Get to know the professionals of the homebuying process
If you haven’t been through the homebuying process before, you might be surprised to learn just how many professionals are involved in the process. These professionals will help to simplify the homebuying process and will protect your best interests throughout the entire transaction.
It’s important to understand the roles that they will play throughout the process, and you should note that in most cases you will have the freedom to choose which professionals you want to work with.
Real Estate Agent: This is often the first professional that comes to mind when you imagine the steps of the homebuying process. Your real estate agent is licensed to help you negotiate the purchase of real estate. They will help you find and tour homes that match your wants and needs and fit within your budget. Once you find a home, they will help you negotiate the purchase and facilitate other important steps in the process. They will also keep in communication with the other key players to ensure that everything is moving along smoothly.
Loan Officer: Many first-time buyers do not realize that the first step in the homebuying process is to meet with your loan officer and figure out how much you could be approved to borrow. You and your loan officer will have a conversation about your financial goals and objectives and will gather important information from you such as your paystubs, tax returns, credit profile, etc. to figure out how much you can borrow, and what loan programs make the most sense for you. Your loan officer will work with you throughout the entire process to make sure that the lender has everything they need to close your loan on time.
Appraiser: Your lender orders an appraisal for the home, which is performed by an accredited or certified appraiser. The appraiser will tour the property and give an objective and fair appraisal of the home’s value. The appraiser will value the home based on the square footage, location, condition of the home, and the local real estate market.
Insurance Agent: You are required to obtain homeowner’s insurance when you are taking out a mortgage. This protects you and your lender in the event that something should happen to the house. Your insurance agent will work with you to determine how much coverage you want and will ensure that your lender has all the necessary documentation associated with your insurance policy. You are welcome to choose your own trusted insurance agent, or you can ask your real estate agent or loan officer to recommend a professional that they know and trust.
Title Agent: The job of the title agent is to ensure that the title of the property can be rightfully placed in your name. They will perform a title search to ensure that there are no obstacles that would take away from a clean transfer of ownership, such as a lien or an unpaid judgment. Once again, you are free to choose a title agent of your choice, or you can rely on a recommendation from your loan officer or real estate agent.
Closing Agent/ Attorney- Also known as an escrow officer, this person is responsible for organizing and finalizing the real estate closing. At the real estate closing, all relevant documents are signed, and you walk away as the legal owner of the property. This person will ensure that all of the requirements were satisfied by the buyer and seller before all the documents are signed. You are free to choose your own closing company/attorney, or you can rely on your loan officer or real estate agent for a recommendation.
Inspector: Your real estate agent will likely coordinate an inspector to come out to the property and complete an in-depth inspection of the home. The inspector will create a report that lists any issues in the home that you should be aware of when considering the purchase of the home. The inspector will take a close look at all of the home’s systems, units, and appliances, as well as the structural integrity of the house. If issues are found, the real estate agent may be able to negotiate a price reduction or the repairs of some of the issues.
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