Buyer Resources

It can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start in the buying process. But you don't need to fret, Sold By Starkey has all the resources you need! Download our free buyers' resource guide, and let us help ease your stress throughout the buying process.

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Why a Buyer’s Agent?

It’s free!

99% of the time a Buyer’s Agent doesn’t cost the buyer anything at all!

Don’t give the seller the upper-hand

The agent representing the seller is contractually obligated to do what’s in the seller’s best interest. If they also help the buyer, they’re simply “pushing paper”.


Appraisals, Inspections, Negotiations – OH MY! Your Buyer’s Agent is there to ensure every decision you make is supported by industry knowledge, and won’t come back to haunt you.

Don’t Call the Sign or the Online Advertised Agent

Those agents work for the seller and calling them because you don’t want to “bother” us makes it difficult for you to have representation in the future.

Open Houses

By all means, attend Open Houses, but tell the agent hosting the event that you’re already represented.

You will NOT save money by going in without an agent!

The commission percentage being paid is already negotiated with the listing agent, so the seller will not make more money if the buyer is unrepresented. With most reputable builders, this still applies.

New Construction

Once again, the on-site agent works for the builder and is contractually obligated to do what’s best for the builder. With most reputable builders, Buyer’s Agent representation won’t affect the price of the home.

Why Sold By Starkey as your Buyer's Agent?


Time and expertise of 7 professionals


11 years working full-time in Residential Real Estate; volume earning a seat on the Triangle Top Producers Council; 100s of families served

Leader in the Realtor Community

NC Association of Realtors Board of Directors Member; Raleigh Regional Association of Realtors Board of Directors Member; Former Dean of RRAR Leadership Academy; Former President of NCAR Young Professionals Network

Happy Clients

Check reviews from or Zillow; rated in the Top 5 agents in Raleigh, Cary, Holly Springs, Apex, & Fuquay-Varina based on client experience

Service after the sale

We’re ALWAYS your resource for all things home & real estate


A portion of each closing goes to your agent’s chosen 501c3 charitable organization. Sold By Starkey actively supports various Triangle charitable organizations including Cannonball Kids cancer, Note in the Pocket, The Travis Manion Foundation, Abby’s Army, Hopeline, Triangle Down Syndrome Network, Triangle Young Non-Profit Professionals, and more.


Count on quick, polite, reliable customer service when we’re representing your property. The way an experience makes you feel matters.

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The Process of getting to “Under Contract”

Contact an Agent!

The very first step is talking through this process w/ an agent and signing Buyer Agency paperwork, allowing this agent to represent you.

Contact a Lender!

We can provide recommendations to trusted lenders.

Your agent will set up an MLS search

(3rd party online sites are NOT comprehensive)

Create A List

Give your agent a list of homes you’re interested in for research.

Drive by!

Sometimes you can cross homes off the list just by seeing the exterior.

View homes!

Remember, only view homes you’re serious about, as you’re asking someone to leave their home. Also, viewing too many homes clouds your memory. If you’re looking in an area and price point where homes fly off the shelf, we’ll need to plan to see things quickly; otherwise, we’ll try to plan a date soon to see multiple properties at once.

Make an offer!

Sometimes an offer is accepted as-is, sometimes it’s countered, and sometimes you’ll enter a “multiple offer situation”. If you go Under Contract… congrats! If not, WASH-RINSE-REPEAT.

Sign Paperwork & Deliver Checks

(Due Diligence and Ernest Money) to your agent.

What comes with an offer?

Purchase Price

How much are you offering the seller for their home?

Due Diligence Date and Amount

This is paid to the seller to take their home off the market for you to complete inspections, obtain financing, etc. You may walk away for any reason during this time, but the seller keeps this fee. DD is typically about 3 weeks.

Earnest Money Amount

This money comes into play if you walk away AFTER the Due Diligence Date

Close Date

This is typically between 30-60 days, with fewer days being more favorable… but every seller has different motivations.

Personal Property

This is where you ask for things that do NOT automatically convey, such as refrigerator, washer/dryer, etc.

Closing Costs

Depending on the current market, it may or may not be reasonable to ask the seller to share the closing costs.

Love Letter

Never underestimate the power of a letter directly from the buyer to the seller explaining why it’s the perfect home for you.


Sometimes buyers ask sellers to cover the cost of a 1-year home warranty.

Specific Loan Criteria

ALL LOANS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL! Some loan types and mortgage companies make sellers weary, despite other terms being excellent. Discuss different loan options with your agent and lender.

The Expenses of Buying

DUE DILIGENCE FEE The fee you pay directly to the seller to take the home off the market while you do inspections, obtain financing, etc. NO MATTER WHAT, YOU DO NOT GET THIS BACK!

EARNEST MONEY This money comes into play after the Due Diligence date has passed. The seller will keep this fee if you cannot close on the home after the Due Diligence date. (Typically the DD and the EM fee total roughly 1% of the price of the home, but the market dictates what is viewed as appropriate amounts.)

HOME INSPECTION A licensed home inspector will inspect the property and identify items of concern, as well as advise if additional inspections are needed (~$300-$500)


RADON TEST (~$150)

ADDITIONAL INSPECTIONS Occasionally the Home Inspector will advise an additional inspection – for example, a well & septic inspection, a structural engineer, a mold technician, etc (Prices vary)

SURVEY This identifies the specific lot lines, and any encroachments, or easements; can sometimes be paid at closing. (~$525)

CLOSING COSTS Your lender can tell you how much to expect in closing costs.

-While all inspections and tests are optional, the Sold By Starkey Team VERY STRONGLY ENCOURAGES that buyers do not skip any recommended inspection. Should you choose to forego a suggested inspection we’ll ask that you sign something stating that we recommended otherwise.

The process of getting from Under Contract to Closed

Contact your lender to start the loan process.

It is SUPER important that you do this immediately to ensure everything is in place before Due Diligence expires.

Work with your agent to schedule all inspections and the survey.

If inspections warrant estimates from contractors, schedule contractors as well.

Negotiate repairs.

Ask your attorney about their process for bringing funds to closing

Most likely they’ll have you wire the funds, but some will accept a cashier's check.

Final Walkthrough

Final Walkthrough to ensure all repairs are completed as discussed.

What can go wrong?

Inspections may identify something you deem too unacceptable to move forward.

The buyer and seller cannot agree on a mutually acceptable solution during repair negotiations.

Your loan cannot clear.

The seller decides not to sell and is in breach of the contract.

“My Realtor didn’t even find my home… I found it myself”

Yep, that’s right! That’s because, in this day and age, buyers have access to so much data online, that they’re often able to identify their favorite homes on their own. Hire your agent to help you navigate the process – not necessarily to just find your home.

Create a Comprehensive Search in the MLS Together

The Sold By Starkey Team approaches the search by sitting with buyers to create a comprehensive search in the MLS together. Sites such as Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, etc ARE NOT ACCURATE OR COMPREHENSIVE. If you must use a 3rd party site, try or the HomeSpotter App.

Keep your search broad!

The more restrictions you put in, the fewer homes you get out of. The data is only as good as the agent who puts it in… and there are slackers in this industry.

Help Your Agent

Help keep the process organized by sending your agent the homes you’d like to view in one email at a time, as much as possible.

Closing & Referrals

A week before closing you’ll receive an email outlining the last steps.

You get to select the closing attorney, but unless you have a personal relationship we strongly recommend you use our preferred attorney.

Don’t forget to bring your funds to closing! The attorney will provide instructions on this ahead of time.

Sometimes closings get delayed! If at all possible, don’t plan to move into your new home on closing day.

The end of the closing appointment does not mean the property is yours. You WILL NOT receive keys to the property until the property is recorded, which may not happen until the end of the day…… even if you’ve had a different experience in the past.

Were you happy with your Sold By Starkey agent? We certainly hope so! We pride ourselves on being 100% referral based so if you were pleased with your service, it would mean so much if you provided us with a review. Following closing, we’ll send you instructions on where your reviews are most helpful. Referrals are vital to our business – plus, we’ll work extra hard to take excellent care of your people!

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By giving us your phone number and email address, you are giving Sold By Starkey Team permission to contact you via email or phone.