Working With Real Estate Agents

NC Real Estate CommissionWhen buying or selling real estate, you may find it helpful to have a real estate agent assist you. Real estate agents can provide many useful services and work with you in different ways. In some real estate transactions, the agents work for the seller. In others, the seller and buyer may each have agents. And sometimes the same agents work for both the buyer and the seller. It is important for you to know whether an agent is working for you as your agent or simply working with you while acting as an agent of the other party.

This brochure addresses the various types of working relationships that may be available to you. It should help you decide which relationship you want to have with a real estate agent. It will also give you useful information about the various services real estate agents can provide buyers and sellers, and it will help explain how real estate agents are paid.

Click here to view the Working With Real Estate Agents brochure from the NC Real Estate Commission’s Website.

Questions And Answers On Home Inspections

NC Real Estate CommissionFor most persons, purchasing a home is the largest investment they will ever make. It is no wonder then that many homebuyers employ professionals to inspect the structural and mechanical systems of the home and report to them on their condition. Sometimes sellers also employ Home Inspectors to alert them to problems with their homes which could arise later in the transaction. But normally Home Inspectors are employed by buyers. For this reason, this brochure is written from the viewpoint of the potential homebuyer.

This brochure is a joint publication of the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board and the North Carolina Real Estate Commission designed to give consumers a better understanding of the home inspection process. What a home inspection is, who can perform an inspection and what to expect. If you have further questions regarding home inspections and Home Inspectors, you should contact the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board, 322 Chapanoke Road, Suite 200, Raleigh, NC 27603, Phone 919/662-4480.

Click here to download the Questions And Answers On Home Inspections brochure from the NC Real Estate Commission’s Website

Questions And Answers On Offer And Acceptance

NC Real Estate CommissionThe purchase contract is the most important document in any real estate sale. It must reflect the entire agreement between the buyer and seller. This brochure examines issues arising during contract negotiations in residential real estate sales transactions. In particular, it focuses on “offer” and “acceptance”: the process by which a buyer and seller create a binding legal contract. This process typically begins when a prospective buyer makes an offer. Then, the seller either accepts it, rejects it, or rejects it and makes a counteroffer. Then the buyer has the same options (i.e., accept, reject without making a counteroffer, or reject with a counteroffer). When one party accepts the other party’s offer or counteroffer, including communicating that acceptance to the offering party, a purchase contract is created.

Any misunderstandings concerning offer and acceptance can result in serious legal and financial consequences for the buyer and seller. Therefore, it is imperative that you carefully read and understand the entire purchase contract and that you consult an attorney if you do not understand any issues regarding it before you enter into a binding contract.

The questions raised in this publication are of special concern to real estate purchasers. Consequently, they are posed from the standpoint of the purchaser.

Click here to download the Questions And Answers On Offer And Acceptance brochure from the NC Real Estate Commission’s Website

Questions And Answers On Earnest Money Deposits

NC Real Estate CommissionThis brochure in the Commission’s Questions & Answers series examines issues arising from the payment of earnest money deposits prior to closing a residential real estate sales transaction.  Since payments made before closing are not treated the same in all transactions, it is important to understand the purpose of earnest money and how it will be handled during the transaction.   This is usually spelled out in the offer to purchase or sales contract.
Therefore, you should always read the contract or offer to purchase before paying any money and CONSULT YOUR OWN ATTORNEY IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE PURPOSES AND DISPOSITION OF ANY PAYMENT OR ANY OTHER TERMS IN THE CONTRACT OR OFFER.  The questions raised in this publication are of special concern to real estate purchasers. Consequently, they are posed from the standpoint of the purchaser.

Click here to download Questions And Answers On Earnest Money Deposits brochure from the NC Real Estate Commission’s Website

Questions and Answers On Real Estate Closings

NC Real Estate CommissionIn the typical residential real estate transaction, a buyer offers to purchase property from a seller. After negotiating the price and terms, the buyer and seller sign an offer to purchase and contract, and the buyer gives the seller (or the seller’s agent) an earnest money deposit to show good faith in the transaction.
A real estate “closing” is the final step in the transaction. At closing, the buyer pays the purchase price to the seller (usually with the proceeds from a loan), and the seller gives the buyer a deed transferring title to the property to the buyer. Also, funds are paid to an appraiser, home inspector, and/or other service providers, and to pay off banks or others who may have claims against the property.
This pamphlet focuses on questions frequently asked about residential real estate closings. The questions raised are of special concern to real estate purchasers. Consequently, they are posed from the standpoint of the purchaser.

Click here to download the Questions And Answers On Real Estate Closings pamphlet from the NC Real Estate Commission’s Website

Questions And Answers On Fair Housing

NC Real Estate CommissionThe purpose of the fair housing laws is to protect a person’s right to own, sell, purchase, or rent housing of his or her choice without fear of unlawful discrimination. The fair housing laws are intended to allow everyone equal access to housing. State and Federal fair housing laws prohibit discrimination in the housing market on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, handicap, or familial status. To discriminate against a person on the basis of his or her membership in one of these protected categories is against the law.

This pamphlet will focus primarily on the fair housing laws as they are applied in the State of North Carolina.
Click here to download the Questions And Answers On Fair Housing pamphlet from the NC Real Estate Commission’s Website

Questions And Answers On Residential Subdivisions And Planned Communities

As North Carolina becomes an increasingly urban state, more and more people are purchasing homes and lots in residential subdivisions and planned communities. In these subdivisions and communities, there is usually a homeowners association that may be responsible for maintaining the common areas of the development and the enforcement of “restrictive covenants.” Many purchasers seek residential subdivisions and planned communities with restrictive covenants (sometimes referred to as “restrictions”) because they believe the covenants will help assure consistency in the neighborhood and the preservation of property value. Restrictive covenants may address everything from whether single or multi-family housing is permitted to the type, size and color of construction.

This publication is intended as an introduction to issues affecting residential subdivisions and planned communities (other than condominiums) that are subject to restrictive covenants. (For information on condominium ownership and townhouse properties, see the Commission publication, Questions and Answers on: Condos & Townhouses, or contact your attorney.)

Click here to download the Questions And Answers On Residential Subdivisions And Planned Communities publication from the NC Real Estate Commission’s  Website

Questions and Answers On Condos And Townhouses

NC Real Estate CommissionIn the past, home ownership typically involved a single‑family house with a yard. But today, due to increased prices of single‑family homes and changes in lifestyles, many people either cannot afford or simply prefer not to own traditional single-family homes. In response to their needs, alternative forms of home ownership have been developed. Among these are multifamily housing complexes containing townhouses and condominiums (often referred to as “condos”).

This pamphlet focuses on questions frequently asked about purchasing and owning a townhouse or condo. What are homeowners’ associations? What are my responsibilities as an owner of a condo or townhouse? What are the developer’s responsibilities? These are some of the subject areas addressed.

The reader is cautioned however that the legal aspects of condo and townhouse ownership are too complex to be treated in detail in this pamphlet. Therefore, prospective purchasers and owners of condos and townhouses are advised to consult their attorneys for specific guidance.

Click here to download the Questions And Answers On Condos And Townhouses pamphlet from the N C Real Estate Commission’s Website