Many people are involved in the home buying process. These professionals have based their careers on helping you find and purchase the home of your dreams. But do you really know just what they do for you?
Real Estate Consultant
The first person you’ll probably become involved with when you begin your search for a home is the real estate consultant. This term includes real estate agents, salespersons, brokers, Realtors, listing agents, and buyer’s agents, all of whom must be licensed to serve you. The agents and salespersons work for a broker.
Those licensed to sell may represent either buyers or sellers. However, listing agents typically represent only sellers, and buyer’s agents represent only the buyers – so as to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
Only those who are members of the National Association of Realtors may use the designation “Realtor.”
The person you work with to get your loan is generically called a Lender. This person may also be a mortgage loan officer, banker, or broker. The job of the Lender is to take your application for a loan, and verify your income, employment and credit history.
There may be several attorneys involved in the purchase of a home – one for the seller, one for you, the buyer, and one for the title insurance company. The role of YOUR attorney is to make sure that you avoid any pitfalls in your purchase contract.
The title company can act as the escrow agent (and hold your deposit), examine the title, insure the title, and issue a title report – verifying that you can become the rightful owner of the property.
The appraiser, who is usually state certified, is frequently involved in the pricing of the home before you even begin your search. They examine the appearance, condition, size, and quality of the home – then estimate the home’s value based on other sales in the neighborhood or area.
The surveyor checks the boundaries of the property to ensure that the home is on ONLY its property – and the ONLY home on its property.
The home inspector checks the working condition of electrical, mechanical, structural, and plumbing systems in the home.
Pest Control Inspector
Most Lenders require that you have the home checked for wood-destroying pests – termites and ants are the typical villains. These professionals poke around the attic, basement, walls, and grounds to ensure that these pests aren’t squatters in your dream home.