Guides

Relocation Guide - An overview of the Triangle and the three main regions within it: Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill. It should be your first stop if you are planning on purchasing a property in the area. It contains information on area history, recreation, culture and atmosphere, and transportation. 

First-Time Home Buyer Guide - This guide has everything you need to get started if you are a first-time home buyer. It goes over types of properties, setting up your criteria, mortgages, and buyer's agents.

New Home Buying Guide - Buying or building a new home is a completely different process than your standard resale purchase. Find out why upgrade pricing and builder's contracts are so important!

People We Love - This page has our favorite home service providers. We have worked with all of these professionals for years and trust them and their work! Included is our favorite home inspector, lender, appraiser, photographer, and contractor. Each provides a brief bio and tips for people who are about to use their services. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What's different about the Ryan Cassidy Group?

A. For sellers we provide full staging, professional photography, and a licensed appraiser to measure - all at no extra cost. The staging alone makes a tremendous difference, and where other real estate firms are charging extra (sometimes $2,000+), we include it for free.

For buyers we do an in-depth consultation and use tools such as listing alerts to help us jump on the perfect property when it becomes available. We also submit the perfect offer by researching comparable homes and analyzing a seller's situation.

Q. Can an agent only show me their firm's listings?

A. No, any listing from any firm can be shown. The agent will schedule the showings through the Centralized Showing Service (CSS).

Q. Do I have to book showing appointments in advance?

A. There are three types of listing appointments. "Go and Show" means an agent may show the home to their clients at any time without notice. "Courtesy Call" means the seller will receive a call to let them know, but unless they say otherwise the showing is good to go. "Appointment Only" is required for occupied homes and each showing must be approved by the seller.

Q. Do I have to choose one buyer's agent to work with? When do I need to sign the agreement?

A. An exclusive buyer agency agreement must be signed before an offer is submitted. You may work under an "oral buyer agency" until then, if the agent will allow it. Our clients are never expected to sign something when they first come into the office (unless they want to go ahead and get the paperwork out of the way). 

Q. What are the benefits of signing the exclusive buyer agency agreement?

A. The agreement creates trust between the agent and the client. The agent knows the client isn't wasting their time, and the client knows the agent is only representing them. Without a buyer agency agreement any agent is technically working for the seller.

Q. Do you offer easy termination from listing and buyer agreements?

A. Yes, 24 hour written notice and you are free from the agreement. We don't want our clients to feel like they are locked in to a contract.

Q. What are the steps of buying a house?

A. Please review our buying guide if you are a first time home buyer or have not purchased in North Carolina since January 1st, 2011 (when there was a major change to the purchase contract).

Q. What are the common costs associated with the inspection period?

A. Clients typically have to pay around $1000-$1300 to investigate if a house is truly for them. This includes the due diligence fee (~$250), home inspections (~$450), and appraisal ($~450). These fees of course vary - for example if you're paying cash and don't want an appraisal, or if the home inspector recommends an extra evaluation by a structural engineer or other professional.

Q. Is it worth it to renovate my home before I sell?

A. This depends - things like replacing carpet and painting are common, but major renovations take careful consideration. If the home will not sell in it's present condition (for anywhere near market value), it may be worth it. A home inspection may be worth doing before listing in some circumstances, depending on the age and condition of the home.

Q. When is the best time to sell my home?

A. This depends on market. The most showing activity happens in the spring and summer, but if your area is in a period of low inventory it would make sense to list no matter what season it was.

Q. I am buying or selling from a distance. How does the process change?

A. This is easier than most people think. If you are buying, we can preview the homes for you and give you our professional opinion. We can also take extra pictures, video, or do FaceTime. Once you are under contract for the home you can come see it during the due diligence period. If you are selling, we will periodically stop in to check up on the home, and can meet any contractors or appraisers as needed.

Q. Are most sellers willing to to do repairs? At what point do I make the request?

A. Repairs are negotiated after the home inspection, and before the due diligence period ends. Though they are not required to, most sellers will agree to repair items as long as they are reasonable. Buyers do not have this option on AS-IS sales such as foreclosures, short sales, and estate sales.

Q. What if the home doesn't appraise?

A. The buyer's agent and seller's agent will renegotiate on price. Usually the seller will drop the price to match the appraisal, but sometimes the buyer will lose a portion of their closing costs in the process (if any were built into the contract). If there were 10 offers, the buyer may not have as much leverage and might be expected to make up the difference in cash. The buyer can always terminate in this circumstance, and as long the appraisal came in during the due diligence period the earnest money will be refunded.

Q. Should I get a survey?

A. The short answer is yes. A survey will reveal any encroachments and easements on the property. If there are no fences or obvious easements you may want to save the money (~$350), but surveys often reveal surprises and they are extra peace of mind.

Q. Where can I find information on school ratings?

A. There are two great websites for school ratings in North Carolina. The first is www.ncschoolreportcard.org, and the second is www.greatschools.org/north-carolina.

Q. I have other questions about the process. Who can help me?

A. Either call us at 919-696-4254 or use the Contact Us form. We're always happy to help.