Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the difference between a real estate agent and a Realtor?
Everyone that has a North Carolina Real Estate License is a real estate agent, however, there are some that go to the next level and become a member of the local, state and national REALTOR organization. Unlike, real estate agents, realtors agree to uphold a code of ethic that is enforced by the Realtor Association. Doug Madison Realty is a Realtor office and look forward to answering any questions or helping you with your real estate needs.
2. What is the "MLS'?
The initials stand for Multiple Listing Service. This is a database of houses for sale that are on the market for sale by different real estate companies. If a company is a member of the MLS than that company enters their listing data into this database and all Realtor Offices have access to that database. Doug Madison Realty is a member of the MLS and can get information on almost all homes that are on the market for sale....just give us a call or email!!
3. What is a buyer's agent?
That is a Realtor or real estate agent that works in the buyer best interest. The agent has a fiduciary relationship with the buyer, just like a relationship one would have with a doctor or lawyer. The agent can not give any confidential information out about the buyer, unless the buyer gives that agent written permission to do so. When is contract negotiations on listings by another company, the agent acts in the best interest of his buyer. Doug Madison Realty practices buyer agency and would love to have an opportunity to help you find your new home.
4. Do I have to sign a contract the first time I come in to see a house?
In our office, no. We do not require a buyer to sign a buyer agency agreement on the first showing, however, it is the law that you must sign that we as real estate agents have given you a brochure published by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission that explains the real estate agents role in the real estate transaction. It is not a contract...just a disclosure. If you feel comfortable and decide to work further with our Realtor after the first showing, you will have to confirm the agency relationship in writing.
5. Do I need $10,000 to buy a house?
No, there are so many mortgage programs on the market that qualified buyer can get in with no money down. The bank will look at your job history over the past two years, your debts, your income, your savings (if any), and most importantly your credit. Give Doug Madison Realty a call or e-mail, we will be happy to prequalify you...with no obligation!!
6. If I were to find a house today, how long until I had the keys in my hands?
In most cases we plan for 30 to 45 days. This gives us enough time to work with the lender to get the loan processed and to the closing attorney, have inspections, negotiate repairs and have repairs made and move the sellers out. However, pending on the mortgage company, we have processed loans, inspections, and closing in a short of time as 2 weeks. In most of those cases the houses were vacant.
7. Do buyer normally do inspections before they make an offer on a home?
No, it is a contingency of the contract for the inspections to be done and come back to the buyer's satisfaction. However, the most important reason the buyer waits until after the contract is negotiated is because the inspections are the buyer's expense. Inspections can run from $100 to $600 pending on what the buyer wants inspected. In most cases, buyer's need to make sure that they can reach a valid contract on the house before spending that amount of money. If they don't come to terms with the seller, they are out their inspection money.
8. I want to sell my house, can any other Realtor or real estate agent show it?
Yes. In our office, when you sign the Listing Contract there is a particular paragraph that addresses cooperating and compensating Realtors that are working for other companies. We enter our listings into the Multiple Listing Service which gives the other companies in the area the access to the information about the property and also the opportunity to set up an appointment to show it to their buyer clients.
9. What is a Home Warranty and who pays for it?
A home warranty is traditionally paid for by the seller (if negotiated in the purchase contract). However, the buyer can also purchase it own their own. The home warranty protects the home for one year after closing for specific items. Normally, the buyer pays for a service call and the home warranty repairs or replaces the problem. Make sure to get a copy of the home warranty before negotiating your next contract.
10. Can the seller pay the buyer's closing cost?
Most banks will allow the seller to pay up to 3% (of the purchase price) of the buyer's closing cost. This is a point of negotiation, so make sure, as a buyer, that you ask for it when you make your offer.