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Buying a home

As the buyer's agent, we rebate the buyer 1% of the purchase price from our commission paid by the seller. The seller has a contract with the listing agent (seller's agent) to pay for all commission fees (typically 6% of the selling price). If you do bot use a buyer's agent, the seller cannot pass any savings on to you as the listing agent just gets all of the commission as the listing contract stipulates.

Remember that we can show you almost any house on the market and serve as a buyer's agent for you. This also includes new construction and For-Sale-By-Owner (FSBO) houses. Be aware that new construction onsite agents ALWAYS represent the seller (the builder). We will make sure you get the best representation possible at NO COST to you and we will rebate you 1% of the purchase price from our commission paid by the seller. FSBO sellers generally understand the need, from both the seller's and buyer's point of view, of a realtor in helping to complete a very complex house transaction, and they are often willing to pay a realtor a commission for the successful sale of their house. We will negotiate with the seller for you, give you the best representation at NO COST to you, and rebate you 1% of the purchase price from our commission paid by the seller. This 1% rebate is limited to our new client for purchase of a home with value above $100,000.

Search all properties (thousands) for sale in Western North Carolina in the MLS database

Advanced property search (professional search and better results)

What will we do for you as a buyer's agent?

  • Evaluate the specific needs and wants of you and your family and locate properties that fit those specifications.

  • Assist you in determining an affordable amount (pre-qualify).

  • Search for homes not only in the MLS, but also in databases of foreclosures and for-sales-by-owners, and show properties in the price range and locale you have determined. We will inform you of homes that sellers are thinking about listing.

  • Supply you in the quickest way with detailed information on listings of potential interest.

  • Assist in viewing properties and either accompany you on the showings or preview the properties on your behalf to insure the identified specifications are met.

  • Provide you with detailed information on comparable sales, pending sales, and properties on the market to help you make an appropriate offer.

  • Research the selected properties to identify any problems or issues to help you make an informed decision.

  • Provide detailed property tax records, prior sale histories, and aerial photos of your selected properties.

  • Advise you on structuring an appropriate offer to purchase the selected property.

  • Type up the purchase offer for you.

  • Present the offer to the seller's agent and the seller on your behalf.

  • Help you negotiate for the best price and terms.

  • Review and explain all legal documents to you.

  • Help you choose a lender with the best rates and service record and help you prepare your mortgage application.

  • Provide a list of potential, qualified service providers or vendors (e.g. home inspectors, attorneys, insurance companies, movers, etc.).

  • Assist you in a pre-settlement inspection to be sure the terms of the purchase contract are kept.

  • Coordinate with the closing process.

How can we do all these at no cost to you and also rebate you 1% of the purchase price from our commission paid by the seller? We do not need to pay any franchise fee and are not burden by any bureaucratic company policy, rule, or tradition. We are very flexible and eager to meet today’s buyers’ needs. We are technologically advanced and have significantly higher productivity than the traditional realtors, and we concentrate on more sophisticated buyers who can use the internet to get some basic information so that we do not need to spend a lot of time driving around town to view properties somewhat blindly.

Preparing to buy a house

How Much House Can You Afford?
It depends on your income and debt payment, your credit scores, and your down payment. The mortgage loans with the best interest rates and terms are the conforming loans (amounts up to $349,000). Typically conforming loans require a minimum down payment of 5% and an average credit history with no late (>30 days late) loan payments during the past 24 months. They prefer the ratio of your total home payment as compared to your gross monthly income at 28% or lower, and a ratio of total debt to income ratio (minimum monthly payments as they report on the credit, added to proposed house payment) at 36% or lower. These ratios of 28% and 36% are used as a guideline. Most conforming loans are underwritten via artificial intelligence which allows much higher debt to income ratios for borrowers with strong credit histories, larger down payments, and strong employment histories.

Begin the home buying process by using our mortgage affordability calculator below to determine how much you can afford, or visit a mortgage lender and they can analyze it for you.

Please Enter Loan Information



Loan Amount:

Estimated Monthly Payments

Principal + Interest: Monthly Tax:
Monthly Insurance: Total Payment:

Check Your Credit Rating
Even if you are sure you have excellent credit, it is wise to double-check at the outset. Straightening out any errors or disputed items now will avoid troublesome holdups down the road when you are waiting for mortgage approval. You may see disputed items, in addition to errors caused by a faulty social security number, a name similar to yours, or a court ordered judgment you paid off that hasn't been cleared from the public records. If such items appear, write a letter to the appropriate credit bureau. Credit bureaus are required to help you straighten things out in a reasonable time (usually 30 days).

There are three credit bureaus which provide information on the borrowers credit, how much they have, how they use it and how it is managed, to the loan officer and lender. These bureaus are Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. Each report will show the borrowers current credit as well as their credit history, and a credit score. This score can range from 300 to 900, 900 being the best. The score is derived using the following formula:

35% - Pay history
30% - Credit usage
15% - Length or depth (age) of credit reporting
10% - Type of credit
10% - New credit

To obtain more information, visit

TIP: Make sure that any outdated derogatory entries are deleted from your credit file. Adverse credit information is not supposed to be reported or included on your credit report after seven years (except bankruptcy information, which can be reported up to ten years).

TIP: Officially cancel inactive credit cards. If you have an inactive credit card with a $5,000 limit, even though you owe nothing on it, some mortgage lenders will consider that a potential future debt. Too many inactive credit cards with significant credit limits could keep you from obtaining a mortgage loan. Do not just cut up your extra cards; officially cancel them, and do it now so there will be time for the news to reach the credit bureaus.

TIP: Hold off on making any major credit card or car purchases while you're waiting to apply for a mortgage. Monthly payments you are obligated to pay will be counted against you, and reduce the amount of the mortgage loan you will be offered. Even if you have been pre-approved for a mortgage, that approval is subject to last-minute evaluation of your financial situation, and a spending spree for appliances, furniture and other goodies intended for your new home may wreck your chances for buying it.

Pre-qualification and Pre-approval on a Mortgage
Any reputable real estate broker will "pre-qualify" you for a mortgage before you start house-hunting. This process includes analyzing your income, assets and present debt to estimate what you may be able to afford on a house purchase. Mortgage brokers, or a lender's own mortgage counselors can also calculate the same sort of informal estimate for you.

Obtaining mortgage "pre-approval" is another thing entirely. It means that you have in hand a lender's written commitment to put together a loan for you (subject only to the particular house you want to buy passing the lender's appraisal). Pre-approval makes you a strong buyer, and is welcomed by sellers. Pre-approval will also speed up the entire mortgage procedure once you have found the house you want. The only remaining question will be whether the house will "appraise" for enough to warrant the loan.

Become an Educated Buyer: Research Neighborhoods, Read Ads and Visit Open Houses
Drive around neighborhoods that interest you. Particularly on weekends, you will see "Open House" postings. Do not hesitate to walk in, even if you are not ready to buy yet. Visiting open houses is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with the market. Keep in mind that you have no obligation to any of the real estate agents you may meet along the way.

Your Wish List
Making sure you end up with the right home involves figuring out exactly what features you need, want and do not want in a home. Before starting your search, you should make a "wish list" to decide which features are absolutely essential, which are nice "extras" if you happen to find them, and which are completely undesirable. The more specific you can be about what you are looking for from the outset, the more effective your home search will be. Also keep in mind, that in the end, every home purchase is a compromise.

Common Home-Buying Mistakes to Avoid

1. Looking at houses without first getting loan approval. In today's marketplace, touring houses you think you would like to buy without knowing your buying power is a waste of everyone's time. It is discouraging for any buyer to fall in love with a house and write up a contract only to find out he or she cannot afford the dream home. Getting loan pre-approval, however, is like having a credit card in your pocket for the purchase price. It eliminates surprises and saves valuable time.

2. Buying the wrong type of home. Many times, we have seen buyers purchase a home that has one characteristic they like, but none other. It might have a great kitchen, but overall it's too small (or too large). The price is great, but the house is too far from work. It is a perfect fixer-upper, but the buyers are not handy with tools. Be sure to review every aspect of the house and compare it, not only with your "wants" list, but also your "lifestyle" list.

3. Failing to use a buyer's agent. It used to be that all real estate agents worked for sellers (even an agent who brought a buyer was actually a subagent of seller, representing the seller's interest). In today's market, buyers can and should have buyer's agents, who provide full representation for the buyers and look out after the buyer's best interests. Seller's and builder's agents, while required to treat buyers fairly and honestly, are compelled by agency law to negotiate the best deal for their clients-the seller and the builder. Purchasing a home without a buyer's agent but with a seller's or builder's agent is somewhat like going to court without your own lawyer but with your opponent's lawyer.

Buncombe Realty, 1104 Hendersonville Rd., Asheville, NC 28803 (view location map)
Phone (828)301-2021   Toll-free 888-932-8001   Fax (828)277-1240

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