Frequently Asked Questions for

Clayton Home Buyers

Thinking of buying a home in Clayton or Johnston County? You've likely got a question or two about the process and maybe the area. Well, I'm here to help! Find answers to some of the questions I most frequently hear from local buyers. Not finding the answers you need? Feel free to contact me at any time!

Do I really need a Realtor?

Yes! Working with a real estate agent means having an expert on your side who will help you make one of the most costly and important financial decisions of your life. A real estate agent can help in a number of ways—determining if a home is priced correctly or a neighborhood is a good investment, helping you find homes in new areas, negotiating for the best deal on your behalf, walking you through the home inspection and paperwork... and much more. Plus, as a buyer, you DO NOT pay for the agent!

How do I get a loan?

Start by calling financial institutions, like banks or credit unions, that you already work with. Ask friends or family in the area for local recommendations. And definitely check with your real estate agent for their recommendations. Call up a few different companies so they can review your finances and tell you about some different loan options available to you. Before you start your home search, you'll want to try and get preapproved by at least one bank or mortgage broker.

Should I sell my current home first?

This... is tricky. The short answer is that there isn't a right or wrong answer. There are advantage and disadvantages to selling and buying at the same time or to selling then buying, or buying then selling. The "right" answer will depend on your unique situation—your timeline, your finances, whether or not you have any place you could live if your home sells before you buy a new one... it's always a good idea to check with your agent and your broker to determine which buy-sell order will work best for you.

How do I find the right location?

If you're new to the area, you might not be too familiar with how various local towns and neighborhoods differ—and which will be right for you. This is another way a Realtor can come in handy—nobody knows an area like a real estate agent! Discussing your wants, needs, and budget with your agent is a great way to let them know what you're looking for so they can recommend specific towns and neighborhoods. They might even be willing to take you on a tour of the area to show you all the hotspots.

How much will I have to pay up front?

This depends on a few factors, like the particular loan you're using and the cost of the home. Traditionally, a conventional loan requires a 20% down payment—but in this day and age, there are a lot of other loan options out there that allow you to buy a home for a lot less... as little as 3% down or less! Additionally, you'll likely offer a small "earnest money" payment when you make your offer. This shows the seller you're serious (kind of like a deposit) and eventually goes towards your down payment.

What other costs are associated with buying a home?

In addition to the down payment (and the earnest money) there are a few other charges associated with buying a home, most of which will be rolled up into your final "closing costs." This includes charges for things like the home inspection and appraisal, loan origination fees, town and county documentation fees, attorney fees, and more. For buyers, closing costs are typically around a few thousand dollars. Your lender can give you a complete breakdown of everything that's included.

Do I need to have a home inspection?

Yes! Well, to clarify, no you are not required to have the home inspected, but it is strongly encouraged that you do. It's worth the few hundred dollars you'll pay the inspector to come do a detailed walk-through of your home. The last thing you want is to buy a home... only to find that it's got some major maintenance issues that will cost you a lot more than a few hundred dollars!

What happens when I make an offer?

When you see a home you love, you and your agent will determine a fair price to offer the seller. You'll also determine things like closing dates, how much earnest money you'll put down, and which contingencies you'll be using. Once the seller receives your offer, they have three options. They can reject the offer, they can accept the offer, or they can issue a counter offer with modified price, dates, or contingencies.

Ready to Buy a Home in Clayton?

Ready to find your perfect home in Clayton or Johnston County? I'm here to help! I'll answer any questions you've got, help you get a good feel for the area, and ensure you find the perfect home in just the right location! If you're ready to start you home search or you want to learn more, feel free to give me a call at any time.