We thought we would take a few minutes to explain the due diligence process and why a buyer in North Carolina has to write two checks when they make an offer on a property. If you would rather “watch” this explanantion than read it, just skip down to the videos below.
Once you and your agent find the property that you are ready to write an offer on your agent is going to ask you to write TWO checks; one to the seller and one to the closing attorney or escrow agent. The first is a due diligence (DD) check and is typically 1/2 % – 1 % of the sales price. This check is written straight to the SELLER and it is exactly what it sounds like; funds to the seller so that you can complete your “due diligence”. During this due diligence period we will help you arrange any inspections you want to have done; including but not limited to a home inspection, a radon inspection, well and septic inspections, lender appraisals, surveys, etc. Per the contract, you are able to terminate your Offer To Purchase ANY time during your due diligence period for ANY reason. Contracts are no longer contingent on home inspections, your loan, or even another house closing. If you as a buyer choose to exercise your right to terminate you dont even have to give a reason, it may even be because you found another house you like better. However, your due diligence funds will not be returned as they were given to the seller at the time of contract to “buy time off of the market”. The seller has lost valuable time off of the market while you were doing your due diligence for their home. However, if you do indeed go to closing on the home, this DD amount is a credit to you at closing.
The second check you will need to write, either at the time of your offer, or if negotiated may be at the end of your due diligence date, is an earnest money deposit (EMD). The EMD says to a seller that you are “earnest” about purchasing their property. This EMD is also typically 1/2 % – 1 % of the sales price, but can be negotiated just like the DD amount. The EMD check is not written to the seller but to the listing company’s trust account, or more commonly to the trust account of the closing attorney that is spelled out on the purchase contract. It is held in escrow until the property either goes to closing or the contract is terminated. If the buyer chooses to terminate the contract in their DD period, per the contract the EMD will go back to the buyer. However, if the buyer ends up terminating the contract AFTER their DD period is over, per the contract, the seller will receive the EMD. This is considered damages to the seller for the buyer breaching the contract, however it does not negate the possibility for any other legal remedy the seller may take for such breach. We like to call the DD date of the contract the “pack up” date for the seller, as they can be assured the buyer has completed their due diligence process and is heading to closing. In addition, just like the DD funds, this EMD is a credit to you at the closing table.
We hope this helps explain why Buyers have to write these checks when they are ready to make an offer on a home. We know this can be a scary and stressful time however Front Porch agents are poised to help you make your home purchase exciting and fun and will help minimze your stress. Having a Front Porch Realty Buyer’s Agent is always absolutely FREE, learn more about Agency relationships in North Carolina HERE.
Contact us today to get started with your home search!
Happy New Year!
As the Owner of Front Porch Realty with 24 years of selling SW Wake county real estate, I take an in depth look at our local real estate market every quarter. You can view our 2019 Year-end Market Update HERE. Volume of homes sold has increased across the board as expected, however we saw a slight shift of new construction homes sold towards a more balanced market. Average sales prices have increased about 4% resulting in our average price per square foot in Wake county $130-$140 for re-sale homes and $140-$150 for new construction homes. We saw little or no change in the average days on market across the board, in our area homes are going under contract in about 30 days or less.
It’s a great time to buy and sell in Holly Springs and Fuquay-Varina! If you are thinking about selling “the easy way” to Zillow, Open Door, etc PLEASE talk to us first. These companies typically charge 8-10% commission on top of leaving lots of your equity on the table. There is a reason these investment companies want to buy your home! I promise we will take care of all of the details for you AND it will cost you much less. In addition, if you are out there looking at new construction homes, be sure and utilize our FREE Buyer’s Agency. The on-site agents at the new construction neighborhoods represent the builders and look out for THEIR best interests, not yours. Why not have an agent on your side? Learn more about NC Agency HERE.
We will be hosting the Fuquay Varina Chamber Business After Hours event on February 13th at our Fuquay Varina office, please SAVE the DATE we would love to see you there. The Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce will be honoring our elected officials and presenting the quarterly Excellence in Education award.
If you would like my quarterly market update delivered to your inbox, let me know. In addition, if we can be of any assistance to you with your real estate needs, I am certain you will be extremely satisfied with any of our Front Porch Realty real estate brokers level of professionalism and expertise.
– welcome home, laura
Tired of renting but not sure if you can afford to purchase a home?
Thinking of selling your home but not sure how to best prepare it for the market?
FRONT PORCH REALTY is having a series of “gathering info” meetings once a month just for you! No pressure environment for you to ask a few questions and get pointed in the right direction. Today’s market is busy and can be somewhat intimidating. We LIVE, EAT, and PLAY in our LOCAL market and we have the expertise to help you.
• Monday, March 25 6-7 pm
• Saturday, April 27 9-10 am
• Monday, May 20 6-7 pm
• Saturday, June 22 9-10 am
• Monday, July 22 6-7 pm
• Saturday, August 24 9-10 am
• Monday, September 23 6-7 pm
• Saturday, October 26 9-10 am
All sessions will be held at our Fuquay-Varina office located at 604 N. Main St., Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526
Register your attendance HERE
As we approach the New Year it is a great time to buy a new home. If sellers are listed at this time of year, you know they need to sell and there’s sure to be less competition when making offers.
Would you like to do a Rent vs. Own Comparison? Need to get Prequalified? Wondering what the current rates are? Interested in Prepayment Savings? All this can be discovered on my webpage, click here.
If you prefer to meet face to face contact me at 919-762-3502 and we can set up an appointment today.
I highly recommend hiring a realtor to help you. The seller typically pays the realtor and they work for you, helping you negotiate the contract and find the perfect home.
Happy House Hunting!
Senior Mortgage Banker/NMLS # 919284
First Citizens Bank
Front Porch Realty chatted with local veteran lender Alex Macklin about finding the right mortgage for your needs. Alex has been a community leader in Fuquay-Varina and Holly Springs for over 20 years and is wonderful at explaining the mortgage process to our clients.
Finding the right mortgage financing program for your new home or construction/permanent project can be complex. Allow me to navigate the complex mortgage products for you and tailor the best financing option for your needs.
With over 20 years of experience in the mortgage business, I can help connect you with the right resources to ensure a positive experience.
From the first-time buyer to the seasoned buyer and even the person who wants to build a new home, I can help prepare you so that you enter into the home buying/building process with confidence.
I encourage clients to take advantage of my free loan pre-qualification service and to make this your first step in the home buying process. The Real Estate market is blazing hot right now and there are multiple offers coming in for most homes on the market. It is important to have your ducks in a row when you are ready to make an offer so that you can increase your odds of having the winning bid. Most purchase offers must be accompanied by a loan pre-qualification letter to ensure that you are a serious and qualified buyer. Don’t lose your opportunity to buy the home of your dreams by skipping this important first step.
Since 1950, United Community Bank, “The Bank That Service Built” has provided our clients with the service level of a community bank but with the resources of a larger bank. UCB offers all of the standard Conventional, FHA, USDA and VA loan programs but we also offer niche portfolio products that help us offer financing to a broader client base.
One example is a cost savings single-close construction to permanent program for clients who wish to build and finance a new home. By closing the construction and permanent loan at one single attorney closing, there are no additional fees at the end of the process. The program also allows for a one time float down option on the interest rate when the home is complete so you can capture the best rate the market has to offer while at the same time receiving rate protection during the construction period.
Other unique product offerings include:
• Conforming and Jumbo Portfolio loans
• Special 100% financing programs with no Mortgage Insurance for Medical Doctors and Dentists
• PATH affordable housing program for the purchase of an owner occupied primary residence with 100% financing, fixed interest rate and no mortgage insurance for certain census tracks within United Community Bank’s footprint
Join me and the team at Front Porch Realty to make homeownership a reality!
Vice-President/Sr. Mortgage Loan Originator
United Community Bank Mortgage Services
325 N. Judd Parkway, Suite 200
Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526
Website: United Community Bank
Real Estate brokers have sometimes been accused of “shortening our words” or using terms that we think everyone already knows! So, here’s a little helpful guide, if you have trouble navigating real estate terminology!
What it says versus What it means
conveys with sale … it will STAY with the home
EIK … eat in kitchen
SS … stainless steel
HDW, HWF, Hdwd ….. hardwood floors
FDR ….. formal dining room
MLS...multiple listing system
FSBO ….. for sale by owner
Pre-approval … based on information you are able to provide to the lender. This will look much better than a pre-qualification to the seller.
Pre-qualified …. based on a 5 minute phone call to the lender and only on what you tell the lender. This is needed in order to even make an offer on a home.
due diligence funds …the funds the buyer gives the seller at time of contract to “buy time” off the market while they do their due diligence
due diligence or DD…all of the inspections and loan process, etc a buyer can exercise on a prospective home during their due diligence time period
Due diligence money- is non-refundable The good news is the money is typically credited towards the purchase of the home at closing.
Earnest money is “good faith” money. The buyer is showing the seller they are serious about buying the home.
contingency … a contract on a home that is dependent on you selling your existing home
3 BR/2BA 3 bedrooms and 2 baths
I’m sure we’ve missed a few, feel free to leave comments with any you might still be wondering about and we’ll do our best to define them.
We are here to help you navigate your real estate needs and ALL the terms that come along with that!
Front Porch Realty recently sat down and spoke with Corey Mullen, at Clay Hamilton’s State Farm Insurance in Fuquay Varina, about the importance of having homeowners insurance and how it works.
Your home is your refuge after a long day of work. It’s the hub of everything that really matters, where you can relax with your family. So you shouldn’t trust just any company to protect it. You should go with an insurer with the financial strength to cover a wide variety of losses, trusted by more homeowners than any other insurer. That’s State Farm®. When the unexpected hits home, a good neighbor can help.
Think of homeowners insurance as financial protection for what the future might bring. For example, if your home were damaged by a fire, or burglars broke in and stole your belongings, your policy could help pay to rebuild your home or replace your possessions.
Without a policy, you’d have to cover those expenses out of your own pocket. So if you’re a homeowner, homeowners insurance is an absolute necessity.
Your policy could help pay for a variety of property and liability claims:
• Your house: This includes your home and other structures on your property, such as a detached garage or a shed.
• Your possessions: This includes personal belongings inside your home, such as your clothing, furniture, and electronics—and with limitations—certain valuables. It could even cover belongings you take with you while away from home.
• Financial protection against lawsuits: In certain situations, your State Farm Homeowners Policy could help protect your finances by paying for damages which you’re legally responsible for, and even your legal defense. For example, the policy could help cover legal defense costs if a visitor accidentally got hurt at your place and took you to court.
Other costs covered by the policy
Your policy may also help pay for:
• Removal of your damaged property after a fire, or other loss covered by the policy.
• Temporary repairs necessary to protect covered property from more damage.
• Extra expenses for your household to live elsewhere, if your home is uninhabitable because of damage covered by the policy.
• Water damage caused by flood.
• Liability for business-related activities
• Liability for intentional injury or property damage
• Damage caused by earthquake or mudslide
You may want to talk to your agent about a separate earthquake policy.
With coverage directly through the federal government. There is generally a 30-day waiting period for the policy to go into effect
A “deductible” is the amount that you are responsible for when you file a claim. Your deductible can be a fixed amount, such as $1,000 or $2,000, or a percentage of the coverage amount, such as one or two percent. So if your home is covered for $200,000 and you have a one percent deductible, your deductible is $2,000.
Here’s how a deductible works: say you file a claim for $10,000 after a burglary, and you had chosen a fixed amount deductible of $1,000. So the policy covers you for $9,000 and you are only responsible for $1,000.
Generally, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium. But with a higher deductible, your financial responsibility would be higher if you file a claim. Your agent can help you determine the deductible that’s right for you.
Your State Farm Homeowners Policy has coverage limits on certain types of property, such as computers, collectibles, jewelry, and other valuables.
Here’s an example: Suppose your home had been broken into and your computer and printer were stolen. If the policy limit for home computers and equipment was $5,000, the policy would reimburse you up to that limit after your deductible has been met.
The choice is yours, but State Farm recommends you choose a coverage limit at least equal to your home’s estimated replacement cost: the amount necessary to rebuild your entire home. (The replacement cost isn’t the same as the market value, which is the price you can expect your home to yield on the market.)
If you choose a coverage amount less than the estimated replacement cost, you may not be eligible for certain coverages. Since no one can say what the exact cost will be to replace your home in the future, you’ll need enough coverage to account for unforeseen circumstances.
For a replacement cost estimate, you can ask a contractor, hire a professional replacement cost appraisal service, or ask your State Farm agent to help you develop an estimate. Make sure to point out any architectural details or unique building materials that affect your estimate.
As your life changes, your home may change along with it. We recommend you review your homeowners’ coverage if:
• You move, improve your existing home, or build a new home.
• You add a fire and/or burglar alarm system.
• You purchase items—such as home computers, jewelry, and furs—that might exceed your basic coverage.
To help make sure your coverage is up to date, it’s a good idea to review your policy with your agent every year.
Extra coverage you just might need. Depending on your situation, you may need separate, broader coverage for additional financial protection.
|Have concerns about your personal liability?||A Personal Liability Umbrella Policy (PLUP) for extra liability coverage in increments of $1 million, in case you’re sued for damages that exceed your State Farm Homeowners or Auto Policy liability limits.|
|Own jewelry, fine arts or other valuables?||Other policy options or a Personal Articles Policy (PAP), which can give you higher coverage limits or broader protection.|
|Work out of your home?||Other policy options for home business coverage, which may cover your business-related property and liability. You may also want to consider a separate, more comprehensive business policy for your home-based business.|
|Want to protect yourself against identity fraud?||Adding the Identity Restoration Coverage Endorsement to your State Farm Homeowners Policy. It offers coverage for specific expenses caused by identity fraud and case management services to help counteract the effects of identity fraud.|
Clay Hamilton and Corey Mullen are available to answer all of your insurance questions.
STATE FARM® INSURANCE AGENT, FUQUAY VARINA, NC
1000 N Main Street Suite 101
Fuquay Varina, NC 27526
Cory Mullen, Insurance and Financial Sales Advisor
1000 N Main Street Suite 101
Fuquay-Varina, N.C 27526
Cell at 919-356-3607
When a market is hot, finding and buying a home can feel like an uphill battle. In a seller’s market, homes go quickly. They can be on the market one day and gone the next. And on top of the challenge of finding a home, most homes (especially the desirable ones) have multiple offers, making it harder to get into the home of your dreams.
But buying a home in a hot market isn’t impossible! You just have to approach it strategically and stack the deck in your favor to find – and successfully buy – the right home for you and your family.
Here are four tips for buying a home in a hot market that will put you a step ahead of the home-buying competition:
When faced with multiple offers, sellers are going to go with the offer that’s the most attractive, both in offer amount and the actual terms of the offer. So if you want to stand out from other potential homebuyers and make an impact on the sellers, you need to make your offer as attractive as possible.
The first thing you can do to make your offer attractive is to put more money down towards the house. Cash offers are always the most attractive, but that’s unrealistic for most people. So if you can offer a larger down payment than the standard 20%, that will immediately make your offer stand out.
If you don’t have extra cash, there are other ways to make your offer more attractive to sellers. You can offer a short inspection period and agree to take the property as is, which will sweeten the deal for sellers (just make sure you know what you’re getting into; obviously, any large repairs discovered during inspection can add a significant cost to owning the property). Or, if the owners want to stay in the house longer (for example, to finish out the school year), you can offer to rent the home back to them after purchase and delay your move in.
Anything you can do to make your offer more attractive to sellers will up your chances of landing a home in a hot market.
In a hot market, the sellers are the ones holding the cards. And if you want to find a home, you need to be willing to be flexible.
Chances are, when you find a property, there are going to be things about it that don’t fit your image of your “perfect” home. But if you wait too long on a property or ask for too much from the sellers in terms of repairs or changes, you risk losing out to other people who are ready to make a move.
Don’t budge on your non-negotiables; you want to be happy with your home purchase and not feel like you moved too quickly out of fear you wouldn’t find another property in such a competitive market. But don’t let a great home slip through your fingers because you aren’t willing to be flexible in your wants and needs in a home. Because in a hot market if you’re not willing to be flexible, someone else will be.
While you always want to get the best deal possible on your home purchase, a hot market isn’t the time to go in with an ultra conservative offer. In sellers markets, houses routinely go for well above asking price. And while you don’t necessarily have to make an offer that’s above asking price, if you want to land a home in a hot market, you need to be aggressive.
If you find a property you love, talk to your real estate agent to come up with a strategy to make your offer aggressive and competitive. Look at the recent sales in the neighborhood to get an idea of what homes are selling for and make sure your offer is in line with the recent comps. Make your offer competitive, but don’t commit to more than you can comfortably pay.
It seems like a minor detail, but when you’re looking to buy in a hot market, is a good idea to write a personal note to the sellers.
When faced with similar offers, many sellers end up following their emotions and going with the potential buyer they most want to sell to. And by writing a personal, sincere letter that introduces yourself and your family and lets the sellers know why you want to purchase their home, you can differentiate yourself from other potential buyers, appeal to their emotional side, and land the home.
Buying in a hot market isn’t easy, but it’s possible. And with these tips, you’ll put yourself a step ahead of the competition and get yourself a few steps closer to buying your home.
To view homes that we currently have listed or that are currently on the market please visit our website.
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This week we have a “Guest Post” written by one of our Mortgage Professionals, Jennifer Miller with Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company.
To Buy or Not to Buy?
You’ve heard the news reports on the housing market in our lately – low inventory, good prices, quick sales – and maybe you’re wondering where you fit into this latest market swing.
We should probably start with the news reports. Yes, it’s true that in some price ranges, namely homes priced under $300,000 there is low inventory. The same cannot be said for higher priced homes, especially those priced above $500,000; there are still plenty of homes available at that price point. And yes, the appraisals are coming back at reasonable levels; meaning that in many cases the appraised value and the sales price are matching up; although that’s not always the case. As far as quick sales, well that depends on how you define “quick”. Most people are closing in the normal 30 to 45 day range.
When you’ve got a home to sell…
So, should you pursue your dream home, or the home that’s closer to work so that you can eliminate that 45 minute commute you face twice daily? Putting your house on the market requires effort, commitment and sometimes, money.
The effort and money come in once you’ve had a Realtor to your home for a preliminary meeting. The first order of business is deciding whether you feel comfortable listing your home at a price comparable to what other homes in your area are selling for. If the answer is yes, then it’s likely that your Realtor will want you to change or improve your home in a few areas. You may need to “de-clutter” and pack away your belongings that you’re not using every day to make the home appear larger. You may be asked to paint, install new carpet or work on the landscaping to improve the homes’ curb appeal. Depending on how handy you are; you may be able to do some, or all of those things yourself; without having to pay a professional. Certainly, that is the least expensive way to go. If you can’t do these things on your own or if you’re too busy to attempt them you may find yourself shelling out up to $2,500.00 to cover these costs.
This is where the commitment component kicks in: if you’re not really committed to selling your home, chances are that you’re not going to be very motivated to get all this work done. Realtors are fairly savvy these days when it comes to assessing their clients’ needs and wants. If you want a nicer home but you don’t really need one your Realtor may decide that you’re not the right client for them.
What if you’re not currently a home owner?
Maybe you’re a young professional who’s never owned a home before, or maybe you owned a home previously in another state or at a different time in your life. If you’re wondering whether a good time to buy is now, the short answer is yes!
As I said at the beginning there is some low inventory with homes priced under $300,000.00; however, if you don’t look for a home then you surely won’t fine one, and there are homes to be found even in that price range. So what else do you need to consider in a home purchase? First, do you have enough money to buy a home?
The Price Tag…..
There are several loan programs available that will get you into a home for zero or a very low down payment with reasonable interest rates. But you will need to have some cash to cover expenses like the appraisal ($450) which is paid upfront and out-of-pocket in the home buying process. You will also need money for closing costs, which come due on the day you sign the promissory note at closing.
If you don’t have enough cash to cover the closing costs, talk to your realtor about negotiating these into the sales contract. There is an easy way to handle this scenario. Let’s say that you want to purchase a home that’s listed at $187,500.00. You would like to pay $185,000 for the house and you know that you need $5,000 to help cover closing costs. Simply ask your Realtor to write the offer to purchase for $190,000 with the seller paying $5,000 in closing costs.
Show me the Money…
But how do you know how much closing costs are going to be? And, how do you know if you earn enough money to be able to qualify for a mortgage loan to begin with? Now we come to the crux of the matter. The best way to answer these questions is to call me and start the application process. With just a little information, I can quickly see if you can be prequalified for a mortgage loan. I can also make sure that you’re taking advantage of the best loan programs available.
Home-ownership is part of the American dream; and with interest rates still at historically low levels now is a great time to explore your options. Call me today and let’s get started on getting you into the home of your dreams!
Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company
6736 Falls of Neuse Road Suite 120
Raleigh, NC 27615
Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company, Inc. NMLS # 1788. Licensed in North Carolina L-127865. Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company, Inc. is not affiliated with the Real Estate Agent and/or Brokerage identified in this advertisement, you are not required to use Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company, Inc. to obtain mortgage financing. This advertisement is provided for informational purpose only. www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org. Not all borrowers will qualify. This is not a commitment to lend. [Insert and program and/or additional disclaimers]. Equal Housing Lender.
Who needs a Buyers Agent Anyway? I just want someone to show me a house! Do I really need an agent “on my side”?
The answer is ABSOLUTELY!!!
Thankfully, for the homeowners and perspective homeowners of NC, the NC Real Estate Commission has given us AGENCY. This means when a consumer wants to buy and/or sell real property in our state, they can be represented in various ways by a real estate broker.
Did you know that having a buyer’s agent represent you is 100% FREE. Meaning for anyone entering into a Buyer’s Agency Agreement with a Front Porch Realty Broker, we don’t charge a single fee!
That’s right, you can have a professional agent working for ONLY YOU when you purchase a home for absolutely no cost. And we highly recommend hiring one, here’s why:
Not only is your Buyer’s Agent going to assist you in finding the perfect home for you, they are also going to help you make an informed offer and strategically negotiate that offer because we know what it takes in our current competitive seller’s market of today to get YOUR offer accepted. Once you are under contract for your new home, we are seasoned in getting you through the entire due diligence process and on to closing.
A recent Front Porch Realty Buyer client, Molly explains “…when buying a home, it is very important to have an agent on your side because they are able to guide you and inform you of all of the possible situations that are important to investigate about a possible property. If we didn’t have a Buyer’s Agent with our last home we wouldn’t have ever taken the extra steps in researching the property… because we just didn’t know what we didn’t know!”
Interested in buying a home? Contact FRONT PORCH REALTY today and let us work for YOU!