Steps to Buying a Home

happy couple

Find a Realtor

When looking for an Realtor, it is crucial to find one who is local, who knows and understands the areas in which you are looking to purchase your new home and one who has real estate as their full time career. You also need someone you can trust and who is an advocate in the buying process. We offer these services as well as free buyer representation.

Analyze Your Needs in a Consultation

Spending time to talk about your needs and wants will save you a lot of energy and countless hours in the buying process. Call us today for a free consultation.

Obtain Financial Pre-Qualification or Pre-Approval

Pre-qualification is an estimate of what a buyer might qualify for before submitting a mortgage application. Pre-approval is a firmer commitment and is a more formal process which includes a credit check and employment verification. It is important to go through either one of these processes so that you are confident with what price range you should be focusing on. Our preferred lenders can help you in this process and answer all of your questions.

Select Properties

Based on what you and your Realtor have discussed during your consultation, your Realtor will select properties that meet your specific wants, needs and price range. For your convenience, we can set up a daily home search for you based on your selections. This will allow you to view the available homes at your leisure and select the homes that you would like to see.

View Homes

As your buyer’s agent, we schedule the showing appointments of the homes that you have selected that fit your criteria. We will also point out important information in regards to each property. Is there already a listing you would like to see? Contact us today to setup a showing.

Write an Offer to Purchase

Your realtor will walk you through the offer and other paperwork to ensure you thoroughly understand the documents you are signing.

Earnest Money Deposit or Due Diligence Fee

Earnest money is money you give to the seller to show your good faith when making an offer to purchase the seller’s home. The customary amount for our area begins at $500 and is credited to you at the time of closing. If for some reason you do not make it to closing, there are circumstances where you can get your earnest money back. Some examples of when you could get the money back are if the home does not appraise, you cannot obtain loan approval or you cannot reach an agreement on the repairs that are to be made.

Due Diligence fee is a negotiated amount, if any, paid by buyer to seller in a contract for buyer’s right to terminate the contract for any reason or no reason during the Due Diligence period. It shall be the property of seller upon the effective date and shall be a credit to buyer at closing.

Negotiate and Counteroffer

This period is typically handled verbally until an agreement is reached. This process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks depending upon the situation. Realty Shop & Property Management agents are strong negotiators, working in the best interest of their client.

Accept the Contract

Once you have reached terms agreeable to you, a final version of the contract is signed by all parties. This begins the final phase of the purchase process.


It is extremely important to have a home inspection on the property you wish to purchase. This is where a NC Licensed Inspector will evaluate systems and components of a home and is intended to give you a better understanding of the home’s condition. This is one of the most critical stages of buying a home and needs to be completed at the beginning of the buying process. In addition to a home inspection, it is also important to conduct both a septic inspection and a separate HVAC inspection. Our sales team will provide you with a list of licensed inspectors that you may choose from or select one of your choice. We can schedule and coordinate all inspections for you so that that is one less item for you to worry about.

Complete the Mortgage Application

Once you have an accepted contract, it is time for you to submit a formal loan application to your mortgage lender. This typically needs to occur within the first few days after your acceptance.

Credit Report

This is a record of an individual’s past borrowing and repaying history, including information about late payments and bankruptcies. Lenders use a credit report and your credit score to help determine if you are eligible for a loan.

Mortgage calculator



A home appraisal is a survey of a home by a professional appraiser for their opinion of the property’s market value. In most cases an appraisal is done for a bank when a home is being approved for a loan for the home buyer. The home appraisal is a detailed report that looks at such items as the condition of the home, the neighborhood, what similar homes are selling for, and how quickly similar homes sell. If an appraisal comes in too low, a seller may reduce his asking price or the buyer can terminate his contract.

Secure Underwriting

Underwriting is the process a lender uses to assess the eligibility of a borrower to obtain a loan. During this process you could be asked for more documentation to help secure the loan or there is a chance that you will be unable to obtain loan approval.

Obtain Loan Approval

This process can take anywhere from three to four weeks. Loan approval occurs after the underwriter has reviewed all of the information and documents and determines that you are eligible to receive the loan.


Obtaining a survey is optional and is scheduled by our sales team. We strongly recommend having a survey done if you are unsure where the property line sits, if you are adding onto the structure, building a fence, or putting in a driveway. In some cases your Title Insurance will not insure any home site issues if a new survey was not completed.

Contact Closing Attorney

Our sales team schedules the closing for you and provides the attorney with the executed contract and other necessary information they will need to ensure a successful closing.

Title Exam and Title Insurance

The closing attorney has a list of title companies that they regularly work with to ensure that the title is clear on the property you are purchasing.

Close on the Property

The big day is here! After all of the inspections are completed and your loan is approved it is time for you to get the keys to your new home!