Buying a home is barely a short-term measure you handle with the same seriousness you would display in a typical everyday transaction. Considering that this is a long-term commitment and that most of your life and family memories will be built in the house, it makes sense to give the transaction some serious thought. Before buying your new home, make sure you assemble the proper team and talk to the right people, be it in the private sector or at the state and federal levels. Professionals who can help you make your dream of home ownership a reality include real estate brokers, closing agents, attorneys and insurance agents.
How Can a Real Estate Agent Help Me?
A real estate agent helps you locate property that fits within your financial budget, the property type, the preferred location and a miscellany of criteria ranging from public school system to safety rankings to available amenities, such as parks and arts centers. In essence, you need the agent to kick off your property search and ensure a quick turnaround. Most agents have access to sophisticated databases that cull data from multiple sources, linking things like zoning legislation and new developments to things like used home sales and income levels of residents in a particular area. These are data bits you would need to make an informed decision when you find a house you love and want to live in.
How Do I Choose a Mortgage Broker or Lender?
A home mortgage broker helps you find a lender who is willing to review your application, accept your risk profile and advance you the funds. The broker performs tasks that are similar to tasks assumed by a commercial real estate agent, also known as a real estate broker. A mortgage broker delves into a proprietary database of lenders, reviews their respective criteria, evaluates your application and financial history, and matches you with a lender whose criteria mesh with your situation. Upon the application's approval, the lending institution grants you the loan and wires the funds to the seller's account. Make sure you talk to your state's Department of Financial Institution to ascertain that the residential mortgage broker and lender are, or work for, reputable and legally organized businesses that are registered with state and federal authorities.
Do I Need an Appraiser?
An appraiser is on your side when you buy a house. He or she uses analytical dexterity, an eye for detail, and residential real estate savvy to estimate the value of the property you want to buy. It is not uncommon to see an appraiser who has a knack for identifying local real estate trends and forecasting economic activities, depending on home sales and occupancy rates in a specific area. Think of an appraiser as a professional who will save you money as you are embarking on the new-home train. To find a competent appraiser in your residence area, contact the American Society of Appraisers.
Where Does a Property Inspector Fit In the Home Purchase Process?
A property inspector comes into play when you find a house or apartment you like, at the price you want. The inspector examines the property, paying attention to things like structural fitness, fire and safety conditions, heating and plumbing systems, and water heater equipment. He or she also digs deeper into roof and basement conditions, electrical equipment and air-conditioning systems as well as compliance with a mishmash of regulations promulgated by key organizations. These include the National Association of Home Inspectors, the American Society of Home Inspectors, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, and the Independent Home Inspectors of North America. Knowing all these organizations is important to figure out what kind of procedures and standards your property inspector will follow when evaluating the house or apartment you are interested in.
Why Do I Need a Closing Agent?
You need a closing agent to take care of things like title transfer, fund disbursement, and deed recording, all of which help to make sure the property is transferred to you. Also known as a settlement agent, a closing agent ensures that the transaction is completed well and within the assigned deadline and that both the seller and the buyer meet their respective objectives. The agent typically works for an escrow or title company, depending on the area where you are buying the property.
Are Other Professionals Involved in a Home Purchase Transaction?
Other professionals play an integral role in the home-buying process. These include a real estate attorney, a tax professional and an insurance agent. A real estate attorney helps you by formulating the purchase contract or giving you advice on things like claims against the house, title issues or co-ownership problems. A tax professional walks you through the fiscal implications of home ownership, including property taxes to be paid to state and municipal authorities as well as the subsequent fiscal deductions at the federal level. Professionals with expertise in tax accounting include enrolled agents, former Internal Revenue Service auditors, and certified public accountants. An insurance agent helps you find the right homeowners insurance, making sure you have proper coverage.
When deciding to buy a home, the decision to retract or push ahead must come after you talk to various professionals, all of whom are part of the typical property-purchasing process. These include a real estate agent, a mortgage lender, an appraiser and a home inspector. Other key players range from tax accountants and lawyers to insurance agents and closing agents.