10 Steps Towards Purchasing Your Dream Home

How Do You Buy a Home in North Carolina?

To make it easier to buy your dream home in Clayton, Raleigh, Garner or any other real estate market in our area we've provided a step by step process.

"Laurie was amazing! We were in a bit of a rush to find a home and she made time for showings several days in a row in the evenings to fit our schedule."


new home

Steps to Buying a Home


Step 1: Select a REALTOR & Figure Out What You Can Afford

Selects a REALTOR® based on a word of mouth recommendation from a friend or based on top reviews from sites like Google, Yelp and Facebook. Take a look at my reviews. Contact a lender (I will be happy to recommend some reputable ones for you), to become prequalified to purchase a home. During this process, determine your price range based on income and credit reports.

Determine what you'll be comfortable spending on mortgage payments each month, as well as what you can invest initially as a down payment. This handy mortgage calculator can help you estimate your monthly payments.

Keep in mind additional costs like closing costs, fees, homeowners insurance, and taxes will all add to the overall costs. Be sure to check your credit score, and remember that just because you don't have a traditional 20% down payment doesn't mean you can't buy a home!


Step 2: Begin Previewing Homes Within Your Budget

Make a list of all the features you want your dream home to have. Determine exactly where you would like to live, be it a specific city or neighborhood. After you have your lists ready, begin to preview homes within your budget. This is where I come in. I will find you homes that match all of your criteria, that are within your budget, and then begin scheduling tours.


Step 3: Select a Home that Meets All Your Criteria

Once you've found the home that's perfect for you, with all the features you need and for a great price, it's time to make an offer. We'll negotiate the terms together to determine your purchase price, amount of earnest money (the refundable deposit) and due-diligence money.


Step 4: Due Diligence Begins

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Due diligence refers to the non-refundable deposit given directly to the seller. This is the time frame in which the buyer has to do all the inspections, order appraisal and survey, and actually apply for the loan.

If, during this time period, the buyer changes their mind and wants to walk away, they can do so without risk, only losing the due diligence money.


Step 5: Agent Prepares Offer

Per your requests, I prepare an offer, review it with you, and present it to the seller after you sign, initial, and date it.


Step 6: Seller Accepts or Rejects Offer

The seller then chooses to accept or reject the buyer's offer. This usually happens via email. If the seller accepts, then they will sign the offer and send scanned copies of it to the seller's agent. If the seller counters, then the buyer has the option to accept changes, make a counter back, or walk away. The process continues until both parties accept the terms.


Step 7: Earnest Money & End of Due Diligence

money for a house

Once the contract is fully signed, the seller's agent will send a copy to the Buyer, escrow agent for earnest money, and Buyer's lender, and then the earnest money and due diligence checks are delivered to the seller's agent.


Step 8: Inspection Process Begins 

Now is when to schedule home inspections. Using my extensive network of area professionals, I will schedule home and pest inspections, and upon completion, review the results with you. I encourage you, the buyer, to attend these inspections to ensure the house meets all of your standards.

Afterwards, we'll go through the inspection list and determine if the seller needs to repair anything. I will then prepare a Repair Request accordingly and send it to the seller's agent. If the seller agrees to do the repairs, then they will sign the request and begin doing so. Afterwards, I will order a survey and ask the lender to order an appraisal.


Step 9: Closing Negotiation

It's time to close! Select a closing attorney (I will be happy to provide the names of some reputable attorneys) and giver their contact information to the lender. We'll then obtain restrictive covenants (if any exist) from the attorney and reviews during due diligence time period to make sure the terms are acceptable.

Upon termination of the due diligence time period, the earnest money deposit becomes completely non-refundable.

We'll inspect the home one more time to ensure everything meets your needs, and then confirm the closing date with all parties.


Step 10: Close, Deeds, and Keys

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On the day of closing, you'll do one final walk-through to make sure there are no previously hidden issues, then go to the attorney's office to sign the closing documents.

Upon recordation of the deed, the keys are yours. Congrats! You've just purchased your dream home.

Exceptional Home Buyer Resources

If you've been thinking of buying a home, or simply need someone to chat with about your real estate plans, please reach out to me! I'd love to help make all of your real estate dreams come true. If you love small towns like Garner, you should check out Zebulon, Clayton, Knightdale, and Wendell! You won't be disappointed.