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.
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.
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!
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 email@example.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.
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.
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.
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
Lauren was great. She took the time to help me find the best house for my needs. She knows all of the Charlotte area. She helped me negotiate a great price and also helped me throughout the entire process. This was extremely important to me as I was relocating across the country. I would...
September 4, 2019
Lauren was absolutely the very best helping us close on our new townhouse! She was super friendly but more importantly very knowledgeable on the new construction housing details that helped us understand the process! Please don’t hesitate in choosing Lauren on your housing needs, we loved working...
March 9, 2021
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
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
Our family decided to move to Charlotte from Arlington, VA. A long distance sale can be difficult for a number of reasons, but Lauren was fantastic. I think it takes a special realtor to navigate the intricacies of buying long distance. She was willing to see any home that we expressed an interest...
March 11, 2018
Rachel was amazing and supportive through all the ups and downs buying a home these days can create. She was so genuinely invested in helping us find the perfect home that she may have been more excited than we were when we found out our offer was finally accepted. She's a fantastic realtor and an...
May 24, 2021
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
I was in search of the "right" house for more than a year and Rachel was so patient with me as I turned my nose up at more than a few. She knows the Charlotte market very well and was very understanding of the criteria I wanted in a house. When I did find "the one" she worked right alongside me to...
August 6, 2018
Helped make the process of buying a home practically sight unseen from across the country during the height of Covid-19 as easy and painless as it could be.
August 28, 2020
Lauren was fantastic from start to finish. She made our first time home buying experience so smooth and answered any and all of our questions. She is super responsive. Highly recommend her!
September 21, 2020
Rachel was incredible throughout the process, offering insights and recommendations at every step. As a first time homebuyer, Rachel simplified the process. She has a deep network of talented professionals to assist with every aspect of the transaction. I can't say enough about Rachel and look...
February 18, 2020
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
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...
August 5, 2019
Working with Lauren was amazing. For starters, I never once felt pressure to commit to working with her or buying a home. However I wanted to work with her because of how helpful and great to work with she was. Lauren showed me some great options in the areas I was looking in and was very honest...
March 6, 2020
Charlotte Real Estate Agents You Can Trust
Helping clients like you find their dream home in and around Charlotte, NC.