Your Real Estate Closing just got a little faster in Mooresville NC!

That’s right.  Mooresville NC just opened a satellite office for the Register of Deeds.  This is good news for those buyers and sellers that close in the southern part of Iredell County.  The main office of the Iredell County Register of Deeds is located in Statesville now and attorneys have to use couriers to record the final documents.  In many cases, the new buyers are unable to receive the keys to their new home until the deed is recorded and it becomes a waiting game.  The new office will be located close to downtown Mooresville in the old Lowrance Hospital on Center St.   Read more….

My home is under contract – What are my next steps?

You have made it through the negotiations and accepted an offer on your home.  Now, your Realtor® is going to really get to work!  This part of the home sales process is one of the toughest.  There are many things during this critical period that can go the wrong direction without careful attention (and a little bit of crossed fingers).


Usually within the first week, the buyers agent will schedule inspections requested by the buyer.  You can usually expect the buyer to have a home inspection and pest inspection but you may also see a septic inspection, well inspection/water test, radon test and a survey. Let’s take a closer look at what you can  expect with each one:

  • Home Inspection: A licensed home inspector selected by the buyer will come to your home and spend between 2 to 4 hours checking out your home for problems.  They will be looking at just about everything and especially focusing on safety items.  The big items are the roof, electrical, plumbing, the heating/AC system, structure, insulation, windows/doors and siding.  They will check for any red flags like water intrusion, mold, rot and damage.  They will also check to make sure appliances are operational, plumbing fixtures work properly, windows and doors open and close, light fixtures work and fireplaces function.  Most inspectors are not concerned with small cosmetic issues.  They are there to make sure the home is safe and items are functioning as intended.
  • Pest inspection:  A licensed termite inspector will come out and carefully inspect the perimeter of the home, the basement/crawlspace, garage and interior, paying close attention to wood that may be in contact with the ground.  They are especially focusing on damaged wood caused by termite tunnels.
  • Septic Inspections: For homes that have their own septic system, it is highly recommended that a buyer have a septic inspection to make sure the system is operating properly.  The tank and leach field will be checked along with any alarms and pumps.
  • Well inspection/water test:  If the buyer is obtaining a government loan, a water test may be required by the lender.  The buyer will also want to ensure the pump is working properly and the water is safe to drink.  A small sample will be taken and sent to a lab for testing with results in 2-4 days.
  • Radon test:  Radon is a gas that comes up from the ground and can be trapped in your home that can cause many health problems.  Radon testing has become more popular in recent years and many areas are prone to radon.  It is often seen in homes with basements and many buyers will spend the extra money to have this testing done.  Radon can be mitigated but can be costly in some cases.
  • Survey:  Some buyers may want a survey done to identify the boundaries of the property and to ensure there are no encroachments.  They will research records for any right of ways or easements and verify acreage.


clipped images,cropped images,cropped pictures,icons,magnification,magnifying,magnifying glasses,PNG,searches,searching,transparent backgroundAfter all inspections have been completed, the buyers will go through all the reports and may come back to you to ask for items to be repaired or replaced.  This is all done during the Due Diligence period in North Carolina.  The buyer can ask for repairs, replacements or re-negotiate the contract and the seller will have a decision to make.  You can agree to some or all of the repairs or choose not to make any repairs.  These requests and negotiations can become very heated and emotional and many contracts have fallen apart at this point.  As a seller, one way you can make the inspections less stressful is to have inspections done before you list your home and be aware of any items that need to be repaired and then either fix them or let the buyer know upfront the asking price reflects known repairs that are needed.  If termites are found or past damage, you may have no choice but to treat your home as the buyers lender may not finance the home without it.  If your water test comes back with unacceptable results, you many need to treat your well and have a new test done and if Radon gas is found in high levels, you will probably be asked to have it mitigated by a professional.


During this time, the buyer will be working with their lender to move the loan forward.  An appraiser will contact you to schedule a time to come out and appraise your home for the buyers lender.  Make sure you have looks it’s best  to showcase it’s features for the appraiser.  If the appraisal comes back too low, you will have another decision to make.  The buyer will most likely want to renegotiate the price of the home to match the market.

Due Diligence Date:

In NC, the buyer has up to this date to do all their “due Diligence” for the home. They must ensure their inspections are done, all paperwork has been reviewed, financing is on track and they still want to purchase the property.  The can ask for an extension of the Due Diligence date but the seller is not required to give an extension.  This date is critical as the buyer is saying “I am buying this house for sure” after this date.

Moving:deliveries,delivery vans,moving,moving vans,transportation,trucks,vans,vehicles

You have most likely been packing your home for the big move, but now the date is getting real close and you need to ensure you will have everything out before the final walk-thru and closing.  Be sure the home is cleaned out and cleaned up to avoid any delays.  The buyer will come out the day before or before closing to ensure the home is still in the same or better condition as it was when they first saw it.


The buyer will have selected a closing attorney (North Carolina is an attorney state) to perform the closing.  You will normally have a settlement statement a couple days in advance of the close to review all the numbers and make sure everything is correct.  This will help avoid any last minute delays or problems but don’t be surprised if you don’t see one until you are sitting at the closing table.  On the close date, attend the closing, bring your id’s, keys, remotes and anything else the buyer may need.  You will go over the settlement statement again and sign the seller documents and then will most likely be asked to leave.  You do not need to stay while the buyer signs their loan documents.  The attorney will give the keys to the buyer when the deed is recorded.  Any funds you may be expecting will be disbursed after recording also.


My Best Tip: Be patient, be flexible and expect repair requests or delays.  In almost every transaction these days, there is almost always something that comes up that will try your patience but your agent will help you through the rough spots and get you to the end.


Other titles in the seller series:

Article #1: Seller Questions Answered – A preview to Listing your home for Sale
Article #2: What do I need to do to prepare my home for sale?
Article #3: Why do I need an Real Estate agent and how do I select one?
Article #4: I have signed the paperwork, now what? -What to expect during the listing period
Article #5: A buyer wants to see my home -How can I maximize showing opportunities?
Article #6: I have received an offer – now what?
Article #7: My home is under contract – What are the next steps?
Article #8: What can I do to prepare for my move?
Article #9: What can I expect at the closing table?
Article #10:  What happens after my home is SOLD?




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Sonya Leonard –Keller Williams Realty – Mooresville NC.  The Home Style Team provides free access to individualized home searches for all homes in Statesville, Mooresville, Troutman, Lake Norman and the entire Lake Norman Area.  Explore buyer and seller reports, community resources, new home communities, and be sure to sign up for instant alerts to help find your dream home.  Let Sonya help you INVEST in Real Estate and your Future! (704) 450-0588.

Negotiating the deal! What to know BEFORE you place an offer.


This article is an excerpt from my weekly buyer blast that I send every Friday.  I have been experimenting with other days of the week but you will receive it at least once per week.  I send out a List of area Foreclosed and Distressed Properties in the Statesville, Mooresville, Troutman areas of Iredell County.  I also include Charlotte and Catawba on occasion.  If you would like to receive my weekly article and Foreclosure listings, please SIGN UP on my website and I will add you to my list.  I will not call or bother you, just provide you with helpful, useful information.

Today I am out working in the community as a site captain for Realtors Care Day 2011.  Our local Realtor Organization will be working on over 20 homes from Statesville to Charlotte.  Over 600 Realtors will participate and help out our fellow residents that are unable to maintain their homes.  It is always a pleasure to see my fellow Realtors come together for such a good cause! 

You can keep up to date on happenings in Statesville by "liking" my Fan page on Facebook.  I try to post timely articles of local events, new listings, new businesses, market updates and much more. 


This week I would like to talk about the negotiation process.  Many first time home buyers are unsure of what happens when you finally find a home you like and want to make an offer.  It used to be a much easier process before the "foreclosure" and "short sale" era (as I call it).  Normally you would sit down with your buyers agent and look at area comps to find a good price to offer initially, decide on the amount of earnest money to deposit (this is your "good faith" money), set the proposed inspection and closing dates, decide if there are any other conditions you want to include, sign and present the offer to the seller along with your pre-qualification letter.

Here is a link to the basic process offered by REBAC (Real Estate Buyers Agent Council):
Negotiating Process for Buyers

Today, however, you need to know much more about presenting offers such as:

Is it a HUD house?  This process is completely different and involves submitting a bid online to HUD on their paperwork and adhering to a VERY strict timeline.  Your buyer’s agent will need to understand the different types of HUD home offerings, the required timelines and earnest money, any "escrow" amounts for repairs and type of finance programs. 

Is it owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?  These homes may offer specialized finance programs with other incentives and home warranties.  They will have their own bank addendums and instructions for submitting offers to them.  They prefer shorter closing times but are relatively easy to work with.

Is it a Short Sale?  These homes are much more difficult to work with.  The home has not foreclosed and the lender may agree to accept less than is owed on the home however, the process is painfully slow and may take 4-6 months to get an answer.  Please be sure you have an experienced agent before attempting one of these!  Your offer is submitted to the seller for acceptance first and then to the bank for approval, then the mortgage insurance company and then possibly Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or HUD.  If there is a second mortgage on the home, it gets even more complicated.  Get an attorney upfront to do a title search and know what you are walking into.

Is it owned by another bank?  All banks will have their own addendums that will need to be signed after your offer has been accepted.  You need to be sure you read them thoroughly and know what you are signing.  It is a good idea to have your attorney read them over before finalizing them.
Here are some links from some of my past Blogs that offer additional information:

A few things to consider before purchasing a distressed property

03-10-2011 23:58:47 PM

I have been working with lots of buyers of foreclosed or distressed homes lately and wanted to give you some hints on how to make this type of purchase a little easier.  First, let’s talk about Short Sale Properties:  A … Continue reading →…»

How to Purchase a HUD home in North Carolina

02-10-2011 14:23:57 PM

How to Purchase a HUD home In recent months, there was a huge backlog of HUD homes that were held up for closing in NC and changes were made to try and streamline the entire process.  There are now three … Continue reading →…»

What is this new "Due Diligence" Fee in North Carolina and how does it affect me?

01-26-2011 17:16:00 PM

I know I will be explaining this question for a long time to come!  As of January 1st 2010 in North Carolina, we no longer have just the Earnest Money deposit option on the Offer to Purchase Sales agreement.  Our … Continue reading →…»