Buying A Home With
Darlene's Team

Getting Started

Darlene is involved in the entire process when you purchase a home through her team of buyer’s agents. This team of real estate professionals will assist you in gaining a clear understanding of the entire home buying process and your agent will work with you to understand your criteria and special needs. Darlene’s agent will provide valuable information regarding location, community, schools and builders to help make your home buying experience informed and pleasurable. As a homebuyer you have the right to have a professional real estate agent represent you and serve your best interests.

South Carolina State law requires that you be informed of all forms of agency:

• Listing Agent represents the seller only

• Seller’s Agent works with buyers but represents the seller

• Buyer’s Agent works with and represents the buyer

• Dual Agent works with both buyers and sellers, representing both (This form of agency is also practiced when two agents work for the same company.)

• Designated Agent works with either buyers or sellers, representing either – not both

Before you begin going out to look at homes to purchase, you need to be pre-qualified or pre-approved. Sometimes this can be done with a simple phone call. An offer to purchase and contract carries more weight when you have a letter of pre-approval.

• Pre-qualified: You qualify for a specific loan amount based on a review of your income and debt ratio.
• Pre-approved: In addition to a review of your income and debt ratio, your credit report will be ordered and considered in qualifying for a specific loan amount.

Selecting a Lender

There are hundreds of lenders available offering an endless number of loan options. Darlene’s buyer’s agents are highly knowledgeable and, upon request, they can provide suggestions to assist you in this process. You will want to determine how much you can afford to borrow based on your personal financial situation. Mortgage bankers and brokers will likely ask you to document your income and debt.

• The Mortgage Lender usually loans you money from his company (i.e. bank) and typically offers several set programs with specific guidelines.

• The Mortgage Broker works with many different lenders and facilitates numerous types of loan programs.

Finding Your New Home

When you purchase a home through Darlene’s team of buyer’s agents, you can expect your buyer’s specialist to listen to your specific criteria and special needs to help you select the perfect home for you and your family. Darlene’s team members are knowledgeable about the many neighborhoods and communities throughout the Charleston Area. Based on the research of your buyer’s specialist, you will begin visiting many homes; some you may have requested and some that seem to fit your criteria. Your buyer’s specialist will schedule appointments for these showings and personally take you to each one. As you tour these homes, select the ones you like and envision yourself and your family living in them. After several of these outings, you will easily be able to make a decision.

You may find a home that is being sold by its owner without the benefit of being listed with a real estate agency. We endearingly call these homes FSBO’s. You may request that your agent contact the home’s owner to view the home. Often, the home’s owner will allow this and pay the selling side of the commission to your buyer’s agent. Never hesitate to involve your buyer’s agent! This is when you are most likely to need the help of Darlene’s professional team the most.

Buying Your New Home

This is the one! You have found the perfect home for you and your family. Now, with your buyer’s specialist, you will review the listing price and decide what amount you would like to offer for the home. Your agent will help you prepare an offer to purchase and contract, including any appropriate addenda. Your offer must be accompanied by earnest money, which is considered a deposit made in good faith to show that you are serious about purchasing this particular home. Your agent must present your offer immediately.

In a perfect world your offer would be accepted immediately, but in reality, you can expect a counter offer – unless you have offered to pay the asking price. These negotiations are usually done verbally but can be done in writing. This often takes several days. Once you have agreement on all the terms of your contract, you will be ready for the final steps.


Your buyer’s agent will recommend several different types of inspections for your protection. Inspections are performed at the buyer’s expense. These are not required unless specified by your lender (i.e. termite inspection), but they are very important to protect you and your new investment.

Your agent will help you set up the necessary inspections and should be present during the inspections.

Home Inspection – This inspection covers the entire home including structural, drainage, plumbing and mechanical systems.

Termites – In South Carolina, this could be one of the most important inspections you will need.

Radon Gas – This inspection looks for trap radon gas, which is found mostly in homes with slabs and basements.

Mold – This is a relatively new inspection for the Charleston market. This inspection looks for toxic mold growth that could be hazardous to your health.

Well & Septic – If this inspection applies to the particular home you are purchasing, it will verify the quality of your water and identify any need for repairs or cleaning of the septic system.
Repairs that are identified as a result of these inspections are negotiable with the seller. Please be cautious not to confuse required repairs with cosmetic repairs. Sellers are not required to make cosmetic repairs unless otherwise agreed to in the original contract.

Lead Paint - Residential dwellings built before 1978 will be inspected for lead based paint.


Your lender will order an appraisal as part of the loan process. A house will almost always appraise for the contract price, or higher. In the unlikely event that it does not appraise for the sale price, you may choose to re-negotiate your contract or withdraw your offer.

Walk Through

As the new homebuyer, you are entitled to a walk through 24 hours in advance of your closing. This is where you ensure that the home is in the same or better condition then when you originally selected it. This also provides the opportunity to verify that all requested repairs have been made. This is extremely important since a closing constitutes acceptance of the property in its current condition.


The real estate closing attorney that you selected with the help of your buyer’s specialist will review the final numbers with you prior to the closing. You will sign the necessary paperwork that is provided to your attorney by your mortgage lender. Please remember to bring personal identification with you to the closing so that your attorney can notarize your signatures.


This is where you get the keys to your new home and you can move in. Now you can celebrate!




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