Whether it is your first time or not, buying a property is no joke. You need a good plan, a good team and a lot of patience. If you are thinking about buying your first property in Chapel Hill, NC, here’s some useful info every buyer should be aware of.
Hiring a real estate agent
Your agent is your number one helper in the buying process. Selecting a decent real estate agent is not that hard if you ask the right people. The best way to find one is through personal referrals from other buyers. The agent you hire must have:
- a license in NC,
- a good reputation,
- plenty of experience in Chapel Hill.
Hiring a professional real estate agent costs nothing since the seller normally pays the entire real estate commission!
Reasons for hiring an agent before buying your first property in Chapel Hill
Hiring a buyer’s agent is not mandatory, nor is it necessary for everyone. However, since you are a first-time buyer in Chapel Hill, diving into these new waters on your own is quite a risk. Therefore, to ensure you never regret this purchase, hire an agent when buying your first property in Chapel Hill. These are some of the reasons why you should work with an agent:
- The agent’s knowledge of the NC real estate market, average prices, and Chapel Hill neighborhoods probably exceeds yours.
- Your agent can send you listings that fit your needs, even inform you about new listings that are not yet on the market.
- Some agents offer to preview properties for you.
- Your agent has enough experience to notice the properties’ flaws you would not see yourself.
- They can handle most of the paperwork that goes with buying your first property in Chapel Hill.
- They can connect you to other professionals whose assistance you’ll need. Chapel Hill can offer you some great movers, home inspectors, lawyers, … and your agent knows where to find them.
- Your agent can negotiate the deal with the seller on your behalf.
- When touring properties, you don’t have to pay for the gas.
Finding the right property in Chapel Hill
Most future buyers do a lot of online research before they start visiting open houses. This saves you not only a lot of time but also a lot of energy. House hunting is exhausting. That is a fact. Even when you know the property is going to be all yours. It might seem fun and exciting at first, but the more you search, the more restless you become. Seeing too many homes at once can be overwhelming. Our advice is not to schedule visiting more than seven properties at a time. And when you get anxious, just remember that the more you look, the closer you are to finding “the one” and moving in with the help of movingkingsnc.com. Once you decide on the neighborhood, you are almost done. Two or three home tours are typically enough to find the winner.
Obtaining a loan
We advise you to get a loan pre-approval in advance. That way, you know what you can afford, hence, you can make a better selection and save a ton of time. Moreover, a lot of sellers won’t take you seriously unless they are sure you can get a loan for buying your first Chapel Hill property. First-time buyer loans have a minimum down payment requirement that is lower than usual. Ask your agent to refer you to a mortgage broker or check with your bank to compare the types of mortgages you can get.
Comparing the prices
Buyers often compare the sales prices of the properties they are interested in. This is a mistake. The sellers can put any price – that does not mean the price is realistic and the property will be sold at that price. This is a step your buyer’s agent can help you with by providing comparable sales and examining the pending sales. Comparable sales are similar properties that have been sold within the past three-month period.
North Carolina Property Disclosure Statement
The North Carolina law requires sellers to give buyers a disclosure form that provides details concerning the property. Issues like defects in the plumbing, electrical, and other systems, conditions like contaminated soil, pest infestation, the presence of asbestos, homeowners’ association fees and services provided in return, etc. should be mentioned. However, sellers are not expected to tell you everything but only the things they know about. The seller can also opt for the “no representation” option on the disclosure form. Furthermore, certain types of properties (newly built, never inhabited) are not subject to state-required disclosure rules.
Hiring a home inspector before buying your first property in Chapel Hill
The seller’s disclosure is not enough. Having a professional examine the property is a good way to ensure you are making a smart choice. There could be a million things wrong with the property you won’t notice. An independent home inspector will produce a report on the property’s condition. If any defects are found, sellers usually either lower the price or do the repairs themselves to prepare the home for selling. Sometimes, the damage is so big that it is an immediate deal breaker.
Purchase agreements in North Carolina
A real estate purchase agreement is a document that contains the terms and conditions of the real estate transaction. This document must be signed by both parties (buyer and seller). It includes the offer to sell/purchase, the acceptance of the offer, the price, and the description of the property. You will need to fill many blanks in the document regarding the things you need to do on your part – things like doing a property inspection, obtaining a mortgage loan, etc.
Title issues in North Carolina
A title company should do a title search before buying your first property in Chapel Hill. This company searches public records and other sources for any liens, easements or other encumbrances or title restrictions. If the title search results in detecting any problems, you should ask the seller to correct these. Consider buying title insurance to protect your title to the property. Mortgage companies often require buyers to have title insurance in connection with getting a loan.