The real estate transaction process:
1. Buyers-obtain a pre-qualification letter from a local mortgage lender. Get recommendations from a Buyers' agent.
2. Buyers-Work with a buyer's agent who will exclusively represent YOU to search for homes and obtain pertinent information on a property. Sellers' agents represent the seller and is unable to give buyers the same service or representation as a buyers' agent.
3. Buyers-Submit and negotiate an offer with the help of your agent. You'll need the pre-qualification letter from your lender or proof of funds if you are paying cash to submit with your offer. Sellers-your agent will help you negotiate the price and terms.
4. Offer Acceptance and due diligence. Buyers-Once the offer is accepted, your agent will help set up inspections on the property. The buyer is responsible to find out everything there is to know about the property and is responsible for the cost of inspections (types of inspections: home, septic, HVAC, pool, bulkhead, fireplace, irrigation, well, structural, mold...to name a few), appraisal, survey, elevation certificate, insurance estimates...etc. The buyers will also immediately work diligently getting all the required documents to the mortgage lender to acquire full loan approval. This is one of the longest processes of the transaction so it is best to have the required documents ready to submit to the lender as soon as possible. The contract will stipulate the due diligence timeframe in which the buyers have to conduct all inspections and decide if they want to move forward to purchasing the home. Sellers must allow access for all inspections during the due diligence process.
5. Negotiate repairs after inspections. Sellers have the option but are not required to agree to make repairs or agree to a concession for repairs. The buyers may make the requests and must decide whether to move forward or terminate the contract based on the responses from the seller. If buyers terminate contract prior to the expiration of the due diligence period, they may be entitled to a refund of their earnest money deposit. If a due diligence fee is involved, that fee is not refundable at any time, however, is credited to the buyers when the property successfully closes to the buyers, as is the due diligence fee.
6. Closing. On closing day, the buyers' agent will schedule a final walk-through of the property with their agent to make sure everything is as it was at the time of the offer. In the seasonal months, if the property is rented by vacationers, it will not be possible to conduct a walk-through on the day of closing. The walk-through will have to be conducted the day of turn-over just prior to closing. The buyers will meet with their own closing attorney to sign the closing documents. Or buyers can close remotely. All monies owed to the buyers or sellers at closing (taxes, HOA fees, deposits...etc) will be pro-rated and will show on the closing documents and handled at the closing table. Once the deed is recorded at the county courthouse (usually at the close of business), the keys to the property are handed over to the buyers as the new homeowners!
7. Celebration and enjoyment begins! Congratulations to the buyers for buying their dream home on the Outer Banks and to the sellers for the opportunity to pursue new adventures!
If you have questions concerning the real estate process on the Outer Banks, just let me know. I am here to help! email@example.com, 252-207-1147.