Whether a first-time home buyer or a seasoned veteran of real estate purchases, you are bound to have questions about purchasing a home. The following is a list of the most common questions I get asked as a Charlotte real estate agent:
This question is asked by buyers all the time and the answer is typically, NO! There are some cases where a realtor represents both the buyer and seller in a transaction; however, this is not normal due to North Carolina Agency laws.
What is an ‘Agency’? Agency is the term used to describe the relationship between the realtor and the client. It spells out the duties and expectations between a buyer agent and the buyer or the relationship between the selling agent (sometimes called the listing agent) and the client.
As a buyer agent, the agent only represents the buyer. This means that they negotiate on behalf of the buyer and maintain a level of confidentiality. This means the agent will not share confidential information about you to the seller or the seller’s agent. Its the same type of relationship you would have with your attorney or your tax accountant.
Click here for more information on the relationship between a realtor and their client.
Home Buying Question 2: How much do you charge to represent me?
Good news for home buyers! Realtor compensation, called a commission, is paid 100% by the seller! The standard commission in North Carolina for residential real estate transactions is 6%. This amount is split equally between the buyer agent and the selling agent, with each agent receiving 3% of the contract price for the home you are purchasing. For example, if you are buying a home for $300,000, the total commission would be $18,000 (300,000 X 6%). Each agent would then receive a commission of $9,000.
It is important that, as a buyer, you engage the help of a buyer agent that is knowledgeable of the transaction process so that they can guide you, advocate for you, and negotiate on your behalf. A good real estate agent is worth their weight in gold!
Home Buying Question 3: Do I need to talk to a lender before I look at houses?
Yes! I recommend that all buyers talk to a lender they are comfortable with or have done business with in the past prior to looking for a home. If working with a first-time buyer, I have reputable lenders that I recommend. (No, I don’t get a kickback for these recommendations, but I like to take good care of my clients, so I send them to lenders who I know will give them the same level of service and care that I do as their buyer agent). A lender collects your income, any debt you have, and general demographic information from you. They then provide you with a pre-qualification letter stating how much money you can afford to spend on a home.
The biggest reason to obtain pre-qualification BEFORE you look at homes is so you don’t waste valuable time looking at homes in the wrong price range. Most people think they have an idea of how much house they can afford. However, several times over the past 24 years I have witnessed a situation where a buyer thinks they can afford much less home or much more home than they are actually qualified to buy. So talk to that lender! Most of them have online applications that are very quick and easy to complete.
Home Buying Question 4: What if I find a house on my own? Can you show it to me?
Absolutely! This is a team effort. No one knows what sort of house you like better than YOU! And, I can’t be everywhere all the time. So if you find a home you like either online or while out driving around Charlotte, shoot me a text with the address or even just the street name and I will get the scoop on it for you! I will also be able to let you know if the house is still available, or if it is already under contract.
Contact me today if you are interested a knowledgable native Charlotte real estate agent assist you in buying a house in the Charlotte area or if you have any other home buying question you would like answered!