FAQ | Buying a home in Charlotte, NC

You’ve probably got a ton of questions about buying a home here in Charlotte. Below you’ll find answers to our most frequently asked questions about purchasing a new home in the Charlotte area.

Contact an Agent!

Call: 574-261-8221
Email: group@winfieldgroupclt.com
Visit: 933 Louise Ave #101, Charlotte, NC 28204

What is all this paperwork?

Working with Real Estate Agents.

This page explains our relationship and why it is important to understand the agency agreements.

Buyer Agency Agreements.

This agreement protects your confidentiality when sharing information with us and allows us to work on your behalf.

We are required to sign this before we can write an offer on a home.

Offer to Purchase and Contract.

This is the big one, and we will go over this in detail when we meet and prior to submitting any offers.

Professional Services Disclosure & Election.

Acknowledges the participation of all of the vendors and professionals who could be involved in this transaction.

Questions & Answers on Home Inspections.

This explains the importance of a home inspection.

Pre-approval Process

The first and most important part of getting into a home is getting pre-approved through a lender.

The Winfield Group works with several qualified and helpful lenders who are happy to sit down with you to figure out which financing option works best for you.

Without knowledge of what you’re qualified for, it is impossible for us to do our job.

How and when do I schedule showings?

As soon as we discuss criteria, price preference, neighborhoods, etc, we will set you up on an automated email search from MLS that will update every day.

If you see any you like, email me or mark them in the auto email.

We will do an independent search of homes and try to find properties that match your criteria.

While we work hard to accommodate all requests, we ask our buyers to please try to give us at least 24-hour notice of any desired showing times.

However, it’s a fast market so we will try my best to accommodate all requests!

What is the best way to reach you?

Please feel free to reach out anytime via cell or email. Because much of our day is spent out in the field, the best way to get ahold of our agents quickly is through text.

Going under contract…

We’ll of course go through this in detail when the time comes. The most important thing to remember is that we have a system in place to ensure all deadlines and dates are being met.

Christine Dokken is my closing coordinator and handles all of the back-end paperwork. From contract to close, please CC her on all communication at christinedokken@kw.com!

Earnest money vs. Due Diligence money

For a first-time homebuyer or someone who hasn’t purchased in a while, the difference between earnest money and due diligence money can be confusing.

Earnest Money is the ‘down payment’ for the home that will be deposited into an escrow account at the closing attorney’s office.

At close, this amount will be credited toward your sale.

If the contract falls through for whatever reason during due diligence period, you will get this money back. This amount is typically close to 1% of purchase price.

The Due Diligence money is a fee paid directly to the seller and in turn the seller takes the home off the market for an agreed upon amount of time (due diligence period).

If, for whatever reason, the contract falls through, the seller gets to keep this money. This amount is negotiable and typically ranges from $500–$1000.

We will advise on an amount based on the popularity of the property and neighborhood averages.

What fees am I responsible for during the closing process and at the closing table?

Earnest Money and Due Diligence.

The buyer is responsible for earnest money and due diligence. These fees will be taken out of your account initially, but credited back toward your purchase at the closing table.

Home Inspections.

Buyer is responsible for all home inspections (termite, radon, other specialists, survey, etc.) Not all houses need the same inspections and some are buyer preference.

We will go over which ones are important to your purchase. A standard home inspection costs around $400–$500. Termite inspection $75–100, Radon ~$175


Your lender will order your appraisal after going under contract. Appraisals are typically between $400–$500.

Closing costs.

Every loan has closing costs: attorney fees, lender fees, taxes, insurance, recording fees, etc.

Your lender will be able to give you total estimate of these fees. They typically run between 2–5% of the purchase price of the home.

In some instances you can ask the seller to pay for some or all of these fees. In a competitive market it is not recommended, but each property sale is different and we will recommend the best offer. This is not collected until we are at the closing table and this amount is in addition to your down payment.

Home Warranty.

A home warranty protects your house for a year after your purchase. It is not required, but highly recommended.

This is also an item that the seller can agree to pay for and in many instances, a seller will purchase a home warranty for the buyer.

How do home inspections work?

Clients are able to hire any inspection company they feel comfortable with. We can provide a list of highly skilled inspectors.

Inspections will be scheduled immediately following a signed contract. You are not required to be at an inspection, but it’s highly recommended to attend if you are able.

Inspections can take up to 3 hours so if you cannot make the whole time, it is important to come at the end where the inspector will go over the report in detail.

We will always do our best to attend inspections. Inspection reports can often be overwhelming and long.

An inspector’s job is to note all findings whether they are of concern or not.

We will go over the report to ensure that all your questions are answered.

From here, we can go back to the seller and negotiate for them to repair or provide a concession for items that are of concern.

What is the process from contract to close?

As soon as a contract is in hand, it will be sent to the closing attorney’s office as well as the lender. The closing attorney will begin title work and make sure the title is secure and transferable.

The lender will order the appraisal and I will schedule the inspections. This all works simultaneously to ensure a fast and smooth closing.

A typical contract to close is 30–45 days.

The closing table

This is the fun part! Closing will take place at the closing attorney’s office. Your lender will give you your final payments at least 3 days prior to closing and you will be able to wire the funds.

At closing all you will need is a pen and it will take about 1 hour to complete all the signing.

Then the keys are yours and you are a homeowner!

Home Buying Success Stories

  • Zillow 5 Star Review  My husband and I have had the absolute pleasure of working with Rachel twice, both buying and selling homes. If you are looking for an agent will will go above and beyond for you, Rachel who you want to work with! She managed the entire process with professionalism even the difficult hiccups with...

    Brittany Masty
    August 5, 2019

    Zillow 5 Star Review  Rachel was a fantastic agent that helped us navigate being first time home buyers. She answered all the many questions and was very helpful through the whole process. She was very accessible and quick to respond to all emails/messages. Would highly recommend!

    September 24, 2020

    Zillow 5 Star Review  Lauren was super helpful during our investment property search. She listened to us when we stated what we were looking for, and came up with multiple properties for us to see in areas that we hadn’t considered before. She guided us through the negotiation and close process making it as seamless as...

    kate beam
    October 31, 2018
  • Zillow 5 Star Review  Lauren is definitely the most personable and hard-working realtor you’ll ever find in the Charlotte area. Lauren was great to work with. She is always on time and was always prepared. No matter what time I call with a question, she was there to give me an answer. Thank you for the smooth transition...

    February 27, 2019

    Zillow 5 Star Review  Lauren was amazing! She walked me through everything step by step. There was never a time I felt unsure or had questions she was unable to answer. She always gave me her honest opinion and backed that information with trends from the market. If you are looking for someone to make your home...

    Porscha Tucker
    August 28, 2018

    Zillow 5 Star Review  Great agent, let me choose which houses to check out and didn't try to sway my decisions. Made sure stay within my budget when presenting possible houses for sale.

    February 27, 2019
  • Zillow 5 Star Review  As a first time buyer I could not have asked for better in a real estate agent. Lauren was extremely knowledgeable, responsive, professional, & friendly. I couldn't recommend her more.

    December 18, 2020

    Zillow 5 Star Review  Working with Diane was the smartest choice we made in our home buying process. She is not only knowledge about the area and each of the neighborhoods, but she is incredibly responsive and available not just for showings but for all communications from start to finish. She is incredibly...

    October 8, 2019

    Zillow 5 Star Review  Lauren helped my wife and I by our first house and I cannot imagine a better buying experience. She made sure every step of the process went as smoothly as it could, I never felt lost on what we need to be doing next and she was always very friendly and quick to respond anytime we had a question.

    JeffLape Dis
    September 20, 2019
  • Zillow 5 Star Review  Lauren was instrumental in selling my townhouse. It was literally on the market for 14 hours before we were under contract. She worked swiftly to help organize all things that were necessary for selling. She was a great help, and I would definitely refer family & friends to her for buying or...

    June 5, 2018

    Zillow 5 Star Review  We had a wonderful experience buying and selling with Rachel. The communication was always easy and fast. She always made herself available for showings and helped guide us towards our ultimate dream home. Most importantly Rachel sticks to her word and always delivers on what she says. Would always...

    August 31, 2020

    Zillow 5 Star Review  Rachel was awesome! I’d absolutely recommend Rachel to anyone looking to buy a house in the Charlotte area. She had a great feel for the market, was always quick to respond to emails, and was flexible enough to show us houses as our work schedule allowed. As first time home buyers we needed a...

    July 27, 2020
  • Zillow 5 Star Review  Lauren was super helpful during our investment property search. She listened to us when we stated what we were looking for, and came up with multiple properties for us to see in areas that we hadn’t considered before. She guided us through the negotiation and close process making it as seamless as...

    October 31, 2018

    Zillow 5 Star Review  Diane went above and beyond in assisting me with the search for my new home. She took my “wish list” of features and left no stone unturned! Diane made every attempt to work around my schedule and made it extremely convenient to view potential properties.

    Kelly Jones
    October 23, 2019

    Zillow 5 Star Review  Lauren is a very knowledgeable and sincere Realtor. I did not know her before starting my home search in Charlotte, but was very happy that Zillow paired me with such an outstanding Realtor.

    William Yeramian
    October 5, 2021

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