotte's premiere consultant for Real Estate Sales of Homes, Sales of Land and Investment Property. We also have a team of designers with over 20 years experience in Interior Design, Home Staging and Renovation Design Build.
Buying a foreclosure or REO
What's an REO?
"REO" or Real Estate Owned are homes which have completed the foreclosure process that the bank or mortgage company currently possesses. This is unlike real estate up for foreclosure auction.
When buying a property during a foreclosure sale, you must pay at least the loan balance plus any interest and other fees added during the foreclosure process. You must also be prepared to pay with cash in hand. Finally, you'll accept the property 100% as is. That possibly could consist of prevailing liens and even current occupants that need to be evicted.
A bank-owned property, on the contrary, is a more tidy and attractive deal. The REO property did not find a buyer during foreclosure auction. The bank now owns it. The bank will take care of the elimination of tax liens, evict occupants if needed and generally prepare for the issuance of a title insurance policy to the buyer at closing.
Do be aware that REOs may be exempt from typical disclosure requirements. For instance, in California, banks are not required to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that usually requires sellers to reveal any defects they are aware of. By hiring EG Real Estate Consultants, you can rest assured knowing all parties are fulfilling North Carolina state disclosure requirements.
Is REO property in Charlotte a bargain?
It's frequently assumed that any foreclosure must be a good buy and a chance for guaranteed profit. This often isn't true. You have to be very careful about buying a REO if your intent is to make money off of it. Even though the bank is usually anxious to offload it quickly, they are also motivated to get as much as they can for it.
Look closely at the listing and sales prices of comparable homes in the neighborhood when making an offer on an REO. And factor in any repairs or upgrades necessary to prepare the house for resale or moving in. It is possible to find REOs with money-making potential, and many people do very well buying foreclosures. However there are also many REOs that are not good buys and not likely to turn a profit.
Ready to make an offer?
Most mortgage companies have staff dedicated to REO that you'll work with in buying REO property from them. Usually the REO department will use a listing agent to get their REO properties listed on the local MLS.
Before making your offer, I will contact either the listing agent or REO department at the bank and find out everything I can about what they know concerning the condition of the property and what their process is for getting offers. Since banks typically sell REO properties "as is", it may be in your best interest to include an inspection contingency in your offer that gives you time to check for unseen damage and retract the offer if you find it. I often recommend using an engineer who is affordable and can tell you more than just a home inspector. As with making any offer on real estate, your offer may be more attractive if you can include documentation of your ability to pay, such as a pre-approval letter from a lender.
After you've presented your offer, you can expect the bank to make a counter offer. From there it will be your decision whether to accept their counter, or submit another counter offer. Your deal could be final in one day, but that's usually not the case. Since offers and counter offers usually allow a day or more for the other party to respond (and employees at a bank don't work nights or weekends) you could be looking at a week or longer.
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