Being a Well Prepared Buyer

The Charlotte Real Estate Market is extremely competitive - Here are some tips on how to be well prepared for a successful New Home Purchase.

I am regularly seeing properties go to multiple offers within days and sometimes within hours of listing so you need to make sure that you are ready to bring the strongest offer possible to bring to the table.

1. Qualify for a Mortgage

BEFORE you find a house the FIRST thing to do is to call to your lender.  If you need help finding a great lender let us know - we can help.

Make sure you ask the following questions 

  • How much can I borrow?

  • How much will my monthly payment be?

  • What are your fees?

  • How quickly can you close the loan?

2.  Hire a Buyers' Agent

Not sure why you need a Buyers' Agent?  
In most cases the SELLER pays the Buyers' Agent commission - so being represented properly will cost you nothing.  You should have your own agent represent you in any transaction.  If you decide to work with the seller's agent (for example in new construction) remember they don't represent you - they represent their own client, the seller's best interests. 

Buyer's Agents have the following skills

  • Local Knowledge - they know the areas where you can find the house you want at the price you can afford

  • Understand the Process - they can guide you through the various contracts and stages of the process

  • Introduce you to other Professionals - they know attorneys, inspectors, lenders and other professionals you need to have a successful transaction

  • Expert negotiators - negotiating is difficult but your Buyers' Agent is expert in negotiating all aspects of the contract, repair etc. 

3.  Build a "Must Have" and a "Would Like" list.

Keep the "Must Have" section short.   In a very competitive market too many "Must Haves" will be too limiting. 

  • Number of Bedrooms/Bathrooms

  • General Location

  • Single Family or Townhouse or Condo

  • Price Point

  • New construction / Fixer Upper etc. 

Be realistic about "Would Like" items.  It may also help to rank them as you will likely have to compromise

  • Fenced Yard

  • Neighborhood Amenities

  • Layout requirements like Master on Main

  • 3 car garage

Share these lists with your agent as they will be able to tell you how realistic your expectations are and may also guide you to neighborhoods you haven't considered where homes can satisfy your wish list in your price range. 

4.  Understand the terms of the Contract.

When you're ready to make an offer on that house of your dreams you won't be interested in reading and understanding the boring contract terms!

Ask your agent to review the "Offer to Purchase" contract ahead of time and make sure you understand it. 

Important items include

  • Due Diligence Fee and Due Diligence Period

  • Earnest money

  • The difference between fixtures and personal property

  • Requests for Seller paid Closing Costs or Seller paid Home Warranty

  • Home Owner Association Dues & Special Assessments

  • Closing Date

5. Think about the other professionals you will need on your team.

In additions to your lender and real estate agent you will need a variety of other professionals.  Knowing which firm or vendor you'll be using ahead of time can help make the purchase process run more smoothly.  Ask your agent for recommendations. 

  • Attorney

  • Inspector

  • Surveyor

  • Tax Advisor / Accountant

  • Repair & Maintenance professionals

6.  Go find your dream home!

  • Expect some disappointments - hopefully this won't happen to you but in a competitive market not everyone will get the house they want. 

  • Bargains are more difficult to come by and well presented, fairly priced homes are selling fast.

  • This means that you need to be ready to look at homes as soon as they come to market -  Ask your Buyer's Agent to provide immediate notification of any homes which are listed which meet your criteria

  • If a new listing is appealing to you - don't wait to view it!  In some areas and price ranges homes go to multiple offers within days or even hours

7.  Prepare your strongest offer.

  • Make sure you see recent comps so your offer is realistic and appropriate.

  • Be prepared to bid a little more if you know there are multiple offers but know what your maximum is.

  • Remember that price isn't the only negotiable item in the contract - sometimes the ability to close quickly or offering a high due diligence fee can clinch the deal

  • Don't be disheartened if you don't get this one... move on, keep looking and learn from the experience!


Our Agents know how to guide you through the Home Buying process!  We work hard for you and take the time to make sure that you find your dream home. 


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(704) 408 0733

PO Box 481487, Charlotte NC 28269


Charlotte and the Lake

Louise Norton
(704) 408 0733

PO Box 481487, Charlotte NC 28269

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