Buyer's Guide

Let's Begin a Conversation

We like to start with a conversation. You will interview us, so to speak, and make sure you want us to join you on this journey. Once you feel comfortable, we need to make sure we have paperwork signed before we begin sharing any confidential information. Let’s jump in.

  • Working with Real Estate Agents Brochure:

    This brochure is required by North Carolina License Law and provides information on agency relationships. It is not a contract but must be reviewed and acknowledged before we begin the home buying process.  This brochure prompts good discussion and sets the groundwork for the Buyer’s Agency exchange. 

  • Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement:
    You’ve already decided you want to work with us, but we need to chat about the Exclusive Buyer’s Agency Agreement and all the variables it can entail. At this point, we will review this agreement with you.
  • Sample Documents:

    We will share the outline of the buying process, including sharing a sample copy of a current Offer to Purchase. You will learn the general outline of the purchase contract so you will know how to prepare for the process.  We will also share sample documents in regard to home inspections, professional services, etc. 

The Working with Real Estate Agents Brochure must be reviewed and signed before we begin the home buying process, and before you share any confidential information with us.

The Buyer’s Agency Agreement is required when you’re ready to make an offer, and encouraged to be completed sooner. We’ll discuss this in detail.

Get Pre-Approved

Setting your budget is an important step, and the best way to determine your defined budget is to talk to a lender. The High Country is a unique place, and that’s why finding the right local lender is crucial.

We recommend talking to a lender before even seeing your first house. Our beautiful rural mountains can be challenging for banks without local representation, and that’s why we recommend working with a local lender who understands the area. There are no “kickbacks” between us and the lenders, but through experience, we know which lenders can get it done. You will work with your lender to receive your pre-approval letter.

This letter is a statement from a lender that you qualify for a specific amount based on an underwriter’s review of all of your financial information. A pre-approval letter provides documentation of exactly how much mortgage you have been approved to borrow. This documented evidence shows both agents and sellers that you are serious in your pursuit of a property.

Sellers want to know that you are a qualified buyer before taking their house off the market. A pre-approval letter can make a big difference for homebuyers, and we will help you use this pre-approval to your advantage in the negotiations.

Priorities & Preferences

We know the area well, but we need your input to narrow down our search to find the home that best fits you and your needs. What do you hope for in a home? We will help you calibrate the realities of the market with your home desires and goals.

It’s simple! Make a list, and we’ll help you find your ideal home that meets most (if not all) of your needs.

House Shopping

Here is the fun part! We will visit homes together. However, it is good to drive around the area to get a sense of the neighborhood. We also encourage you to time your commute in relation to your other points of reference i.e., work, school, etc.

  • Look beyond the staging and decor to see the features and fixtures that convey with the house
  • Check the condition of the home
  • Keep track with photos and notes
  • Consider possible home improvements you might want to make so you can research costs later
  • Locate your commuter route, schools, shops, restaurants, parks, and other amenities
  • If the property is a condo or located in a homeowners association, find out the fees and rules to see if you can live with them


This is where Stacie Pineda Real Estate Group really shines! We conduct in-depth research on the home you want to make an offer on so you have all the information you need to make an informed decision before closing. There is some preliminary research to consider. For example, if fiber optic internet is critical, you will determine if what is available is adequate prior to making an offer.

Make an Offer

Using a Comparative Market Analysis, we’ll help you make a competitive offer that is right for you. We present the offer to the seller’s agent. We will continue negotiating until you are comfortable walking away or going under contract. Our job is to give you a safe place to express what you really want, and we will do the negotiating for you.

  • The price
  • If the buyer is requesting help with closing costs
  • Settlement date
  • Due Diligence deposit (non-refundable)
  • Earnest money deposit (refundable until a negotiated date)
  • Due Diligence timeline (length of time for inspections and research)
  • Buyer’s attorney

The due diligence fee depends on the price of the house and the competition for it. This is negotiable. The due diligence period is a negotiated period of time to do research, get financing in order, thoroughly inspect the home, determine how much utilities will cost, and negotiate repairs and concessions.

Within the negotiated time period, you can walk away from the contract for any reason (or no reason at all) at the expense of the due diligence fee and any money you have spent on inspections.

Schedule Home Inspection

We’ll be with you through every step of this process! You can rely on our vast resources to advise you on your property. Inspectors can raise your attention to an issue and our service specialists can tell you the extent of that issue. How you decide to proceed is up to you. Let’s discuss in more detail.

  • General Home Inspection: $350-$450
  • Water Bacteria Test: $60+
  • Well Inspection: $300-$400
  • Mold Inspection: $400-$500
  • Pest Inspection: $100-$125
  • Radon: $100-$150
  • Survey: $600-$1500/acre
  • Chimney/Fireplace Inspection: $85-$125
  • Septic Inspection: $350-$450
  • Environmental Study
  • Engineer’s Inspection: $300-$400
  • Contractor’s Review of Inspections & Estimate of Repairs: $150-$200 

You’ll get a written report that identifies potential problems and future maintenance issues. It’s up to you to decide whether the report means that you want to have experts investigate further, walk away from a house, or ask the sellers to make repairs.

You can also have an “information only” inspection, which means you’re buying the house as is, but want to know its condition.

This is a second round of negotiations. We take the results of the inspections and ask for financial reparations and/or for repairs to be completed. Sellers have no obligation to offer to pay for repairs. Think of that as an unexpected bonus, but do not budget with that expectation. Our job is to make sure we have an agreement before due diligence passes.

During the initial negotiation, we offered the seller earnest money and an associated time period. If you walk away from the contract after the expiration of due diligence, you forfeit the earnest money. The last day of the earnest money period is the closing date.

The earnest money is credited to you at closing. This is a good time to set up utilities in your new house, finalize financing, get home insurance, etc. We will send you a reminder.


Prior to closing, your attorney has researched your property to ensure that the title is clear and the owners have the right to sign it over to you. We’ve instructed you to set up utilities in your name and update your mailing address. We have received the final settlement statement from your lender and reviewed it to ensure its accuracy. Your lender has advised you to order the certified check or wiring instructions for closing.

In a word: Paperwork! Allot a few hours for your closing.

What to bring to the closing:

  • A government-issued photo ID
  • Proof of homeowner’s insurance
  • Your copy of the contract
  • All paperwork associated with your loan and the home purchase
  • Your cashier’s check or wire transfer confirmation

Once you’ve signed all the paperwork and turned over the closing check, the attorney will file the deed. We’ll call you once the deed has been filed, and then you’re officially a property owner!


You’ve got the keys to your new home! Stay in touch with your Stacie Real Estate Group agent for future recommendations and services.

Ready to Find Your
New Mountain Home?