Posted by: Roby Robertson | March 13, 2008

Your Lake Norman Agent Talks NC Real Estate Contract’s and Transactions

  

The Contracts we use in the Lake Norman and Charlotte areas may be different from what your used to.

The first thing that seems to be a surprise to buyers and sellers in our area is that I use a closing attorney for all our transactions.  Ironically, the buyer hires the attorney and the seller usually does not hire his/her specific representation.  I know this is different in other states but this seems to work well for us.  The buyer pays the attorney unless there are seller concessions so the buyer chooses the attorney.  In most cases, if not all, the attorney is chosen by the Real Estate Broker based on past experiences and trust.

By law, a real estate agent is required to explain to the client a brochure we call ‘Working with Real Estate Agents’. The agent is also required to obtain a signature of acknowledgement from the client.  The purpose of this brochure is to make sure the client is full aware of the role of the agent and how he/’she will represent you.  If someone looking to buy or sell real estate begins to talk specifics about their intentions, an agent should immediately ask you to go over this document.  If they don’t, be very wary.  If this agent will not do this, what else will be skipped?  Contact by phone is a consideration but one I will not address here.

Once an agent is engaged with helping a client buy or sell real estate, he/she will ask the client to sign an ‘exclusive right to represent or list’.  This ultimately is how we agents get paid.  This can be controversial from brokerage to brokerage as to when this gets signed.  Some say before you get in the car.  Others say before you write the contract.  My philosophy is this.  I will ask for a signature.  Sometimes I ask for it upfront sometimes I don’t.  However this is somewhat like a marriage.  I don’t want to marry someone before I even date them 🙂 unless I am sure we are compatible.  I work very hard for my clients and the reality is that some people are just not reasonable.  I don’t want to work with these people because my time is as valuable as theirs.

For now, I will target buying a home here instead of selling because of the involvement.  Once we get started finding a home, the agent and client identify some homes to go and preview.  Most companies use a showing service that we are members of and set the appointments.  I ask my clients to do some investigating on their own.  I give them a map and some thoughts on areas to review besides the ones we have seen together.  Agents should never steer clients to one or two particular areas unless instructed.  I have hear stories of clients saying, ‘My agent never told me about that’.  I don’t want that to ever happen! 

Now that we have found a home to make an offer, your agent will pull some comps to review based on sold homes in the area and together you come up with an offer.  Interestingly, clients many times want to submit a very low offer.  It is my job to represent the client but is also my job to educate about our market.  While there are some deals to be had, the Lake Norman Market is holding firm with prices.  Most sellers are not going to entertain offers that are below 90% of list price.  Now, if the home is way overpriced, I would probably would not have recommend seeing it, however, I would  submit low offers here if nothing else but to prove a point.

Once we are in contract, the buyer selects an inspector based on recommendations by the agent.  Depending on how we write the contract(there are 2 options), we then take the inspection report and write up a repair request. This is the area that can cause the most concern. (I will explain option 2 in another post)  I go over this with my buyer and seller clients in detail.  The contract states that repairs can be requested of items that do not perform as designed.  Cosmetic items are not covered.  This does not mean we can’t ask, however the seller can very well say no and we, in reality, can’t walk away from the contract because someone won’t paint.  This is an area where you need a very good, informed agent.  Make sure this is explained to you early and thoroughly.  This is also a good area to interview prospective agents.  Our latest contract change put some language in this area that changes things considerably.

Another important area in our contract is this.  If your getting a loan, there is specific language about the time-frame’s to obtain commitment.  ‘Time is of the Essence’ has been added in a few areas and this is an area that is very important.  Make sure your agent explains all these parts.  You don’t want to put a date that is unattainable and your agent should understand the ramifications.

Once everything is negotiated, the buyer and the agent will do a final walk through.  Once at closing, all documents are signed.  In North Carolina, the keys to the property are not to be turned over until the title has been recorded which is usually at the end of the current day.  If you need early access, be sure you agent helps you make arrangements and schedules the closing to facilitate this.

Congratulations you have just successfully closed on a beautiful home in the Lake Norman/Charlotte area.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact me at 704 451 7051 or email me at roby.robertson@realliving.com.

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