Buying a home is likely one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make. With so much on the line, it’s critical to understand the key players who will guide you through the process. Knowing who these professionals are and what they do will empower you to make informed choices to find the right home.
Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is your primary guide through the home buying process. They help you identify your needs, find homes that meet your criteria, schedule showings, negotiate offers, and navigate contracts. A good real estate agent draws on their local market knowledge and resources to smooth the way.
They work for the real estate brokerage firm that lists and markets the homes. In most cases, the seller pays the agent commission, so their services don’t cost you anything extra. This partnership is key to finding the perfect home for your situation.
One of the most important players is your mortgage lender. This is the financial institution that provides financing so you can purchase the home, say the experts at Mortgage Maestro, based out of Colorado. Mortgage lenders evaluate your credit, income, and assets to determine the loan amount, interest rate, and terms you qualify for. They want to lend you money but will only approve what you can reasonably afford to pay back.
Shopping around among multiple mortgage lenders is wise to compare rates and loan products. Once you select a lender, they will guide you through the application and approval process. Your agent can recommend reputable local mortgage lenders.
Real Estate Attorney
In most states, it is highly recommended to have a real estate attorney review contracts and represent you during closing. While the agent oversees the transaction, attorneys ensure your legal rights are protected. They will review the purchase agreement to make sure contingencies that are important to you are included, such as home inspections and financing.
Real estate attorneys also review title work to confirm there are no claims against the property. Closer to closing, they negotiate any needed revisions to the purchase contract and confirm the legal descriptions are accurate. At the closing table, they will review all mortgage documents before you sign to buy the home.
Once you are under contract, a professional home inspection is strongly advised. The inspector thoroughly evaluates the physical condition of the entire property and provides a detailed written report. They check structural soundness, mechanics of systems, appliance operation, and look for red flags like leaks or pest damage. The buyer selects and hires the home inspector since they are working for you. If issues are discovered, you can request repairs from the seller or adjust your offer price. Home inspections give you insights on the true condition of your future home and flag potential problems.
The mortgage lender hires a professional appraiser to verify the purchase price is in line with the property’s market value. Appraisers inspect the home’s interior and exterior then analyze recent comparable sales. This protects the lender’s investment by ensuring you are not overpaying. If the appraisal comes in lower than the agreed price, the lender may require you to provide additional funds or renegotiate with the seller. Most homes appraise around the contract price when priced competitively.
Buying and financing real estate comes with mounds of paperwork and lots of moving parts. But you don’t have to go it alone. Lean on the experience of these real estate professionals to chart the smoothest course possible. Their expertise and guidance will prove invaluable on your path to home ownership.