Purchasing a new home doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience. At times it may feel like you are talking to a dozen different people but every one of them has a role in the transaction. The more you know what everyone is doing the easier it will be for you to keep your transaction moving forward. Here is a list of everyone in your transaction and what their roles are.
Real estate agent: The probable starting point for your purchase. Your real estate agent will match your purchase goals with what is available in your buying area. They will handle the negotiation, contract, dates, down payment checks and coordinate the deal from start to finish. A good real estate agent will make the transaction as smooth as possible and work to keep the deal together regardless of what obstacles they encounter.
Lender/Mortgage broker: If your real estate agent is your first stop your lender is a close second. Before you view any properties you need to know what you are qualified for. Whether you work with a local lender or a mortgage broker the requirements are basically the same. They will review your credit, income, assets and employment to see what you are approved for. After your offer is accepted they will submit these documents for underwriter review and follow it through to closing. The process takes anywhere from 30 to 60 days depending on the lender and the application itself.
Inspector: One of the first things that happen after your offer is accepted is a property inspection. This is something that the buyer pays for but is used for your protection. The inspector issues a report on the property that highlights any deficiencies in the property. If these are big enough you can back out of the deal. If they are smaller you and your real estate agent will ask the seller to correct these or issue you a credit for the repairs.
Appraisal: The appraisal is ordered by the lender from the buyer. The appraisal is an estimate of the value as determined by a certified appraiser. They factor in recent comparable sales and listings and make adjustments based on the subject property. If the appraisal exceeds the purchase price you have no problems. If it comes in below you will either need to bring the difference to the closing or renegotiate with the seller. It is important to remember that the appraisal is for the lender and if they ask for items to be repaired or replaced they must be done before the transaction can be completed.
Attorney: It can be argued that your attorney holds the most important job in the transaction. They will order and review the title, help negotiate issues with the contract and get your deal to closing. At the closing they will walk you through all of the numbers and figures answer any questions you may have. They may not be as prevalent throughout the transaction but they are critical in getting the deal over the finish line.
A successful purchase requires each of these people to hold up their end of the bargain. It is also important that you hold up yours as well. Knowing what everyone’s function is should make the process that much easier for you.