Buying a home is an exciting, although somewhat complicated, process. It takes a lot of planning and preparation to get a mortgage and to find the right house in the perfect neighborhood! You’ll want to assemble a team of experts to keep everything in order and assure that the entire process goes smoothly. Below are some of the people you’ll meet during your home buying process – and the role they’ll play in helping you secure your new home!
As soon as you’re ready to get serious about your house hunting process, you’ll want to get a Buyer’s Agent to help you find the right home within your budget. A Buyer’s Agent will find homes that match your wish list in neighborhoods that you like. They will help coordinate showings and meetings, and they will help you fill out and understand all of the paperwork when it comes time to actually buy a home. Most importantly – a Buyer’s Agent will be your advocate in negotiations and agreements with the home sellers.
Most people can’t buy a home in all cash, so they need to borrow money through a mortgage which they will pay back over the life of the loan (usually between 5 and 30 years). You can either start working with a mortgage broker before or soon after meeting your buyer’s agent. This person will evaluate your finances and help you decide how much you can reasonably afford for a monthly mortgage payment. This calculated amount will be presented in a pre-approval – a document that states how much money the mortgage company will lend you to purchase a home. A Mortgage Broker will assist you in finding out which mortgage is right for your situation, and also understanding how each type of product will affect your long-term financial goals
The seller’s agent is someone you will meet as you search your chosen neighborhoods and attend open houses. Much like the Buyer’s Agent, a Seller’s Agent will help with the negotiations and agreement paperwork during the purchase of a house. However, a Seller’s Agent will be advocating for the best interest of the home seller instead of the home buyer. If you are selling a home while you are buying a home, you may use a Seller’s Agent for that transaction. Some of the duties of a Seller’s Agent are: researching the local housing market and condition of the house to price it correctly; putting a home on the market and marketing the property to ensure it gets buyers interested; holding open houses and showings of a home; and of course, negotiating with buyers and assisting with paperwork when it comes time to sell.
Once you choose the home you like, it is important to view the property thoroughly and ensure that it is in good shape – or at least in the shape that the seller promises. A home inspector is a third-party representative (neutral to the buyer and the seller) with knowledge of housing codes, structural necessities, and overall home conditions. They can provide insight about the condition of major home features, like the flooring, walls, roof, and foundation. Some inspectors can also give feedback about HVAC units and plumbing, but occasionally you may need to get a specialist to check those systems. As a buyer, it is a good idea to be present at the home inspector reviews your potential home. That way you can ask any questions that arise and address any noteworthy points.
Home Insurance Agent
A Home Insurance Agent is someone that you will likely meet as soon as decide to move forward with the purchase of a property. This person will evaluate the value of your house and write an insurance policy to help cover your property in the case of a disaster. Note: this valuation may look significantly less than the amount that you are paying for the property. This is because insurance only covers the actual house – not the property that the house is on.
Real estate attorney
When it comes time to exchange money, sign paperwork, and finalize the sale of the home, there will likely be a real estate attorney present to ensure that all parties are entering into the sale and agreement willfully, and with complete understanding. Some buyers choose to have a personal real estate attorney present at the closing of the home sale. This ensures that their best interests will be represented, and the contract will be legally reviewed by their advocate.