Buying Guide

Buying Guide

Thinking about buying a home? You have great timing! With low interest rates and a good selection of memorable homes, it's an excellent time to get into the real estate market. People are buying and homes are selling!

As you move toward buying a new home, you'll need a game plan. Follow these steps to get off to the best possible start.

If you're a first-time homebuyer, check out our special tips and information just for you.

Pick A Professional

Buying a home is likely the biggest investment you will ever make. So when you're ready to make a move - whether it's buying a new home in a different neighborhood or relocating your family to the Carolinas - you'll want a trusted, experienced partner like an Allen Tate Realtor to guide you through the home buying process.

Choosing an agent to represent you is a critical decision. Not only is Allen Tate the leading real estate company in the Carolinas, we also have the most professional, highly trained agents in the region. Finding your dream home is really just the first step in the process. Your agent will help negotiate the best possible terms, deal with purchase agreements, counteroffers, inspections, closing matters and more.

Your Allen Tate agent will be there to guide you through every step of the home buying process. We invest in our agents by offering technology, marketing and ongoing professional development, so they can, in turn, offer the very best to their clients. We have the knowledge and experience to help you through the process with as little stress as possible.

If you have worked with Allen Tate in the past, you can find your agent by name or by office. If you need help choosing an agent, please contact us.

Money Matters

Before you start your home search, take this important step: Find out how much home you can afford. Knowing how much you can afford helps you focus your home search and saves you time. To determine your buying power, you need to meet with a mortgage professional.

Getting Pre-approved or Pre-qualified for a home loan is a smart first step. So, what's the difference?

Getting pre-qualified is a quick and informal process. You supply some basic information about your income and assets. Based only on that information, the lender gives you an idea of how much you can borrow. It is not a guarantee or commitment.

Allen Tate strongly recommends that you strengthen your buying power by getting Pre-approved. With pre-approval, you work with a lender, who verifies information and guarantees financing. When you're preapproved, you can shop with peace of mind.

Your financing is a surer thing, so when you find a home you like, you can move quickly. Pre-approval may give you the competitive edge when negotiating or when a seller receives multiple offers, because sellers tend to favor buyers who have financing in place.

Our experts at Allen Tate Mortgage can help you with this important step.

Find your home

Most Allen Tate agents say that helping their clients find the home of their dreams is the most rewarding part of their job. Finding a new home is exciting, but it requires thought and preparation too.

Where do you want to live? Finding the right community to live in is just as important as finding the right home to live in. Consider your lifestyle and what is important to you. Do you like to be near shops and restaurants? Are outdoor activities important to you? Do you like a busy community, with many activities, or do you prefer a quieter, more laid-back lifestyle? Browse our Community Profiles to learn about areas in which we offer homes for sale. Finding the right community will get your home search off to a great start.

What kind of home do you want? Do you have a size and style of home in mind? What do you like most about your current home - and what do you like least?

All of these are important considerations. Once you've identified your needs and preferences and shared them with your Allen Tate agent, you're ready to start looking. If you're like most homebuyers, you'll do some searching online. With our Property Search tool, you can browse available homes by location, price or number of bedrooms and baths. You can even search specifically for homes on the waterfront or golf course.

You can search for homes using a mobile device too. TateMobile features detailed information on all the homes for sale. The information is updated daily and the GPS system allows you to center your search from where you're located. So download our app for your smartphone or tablet and start searching.

Be sure to create a profile to save your favorite home searches - a real time saver! Another feature of is our exclusive 1st to Know feature. Just select the features of the home you are looking for, and when a home that meets your criteria goes on the market, we'll send you an email alert.

Buying a Foreclosure

Foreclosed homes are properties owned by the bank or other entity as a result of a mortgage default and then offered for sale to the public. Foreclosures can offer great opportunities, but the purchasing process is different than with a traditional property. I am happy to provide expert advice and guidance if you interested in exploring this market segment.

Moving forward

When you find the home you want to buy, it's time to move forward. With your Allen Tate agent, you will decide on a reasonable and realistic offer, which will be presented to the seller and his agent.

When it's accepted, you'll have to put down a deposit to show that you're serious about buying. Then you're officially on the way to owning a new home.

Your Allen Tate agent will work carefully with you during this "due-diligence" process, making sure that you understand all conditions, provisions and obligations of your contract to buy, and will guide you through appraisals, inspections, and more. Remember that your agent is your advocate, guide and adviser. If you don't understand something, ask.

Once you are through the due-diligence process, the next big step is closing. "Closing" is a word that's used to describe the official transfer of ownership from seller to buyer. Your closing date is the date you will actually be handed the keys to your new home. Before that happens, you'll sign mortgage papers. You'll have some writer's cramp but it's a day for celebration - you're a new homeowner!

Still have questions? Contact Client Relations by email, by phone at 1-800-210-0321 or via online chat.

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