Ready to Buy a Home in Durham, Cary, Raleigh, Chapel Hill?

There are some things you should know at the very bottom there is some Q and A’s that I typically get asked.

Family Purchasing Their First HomePerhaps one of the greatest accomplishments in life is purchasing a first home. Consumers are more budget conscious than ever and want to make sure they are making smart choices when it comes to their hard earned money. Despite the fact that the current housing market in the Triangle is ideal for real estate novices, 1st time buyers are still nervous. Before starting a home search with me, it’s important to understand the 8 steps in the buying process. Likewise, first time buyers can learn more about the key players involved in a real estate sale and their designated roles. For the seasoned home buyer, this is probably a good time to brush up on anything that has changed over the years!

Julian Jahoo, REALTOR®    •   Fonville Morisey    •     919-302-2403    •

Step 1 – Prequalification

Pre-approval for a mortgage loan
Getting pre-qualified for a mortgage is step one of the process and necessary to complete prior to your first house-hunting appointment with the me. Just like any large purchase that requires a loan, it’s pivotal for a buyer to be financially prepared to act prior to finding a home. This information is equally important for your buyer’s agent to know. That way, your agent knows the price range of homes to show or suggest to you. Here is a great link to click on for our in house lender Julie Straub with FM Lending.

Step 2 – Hiring a buyer’s agent

Keep Calm and call a Buyer's Agent
Undoubtedly, the wisest decision any buyer can make is to hire an experienced buyer’s agent like Julian Jahoo to represent them. Just like any major purchase, event or procedure, it’s pivotal to have an experienced advocate working with you. Many purchasers still attempt to do everything on their own. Often times, this boils down to several key misconceptions. Contact Julian Jahoo today for a free consultation and find out what buyer agency is all about! Here are some great testimonials if needed.

Step 3 – Searching for your new home!

Search The Hampton Roads MLS
Besides being handed the keys, house-hunting for your 1st home is the most exciting part! Sure, looking through homes on  or checking out the new listings on Julian’s home page to you each day is an important part of shopping for a home. But, nothing beats the thrill of personally viewing homes!


Step 4 – Submitting an offer

Signing a real estate purchase agreement.

Once a 1st time buyer has viewed and sometime re-viewed potential homes, the true weeding out process begins. Typically, it’s best to narrow down the list to your top three. From there, Julian and his buyers will compose a written offer on the number 1 choice. If not previously done, recently sold comparable will be reviewed to gauge an offer price.

Step 5 – Closing Preparation

Closing preparation checklist


Whoo hoo! You got the house! You’re now one step closer to realizing your dreams of home ownership! Time to get back to work so the closing attorney can be handing over those keys in 45 or more days!


Step 6 – Formal loan application

Formal mortgage loan application

Once Julian has helped the buyer put a home under contract, the buyers will need to make formal loan application with their loan officer. Official loan paperwork will be signed; the loan officer will discuss items regarding locking interest rates, collect the appraisal fee, any required attendance of a home buyer seminar, etc. The lender can also assist you with answering any concerns or questions you may have.

Step 7 – Budgeting for pre-closing expenses

Budgeting for home closing expenses

Budgeting for the first two weeks immediately following ratification is a crucial step for a buyer. By setting aside between $2000 and $3,000, the purchaser will be prepared to cover their earnest money deposit and diligence fee, home inspection, appraisal, and any financing reservation fees.


Step 8 – Closing/Settlement

Moving in after closing on your new home.

After all the contingencies in the contract are removed/loan requirements are satisfied, it’s time for the lender to send the closing package to the buyer’s attorney/title company.



Julian Jahoo, REALTOR®    •   Fonville Morisey    •     919-302-2403    •

Great questions from buyers!


1. Q: Julian, what do I need to do before I think about purchasing a home?

A: Get your finances in order.

Often when people are considering buying a home, whether it be a first time investment or another home, they believe they can just puchase one like buying a new item for a kitchen. That is usually not the case. Before you buy a home you should check with a lender to see what type of mortgage you qualify for. You should know facts such as:

  • Annual Income
  • Amount of Cash you have for a down payment*
  • Other Home Loans
  • Credit Card Balances
  • Other Loan Balances (Vehicles, etc.)
  • School Loans
  • Other factors affecting your income e.g. child support, tax payments, dividends, etc.

*Note: Some first time home buyer loan programs do not require a down payment.

It’s a good idea to make a budget to see if you can buy a home of interest and maintain your lifestyle of choice. Talking to a trusted lender is a critical step in determining what your price range will be.

2. Q: Julian, do I need to be prequalified?

A: It is generally a good idea to get prequalified.

Many sellers require a prequalification letter with your offer to purchase. So you should have that readily available when it comes time to make an offer. In general it will make your offer look stronger.

3. Q: Julian, what is the cost of prequalification?

A: There is no cost associated with getting prequalified. Our lender Julie Straub is awesome so if needed at least give her a shot just click this link!

4. Q: Julian, what is pre-qualification?

A: Prequalification is where you have spoken to a lender about a possible home loan.

This is when you have spoken to a lender, usually over the phone. You will provide him/her with the information described above. They, in turn, will give you an estimate of what they believe you would qualify for if all the information you have given them is accurate.


People often think that because they are prequalified they can get the loan when they find the home of their dreams. That is not true. At this point in the loan process they have not run a credit check or verified any of the information you have provided. There may be things on your credit report that are inaccurate or that you have forgotten about that may inhibit the loan process or affect the loan amount.

5. Q: If I find a home that is not listed by you can you still show it to me?

A: Yes

I am able to show you ANY home, new or resale, no matter who the listing broker is.

If you see a home advertised in the newspaper, or if you drive by a home that interests you, please call me! If you visit an Open House or a New Home Community, please tell the seller’s agent in the home that I am representing you.

Remember, home information is always available to me, even if it is not my listing..

6. Q: Julian when we find a house we like how do we buy it?

A: It is a many step process here is a brief overview of the process

You will need a diligence check made out to the seller and an earnest money check typically made out to the listing firm to accompany the Offer to Purchase. This may be in the form of a personal check, or in some cases a certified check. A minimum of 1% of the sales price is deemed adequate in most cases for earnest money and a diligence fee ranging from $200.00+ depending on the price of the home and the situation. When your written Offer to Purchase is presented to the seller, he has three choices:

  1. 1. He can accept your offer
  2. 2. He can reject your offer
  3. 3. He can make a counteroffer.

Negotiations after the initial written offer are conducted verbally until an agreement is reached. When the seller accepts your offer, or you accept his counteroffer in writing, you have a binding contract for sale on that property. Your earnest money will be deposited in the listing broker’s trust account to be held until closing and the diligence fee is paid directly to the seller and this fee is non-refundable.

7. Q: Julian, is it best to make a really low offer at first?

A: If your offer is too low you may take some unwanted risks.

It is important to remember that if you make a low offer on a home and the offer is rejected or countered, another prospective buyer may submit an offer that may be accepted by the seller before you have the opportunity to submit another offer or accept the seller’s counter to your offer. I have even heard of experiences where a buyer made a low offer to the seller, and the seller was insulted and refused to entertain any more offers from the client.

8. Q: Julian, would it be in my best interest to work with several Realtors and not just one?

A: It is in YOUR best interest to work exclusively with me.

  • I have access to every home that is in the Triangle Multiple Listing Service
  • I am self-employed, not on an expense account, and will be paid only when I find the right home for you.
  • Your loyalty is appreciated and in return you will receive the maximum in service from me and my team.
  • All of my time and professional advice, experience, and assistance is FREE to you!