Leland and Wilmington NC Buyers Agency
Buying a home can be one of the most exciting and also stressful times in your life. But it doesn’t have to be this way with the right buyers agent looking out for your interests. This page is intended to introduce you to the concept of buyers agency and to give you resources to be well informed before you embark on a home search in Wilmington NC. The more prepared you are in the beginning, the less frustrated you will be during the home search and purchase process. Remember, if you have any further questions about this process feel free to call or email Sasha.
Wilmington NC Home buyers guide:
Understanding the difference between “pre-qualification” and “pre-approval” is important. The distinction is that a pre-qualification does not involve verifying income or credit and as such is not as definite as the pre-approval. The pre-approval does involve checking credit and providing documents for employment, assets etc.
To get a pre-approval letter, a lender will ask you for your Social Security number and permission to pull your required credit report for you and your co-borrower (if you have one). Most lenders charge an upfront fee of around $30 for this. -Zillow.com
The very first step in your home search should be a call to a mortgage professional in the Wilmington area to find out what your price range is. Pre-approval will provide you with an estimated monthly payment and the confidence in knowing which homes fit your price range. A great deal of disappointment can result from finding the home of your dreams only to see the deal fall through and starting back over because of a lack of financing. Having the pre-approval letter from the mortgage lender also gives you better leverage when it comes to negotiating a deal on the home you have chosen because it shows that you are a capable and serious buyer.
Zillow.com offers these tips for getting pre-approved:
1. Correct any errors on your credit report, which could help to raise your credit score. The lender will analyze your credit report for any red flags, such as late or missed payments or charged off debt. Your credit score will affect your ability to qualify for a loan and determine how low of a rate you can get. Generally a score above 720 will get you the most favorable mortgage rates.
2. Decrease your overall debt and improve your debt-to-income ratio. In general, a debt-to-income ratio of 36 percent or less is preferable and 43 percent is maximum ratio allowed. Use the debt-to-income calculator to determine your ratio.
3. Increase your down payment amount in order to qualify for the house you want. Learn more about down payments
Here are some mortgage tools to help you with this process:
Search Preferences and Location:
As you begin to direct your search toward narrowing down the homes you would like to see its time to begin thinking about location. This can be one of the most frustrating parts of your home search when you are spending enormous amounts of your time driving all over Wilmington, Leland and the beaches to look at different houses that you like since you haven’t confined your search to a specific area. Start by thinking about what your priorities are. Do you want a specific lifestyle such as golf, beach, boating, fishing or gated community? Is there a particular Pender, New Hanover or Brunswick County school district you want for your children? Do you want to be in an urban setting with good walk-scores, like downtown Wilmington, or do you want to be in a more rural setting such as Leland? Do you need to be close to work, school or after-school activities? Once you have considered these factors and prioritized then you can take advantage of how we have organized the searches on Homes By Sasha in order to narrow your search to the appropriate price range. By conducting this “pre-work” you will save a great amount of time when you show your list of interested properties to your buyer’s agent to schedule showings. This can be especially important during the busiest season from April to October when homes can go under contract in a matter of days so being prepared and knowing what you want can save you the frustration of missing out on the home that may have been the perfect opportunity for you.
Homes By Sasha Organized Search:
We have organized our search (and we continue to improve this so we are always open to suggestions) around these different lifestyles, wants and needs as follows:
Condos and Townhomes
Land Under $100,000
Land $200,000 and up
Land Under $100,000
Conduct Your Search for Homes on our Website:
Homes By Sasha website is designed to be easy for you to use with logically organized home searches, advanced search, map search, large photos in results pages (so you don’t have to waste time looking at homes that you don’t like) and great details pages that include all the details in the MLS. Our website receives updates every day from the Wilmington MLS so you don’t have to worry about whether the listings are accurate or up-to-date. Many people like to search on realtor.com, zillow.com and trulia.com but because those national sites lack the local Wilmington knowledge and because they attempt to database information from hundreds of national MLS they are known to have lots of inaccurate data. There is nothing more frustrating than to spend all your time searching and finding a list of homes you are interested in only to learn from your local realtor that several of those properties are unavailable or have inaccurate data. National real estate sites are the “middle-man” and your local realtor and website are the “direct source“. I don’t know about you but I would rather deal with the direct source if I can.
Start Seeing Homes in-Person:
Now that you have narrowed down your price range, preferences and locations you can save a list of your favorite properties in your account and let Sasha know what homes and when you would like to view. Please give as much notice as you can because it takes time to coordinate a showing. Remember that many homes may be occupied, so appointments are necessary along with necessary time to prepare the occupants for a showing. Remember also that seeing homes in-person can often be much different than viewing them in photos. Many times the photos don’t properly demonstrate the layout of the home. This is why it is also important to clearly define your preferences to the layout of the home. Split floor plan, master bedroom downstairs, finished room over the garage(FROG), kitchen/dining combo, formal dining room etc. These are all features that your realtor can help you try and narrow down in the homes you have coming up in search. Sasha Stevens works with a team and we are never too busy to speak with you, or to work with you. It is our goal to give the same 5-star service to each and every client regardless of what size home they are looking for and we want you to be completely satisfied with our service and your home selection in the greater Wilmington area.
Making an Offer:
In the end, you have to live in the house that you end up buying. Sasha Stevens is committed to the role of facilitator, negotiator, adviser and confidant during your home buying process. Sasha will never try to push you in a direction that isn’t in your best interests. She is there to offer you expertise opinion, advise and guidance during a process that is entirely your decision. After you have decided on a home the process of writing an offer to purchase begins with an initial offer and possibly a few rounds of negotiation. During this process you will be backed up by the professional market analysis to determine a fair offer for the home and supported by the experience of Sasha’s team. Once we have negotiated the best deal and come to an agreement with the seller, you will be under contract and will be asked to show good faith by providing an earnest money deposit of $1,000 or more depending on the price range.
Due Diligence and Getting to Closing:
A typical closing should take place in about 30 days except in new construction and special circumstances. As soon as the contracts are signed there is quite a bit to do in a short period of time. Don’t worry though, even if you haven’t been through the process before, Sasha will guide you every step of the way. First you will need to finalize the mortgage approval process with your lender (Sasha can work along with your lender to make sure everything goes smoothly). We will have the property inspected and any repairs completed, get the insurance policies in place, have the home appraised and survey conducted. We will work closely together ensuring that the title company, the lender, the inspectors and others get everything in order in time for closing day. During this entire process you still need to work, take care of day to day issues and live your life. Fortunately, you will have our expertise and our diligence there to make sure your interests are looked out for during the home buying process.
Your New Home:
Buying a home in Leland North Carolina is a rewarding experience, you will learn a lot going through this for the first time and if this is not your first home, you will be impressed with how easy and stress free we make the home buying process. We look forward to working with you on your next home purchase.