Check out our two most recent guides we've put together. These will help you if you are coming from out of state to buy in the Triangle, or have to sell while away. The links are below and also in our Guides and FAQ section.
Out-of-State Buyer's Guide for the Raleigh / Durham Area
Here's the overall process if you are buying a home, but don't currently live in the area:
1. First we will set up a call together, which takes 30 minutes to 1 hour. The call will help me familiarize you with the area, along with helping me understand exactly what you're looking for. When you plan your first trip it will also help me to know what areas and neighborhoods to show.
2. I will set up auto searches based off of your criteria, for example what kind of neighborhood or what style of home you like. This will notify you automatically when a home that matches your criteria hits the market. If you are already getting these emails I will help adjust them to make sure you are only getting listings that are relevant. *As a side note, be careful using platforms like zillow or trulia to search - they do not update their listings frequently and many of the homes on those websites may already be under contract.
3. We will plan a first trip together, where we typically tour 1 or 2 areas of interest. The tour schedule will look something like this:
Day 1 1pm-4:30 tour area #1 (for example Durham or Raleigh) and see a few homes
Day 2 1pm-4:30 tour area #2 (for example Chapel Hill/Carrboro or Hillsborough) and see a few homes
Day 3 1pm-4:30 (reserved time to see a few more in one/both areas above)
The timetable above may change if there are more or less areas we need to tour and discuss. For example, some people will come for a definite buying trip, versus doing two or more separate trips.
4. After the first tour we usually narrow down to an area or two and can adjust the auto searches to let us know the moment something comes on the market in those spots.
5. While you are not here in the Triangle we can do a video tour of new listings. The most important thing to know about videos is that the dimensions of different spaces is still difficult to gauge. If the seller's realtor has a floor plan then that definitely will help show the spaces when combined with the video.
6. Some buyers will put an offer in on a house without seeing it, utilizing the video tour and the floorplan. It is a little risky, and so it depends on your particular comfort level. If you've toured the neighborhood and the area during the first trip then that helps a bunch.
7. Some buyers will fly down the next day and see the home depending on the offer situation. Basically it depends if the sellers only have one offer or several. If there are multiple offers then it may be a waste of time, unless the sellers set an offer deadline that gives you enough time to see the property before it is put under contract.
8. A second more serious house hunting trip is also common. Tip: If this is planned in advance I wouldn't recommend doing it in the middle of the winter, as there typically is a few less homes to look at than during the other seasons. The one good thing about the winter is if you find a home you like you can typically get a pretty good deal, as it is less competitive.
9. Other than that pretty much everything else is the same once you get under contract. You will work on the loan (if not paying cash) and order inspections. You do not need to be here for the inspections, but some people prefer to come. It's always nice to come to inspections if your work schedule isn't too hectic.
10. For closing it's much easier to be here in person to sign documents at the attorney's office. There are such things as 'mail away' closings, but that will depend on if your lender approves them or not. A power of attorney for a spouse is also possible. If you are paying cash then you don't need to come to closing, although most people still do to talk to the attorney and just make sure everything is wrapped up!
Out-of-State Seller's Guide for the Raleigh / Durham Area
For out of state sellers who don't live in the Raleigh/Durham area it can be tough to think about selling out of state. Fortunately we've helped a lot of home sellers do just that, and it's not difficult at all when you have some help! Here are the steps to use as a guide for how the process will go:
1. First we set up a call that typically lasts from 30 minutes to 1 hour to discuss the property and the process.
2. Next I will take a tour of the property. If you have a property management company or someone that has the key I can meet them to pick that up.
3. I'll get a 'recent updates' list from you. This is what you've done recently including any updates to the HVAC, roof, kitchen etc. This will help me in determining the property's value.
4. After touring I'll give a detailed price analysis based off of recent sales nearby. I'll make adjustments if one home is a fixer upper, or one has been renovated.
5. I'll also let you know what the obvious repairs there are, and what should be done to maximize profit. There is a balance here, since not every repair or renovation will return more than 100% of the cost. Some improvements are worth doing to make sure the home sells for top dollar, and some we can skip.
6. If it is an older home or one that needs a lot of work, sometimes it is worth getting a home inspection to see what repairs are needed. The buyer will get a home inspection during the process as well, but we don't want there to be a ton of big ticket items, since this may cause the buyer to back out of the contract.
7. If there are repairs or renovations needed we can get a contractor to work on them. We know several in the area that we can recommend if you don't know someone already. We're happy to check in periodically while the work is being done. If we are staging the home we'll start on this around this time too, as long as the furniture isn't going to get in the way.
8. When the house is ready we get the photographer to do the photos, and the appraiser to measure the home. These are items we cover as part of our marketing.
9. Once the listing is prepped we'll send you a link with a draft of the listing. That way if there's a typo or anything about the neighborhood we missed you can help us catch it!
10. Next we do the signs and list the property. The property is then syndicated to all the real estate websites including zillow, trulia, realtor.com, redfin, movoto, the list goes on and on. We use listhub as our main syndication tool.
11. Usually the first weekend we'll set up the open house and put the open house notice on all of the websites. We'll also keep you posted on the buyer's realtors that are showing the property, and let you know any important feedback.
12. After an offer is received and negotiated we'll also walk you through the inspection and appraisal process. If there are any issues along the way we'll continue to advise you in order to have a smooth and successful closing.
13. You don't need to be here for closing, although you'll have to get the 'seller docs' that the attorney prepares signed and notarized wherever you live.
We look forward to working with you, and please feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions.