buyer resources

Why Use Buyer Agents

Why Use a Buyer's Agent? Your Buyer's Agent protects your interests.

Buying a home is a major transaction and is likely the largest financial investment of your life. The process is filled with financial details and legal technicalities, not to mention the emotional implications. Take out the hassle and guesswork: Do it right with Linda Trevor as your certified ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative): a professional REALTOR® acting in your best interests.  There is great value is leaning on the services and expertise of an experienced buyer agent.

Thinking about going it alone?
Think twice. Linda Trevor & Co. can help you buy a new home in the shortest time, for the best price, with the least hassle.

Think about this:

  • Do you have endless time and energy?
  • Do you know all sorts of people in the industry?
  • Are you a "detail person"?
  • NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® research shows that those working with a Buyer's Representative found homes one week faster and toured three more homes than those who did not use a Buyer's Agent.
  • Put the power of experience in your purchase, at no charge!
  • As your Buyer's Agent, Linda Trevor and her specialists do not charge you anything.Their services are FREE to you! The Seller's Agent pays their fee.

Working with our team means working with a professional REALTOR® who has the knowledge and experience to expedite the process, producing the best results for you in the least amount of time.  We attend seminars, training, and trade shows, educating ourselves to help you meet your real estate dreams.

as your buyer's representative, Linda Trevor & Co. will:

  • Understand your needs and find homes that fit your top requirements.
  • Connect you to lenders  to help pre-qualify you for a mortgage and find properties in your price range.
  • View properties for you and/or take you to tour appropriate homes.
  • Look at comps that have sold in the neighborhood before you make a purchase offer.
  • Help you create an appropriate win-win offer.
  • Present the offer on your behalf.
  • Negotiate for you and your interests!
  • Help you secure your mortgage.
  • Refer you to experts, such as attorneys, inspectors, insurance agents, land surveyors, and movers.
  • Advocate for you throughout the entire process.

property disclosure 

As a Buyer, you're entitled to a property disclosure statement. The disclosure statement is a two-page document prepared by the Seller and discloses any problems (malfunctions or defects) with the major systems of the home. It also discloses any issues with a lot of other improvements, fixtures nuisances, etc.. In fact, a disclosure statement must be furnished to all potential purchasers, except for newly constructed, never-occupied homes.

Some examples of items that are disclosed on these forms are:

  • Foundation, slab, fireplaces/chimneys, floors, windows (including storm windows and screens), doors ceilings, interior and exterior walls, attached garage, patio, deck or other structural components including any modifications.
  • Type of siding.
  • Approximate age of structure
  • Built-in appliances (range/oven, attached microwave, hood/fan, dishwasher, disposal, etc.).
  • Flood Hazard or that the property is in a Federally-designated flood plain.
  • For a complete copy of North Carolina's Property Disclosure, contact Linda Trevor. She will forward a sample or meet with you to discuss it fully.

multiple offers 

Linda Trevor and her team of buyer specialists will present your offer to the Seller's Agent as quickly as possible. However, sometimes sellers receive more than one offer. There is no "first-come, first-served" rule in real estate. Sellers may accept any offer and negotiate with any Buyer (as long as the choice doesn't violate Fair Housing laws).

The law requires that real estate agents treat prospective Buyers honestly and fairly. In most cases, the Seller's Agent will let Linda know that other offers were made; however, the law states that they may not disclose the details of competing offers.

negotiations

Linda Trevor & Co. will have one purpose: negotiating the best possible deal for you. This includes the best:

  • Price
  • Terms
  • Date of possession
  • Repair responsibility and schedule
  • Included furnishings and appliances
  • Inspection approvals

home inspection

Ok, so you've found your dream home and you are ready to make an offer. Wait! Linda Trevor & Co. recommends making your offer contingent upon the home having an acceptable inspection. Don't know who to call? We can refer you to qualified home inspectors. These independent, state-licensed professionals will evaluate the overall condition of the house for you. The inspector will tell you if the home is structurally sound and whether primary systems are in good shape. The inspector will also provide you with a comprehensive, detailed report along with repair recommendations.

Be sure to:

  • Walk around with the inspector as he or she tours the house. Have him or her explain what he sees.
  • Read the written report. This will highlight any concerns.
  • Refer to your purchase offer contract to make sure the seller takes care of any concerns in the appropriate time frame.

homeowner's insurance 

Homeowner's insurance protects you and your house against losses from fire, theft, liability, vandalism, water damage, wind damage, tornadoes, and loss of use. You can buy earthquake, hurricane, and flood insurance separately.

A standard policy requires coverage for at least 80% of the value of your home, excluding land and the foundation. It will usually insure your personal property at actual cash value.

A broad-form policy covers additional things like broken glass and smoke damage.
An all-risk policy covers even more, for example: ice-damaged roofs.
You can also purchase optional guaranteed replacement cost coverage. This will pay to rebuild your home and replace its contents with no depreciation.

reducing premiums

If cost is an issue, you can lower your premiums:

  • With discounts for smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, deadbolt locks, and whole-house alarm systems
  • With a higher deductible
  • By combining your auto and homeowner's policies.

home warranties

A home warranty policy protects you from paying for repairs or replacements caused by an unexpected failure of a major system or appliance. You'll have to pay a small price for this warranty at closing, but get a policy that protects you for a full year.
Your home warranty provides:

  • Assurance and financial protection that you won't have to pay for any unexpected major repairs.
  • The convenience of being able to call the home warranty service 24 hours a day/7 days a week to schedule a repair if something does break down.
  • In addition to a home inspection, a good way to avoid unexpected repairs is to:
    Visit the home at different times of day (listen for traffic and noise), flush all toilets, turn on the lights, and run the water.
  • Contact the city to check for permits to be sure all parts of the house meet safety code standards.

property taxes 

Here you will find some general information about property taxes in North Carolina. If you would like to know more, contact the local property tax office or the Property Tax Division at 919.733.7711. The property tax in N.C. is a locally assessed tax collected by individual counties. The N.C. Department of Revenue doesn't send property tax bills or collect property taxes. January 1 is the tax lien date.

Under North Carolina General Statute 105-289, The Department of Revenue is charged with the duty to exercise general and specific supervision over the valuation and taxation of property by taxing units throughout the State.  The Property Tax Division of the North Carolina Department of Revenue is the division responsible for this administration.

frequently asked questions for buyers

Q: How can I get prequalified?
A: Just click here: pre-qualify me!

Q: Should I get pre-qualified now even if it will take a while to find a house?
A: If you plan to move within six months, you should get pre-qualified before you start house-hunting. Being approved for a mortgage gives you an edge as a Buyer.

Q: I don't know if I'm ready to handle a mortgage. Why not just rent?
A: Buying a home may actually be more affordable than renting. Plus you get a tax advantage: you can write off the interest on your mortgage.

Q: My credit record isn't perfect. Will this get in the way of my getting a mortgage?
A: Not always. Especially if your 'imperfections' were awhile ago and you've been on time with your recent payments. Mortgage bankers consider many things, such as your recent (timely) payments, current income, and down payment. Fill out a pre-qualification application today and a financial specialist with call you to discuss your situation.

Q: Can I buy a home if I don't have a down payment?
A: Definitely. Many lenders offer financing options without a down payment.

Q: I've gone through bankruptcy. Can I own a home?
A: Most likely. If you've been current with your bills for awhile after the discharge of bankruptcy, there's a good chance. Call Linda Trevor to discuss your options.

Q: Do I need an Agent to buy a house? Can't I just call the Listing Agent myself?
A: The Listing Agent represents the Seller. He or she gets a commission for selling the house. Having your own Agent means you have someone looking out for your best interests.not the Seller's.

Q: Can you explain the typical real estate transaction process?

Negotiations overview:

  • Offer and counter offers go back and forth between the Seller's Agent and the Buyer's Agent.
  • Final Agreement is made between the two parties.
  • The Buyer, the Buyer's Agent, the Seller, and the Seller's Agent sign the final agreement. This establishes a closing date or estimated closing period. The closing date is usually two-to-four weeks from the contract date.
  • Legal Documents - The Buyer's Agent sends a copy of the contract to the Buyer's Attorney. The Attorney conducts a title search, prepares the closing paperwork, and works with the Buyer's mortgage lender to make sure all the documents are ready for closing.

The Buyer's Agent:

  • Schedules the closing date and time with the Buyer's Attorney, the Seller, and the Seller's Agent.
  • Coordinates the building inspection, termite inspection, and delivery of loan documents with the Attorney.
  • Settlement Statement : Before closing, the Attorney completes a settlement statement and provides a copy to each party.
  • The Buyer, the Buyer's Agent, the Seller, and the Seller's Agent review the paperwork.
  • The actual document signing takes place at the Buyer's Attorney's office.
  • Funds Disbursed : After the papers are signed at the closing, the Attorney disburses the purchase funds to the Seller, records the Deed (and any Deed of Trust), and delivers all signed lending documents to the lender.

Q. Do I need a home inspection? Even on a newly constructed home?
A. A property inspection is always in the best interest of the purchaser, even in new construction. Most builders today will, in fact, welcome the inspector. The understanding is that it is easy to take care of items (that may have been overlooked) before closing rather than after the homeowners have moved.

Q. What are community covenants?
A. Covenants are typically written by the developer and are recorded at the time the subdivision is started. Covenants can vary in length and content. Depending on the neighborhood, the local Home Owners' Association may have more affect in enforcing the guidelines. Most sets of restrictive covenants are available on-line via the Wake County Real Estate site.

Q. Why is an Attorney needed?
A. An Attorney is a necessary part of the closing process as they oversee the title search, order title insurance and prepare the loan package. An Attorney can simultaneously represent both the Buyer and the Seller.

Q. If I cannot attend the closing, what are my options?
A. If the Seller cannot be present for closing, the Attorney can prepare the Deed & Lien Waiver to have signed ahead of time. As for the Buyer, not being at closing is also possible. However, the closing documents; i.e., loan package, can be mailed/forwarded to the purchaser in enough time to have the documents returned to the Attorney before closing. As your agent, Linda Trevor can oversee and expedite both of these scenarios.

Questions? Just Ask!