WORKING WITH REAL ESTATE AGENTS
TRATO CON AGENTES DE BIENES RAÍCES
Every Agent in NC will present this brochure to a buyer at the first substantial contact. The buyer will be asked to acknowledge that the agent furnished them a copy of the brochure and reviewed it with them.
This brochure addresses the various types of working relationships that may be available to you. It should help you decide which relationship you want to have with a real estate agent. It will also give you useful information about the various services real estate agents can provide buyers and sellers, and it will help explain how real estate agents are paid.
PROTECT YOUR FAMILY FROM LEAD IN YOUR HOME
Many houses and apartments built before 1978 have paint that contains high levels of lead (called leadbased paint). Lead from paint, chips, and dust can pose serious health hazards if not taken care of properly.
OWNERS, BUYERS AND RENTERS
are encouraged to check for lead before renting, buying or renovating pre-1978 housing. Federal law requires that individuals receive certain information before renting, buying, or renovating pre-1978 housing:
have to disclose known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before leases take effect. Leases must include a disclosure about lead-based paint.
have to disclose known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before selling a house. Sales contracts must include a disclosure about lead-based paint. Buyers have up to 10 days to check for lead.
disturbing more than 2 square feet of painted surfaces have to give you this pamphlet before starting work.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON HOME INSPECTIONS
This brochure is a joint publication of the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board and the North Carolina Real Estate Commission designed to give consumers a better understanding of the home inspection process. What a home inspection is, who can perform an inspection and what to expect.
FAIR HOUSING / VIVIENDA JUSTA
The purpose of the fair housing laws is to protect a person’s right to own, sell, purchase, or rent housing of his or her choice without fear of unlawful discrimination. The fair housing laws are intended to allow everyone equal access to housing. State and Federal fair housing laws prohibit discrimination in the housing market on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, handicap, or familial status. To discriminate against a person on the basis of his or her membership in one of these protected categories is against the law.
This pamphlet will focus primarily on the fair housing laws as they are applied in the State of North Carolina.
RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISIONS AND PLANNED COMMUNITIES
This publication is intended as an introduction to issues affecting residential subdivisions and planned communities (other than condominiums) that are subject to restrictive covenants. Restrictive covenants may address everything from whether single or multi-family housing is permitted to the type, size and color of contstruction.
CONDOS AND TOWNHOUSES
This pamphlet focuses on questions frequently asked about purchasing and owning a townhouse or condo. What are homeowners’ associations? What are my responsibilities as an owner of a condo or townhouse? What are the developer’s responsibilities? These are some of the subject areas addressed. The reader is cautioned however that the legal aspects of condo and townhouse ownership are too complex to be treated in detail in this pamphlet.
Therefore, prospective purchasers and owners of condos and townhouses are advised to consult their attorneys for specific guidance.
EARNEST MONEY DEPOSITS
This brochure examines issues arising from the payment of earnest money deposits prior to closing a residential real estate sales transaction. Since payments made before closing are not treated the same in all transactions, it is important to understand the purpose of earnest money and how it will be handled during the transaction. This is usually spelled out in the offer to purchase or sales contract.
Therefore, you should always read the contract or offer to purchase before paying any money and CONSULT YOUR OWN ATTORNEY IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE PURPOSES AND DISPOSITION OF ANY PAYMENT OR ANY OTHER TERMS IN THE CONTRACT OR OFFER.
REAL ESTATE CLOSINGS
A real estate “closing” is the final step in the purchase transaction. At closing, the buyer pays the purchase price to the seller (usually with the proceeds from a loan), and the seller gives the buyer a deed transferring title to the property to the buyer. Also, funds are paid to an appraiser, home inspector, and/or other service providers, and to pay off banks or others who may have claims against the property. This pamphlet focuses on questions frequently asked about residential real estate closings.
OFFER AND ACCEPTANCE
The purchase contract is the most important document in any real estate sale. It must reflect the entire agreement between the buyer and seller.
This brochure examines issues arising during contract negotiations in residential real estate sales transactions. In particular, it focuses on “offer” and “acceptance”: the process by which a buyer and seller create a binding legal contract. Any misunderstandings concerning offer and acceptance can result in serious legal and financial consequences for the buyer and seller. Therefore, it is imperative that you carefully read and understand the entire purchase contract and that you consult an attorney if you do not understand any issues regarding it before you enter into a binding contract.
RENTING RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE
ALQUILER DE INMUEBLES PARA VIVIENDA
The relationship between you (the tenant) and a landlord begins when you enter into a contract—typically a lease. The terms of a lease generally are not dictated by law. However, many of the duties that you owe to each other are controlled by statutory law and cannot be “bargained away.”
This pamphlet focuses on questions that frequently arise during the landlord-tenant relationship. Although the term “apartment” is used throughout, you should be aware that the questions and answers apply equally to other types of residential rental real estate.
TENANT SECURITY DEPOSITS
EL DEPOSITO DE SEGURIDAD DEL INQUILINO
Each year, hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians rent houses, apartments, mobile homes, and other dwellings as their residences. For the “first-time tenant”—and even more “veteran” renters—this can be a confusing and somewhat unsettling experience. As a tenant or future tenant, the more you know about the process of renting residential real estate, the better you will be able to look out after your interests and carry out your responsibilities under your rental agreement. This booklet addresses an important aspect of the rental process which generates many questions from tenants—tenant security deposits.
The North Carolina Tenant Security Deposit Act (the “Act”) sets out the rights and responsibilities of tenants, landlords and their agents regarding tenant security deposits. (See NC General Statutes Sections 42-50 through 42-56.) The Act applies to all persons and firms which rent residential properties (except single rooms) whether on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis. The Act does not require landlords (or their agents) to collect security deposits, but they usually do in order to assure that they will be reimbursed for certain specified losses caused by tenants. Landlords also frequently use the services of real estate agents to help them manage and rent their properties. These agents must be licensed by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission and, like the landlord, must comply with the Tenant Security Deposit Act as well as the N.C. Real Estate License Law and various rules adopted by the Real Estate Commission when renting the owners’ properties.
PURCHASING COASTAL REAL ESTATE
Looking for property near the ocean? With almost 330 miles of ocean shoreline, North Carolina boasts some of the most spectacular beaches in the nation. But before buying, you should be aware of other factors that accompany the pleasures of owning property near the beach.
Most oceanfront real estate in North Carolina is located on a barrier island. These narrow strips of land between the sea and sound are particularly vulnerable to ocean forces such as storms and beach erosion that can threaten your prospective property and undercut its value.
This brochure focuses on questions you should ask as a potential purchaser of coastal real estate, whether you are considering an undeveloped lot or an existing building.
OWNING VACATION RENTAL PROPERTY
As an owner of real estate in a North Carolina resort location, have you ever thought of renting it to others for their vacation use? If so, you need to be aware of the North Carolina Vacation Rental Act. The Act applies to any person or entity (partnership, corporation, limited liability company, association, etc.) acting as a landlord or real estate broker in the rental or management of residential property for vacation rental purposes. This brochure focuses on basic information that you should have if you intend to put your property on the vacation rental market.