People Involved in Home Buying Process
A team, just like in sports, is equivalent to having the best team members to help you achieve your goal. In this case, your end game is purchasing your dream home.
Think of your real estate team like a clock. Its end goal is simple—to tell time. But the inner workings of a clock have specific functions for every cog and wheel. And it all has to work in unison to achieve this straightforward goal.
How do real estate teams work?
A real estate team is a group of real estate agents that operate together and split commissions. Instead of dealing with a single real estate agent, you would collaborate with the entire team. There are no standard protocols that all real estate teams must adhere to, but team members virtually always assist one another and demonstrate team spirit.
If a certain team member is unavailable, a customer can contact any other team member for assistance. Even if a customer has been allocated to the care of a certain agent, someone is always present.
One agent may be responsible for fielding buyer phone calls regarding listings, while another may accompany purchasers on home-showing tours or conduct open houses. Someone else may draft purchase proposals, oversee the loan procedure, or attend home inspections.
Real Estate Team Roles and Responsibilities
As a first-time homebuyer, understanding the quality of each team member based on their roles and responsibilities will increase the chances of you having a quality home buying experience. Here is a list of professionals who will be involved in your real estate purchase:
- Mortgage Lender
- Real Estate Broker
- Title Company or Real Estate Attorney
- Insurance Agent
- Home Inspector
This is typically a financial institution that offers and underwrites your loan for the purchase of your new home. Unless you are paying cash, you will need a reputable lender to lend you the funds.
They assess your creditworthiness, set the terms of repayment, interest rate, and set specific guidelines to grant you the loan.
A reputable mortgage lender asks the right questions and finds the right loan that fits your needs. They also answer any questions you may have and take the time to explain your loan options. Communication is key.
Real Estate Agent or Broker
Your real estate agent or broker is like your quarterback. He or she understands all aspects of completing the home purchase successfully. They understand the role and responsibilities of each working part of your team. And not just the sales aspect of pitching a home for you to buy.
They are your guide, and help complete the transaction, and offer guidance for finalizing the sale or purchase of your home.
A good real estate agent can answer all your questions, have in-depth knowledge of the market area, trends, neighborhood data, and walk you through each step of the process.
Title Company or Real Estate Attorney
Depending if you are closing on the East Coast or West Coast, it will be a title company on the West Coast that will facilitate your escrow and conduct closing. On the East Coast, it will be via a real estate attorney or round table closing.
They are responsible for doing a title search on the property to ensure that the chain of title is unbroken and has a clean title to be passed on to the new owner.
They also insure title insurance, which protects the lender against claims against the property from title disputes.
They are a third party that works and represents both the lender and the buyer for a closing.
They issue your homeowners insurance. Like car insurance, renter’s insurance, your current insurance agent can provide you with this quote.
You will not be able to close on your home loan without giving the insurance information to the title company or real estate attorney as part of the closing process.
This insurance protects the lender’s investment in the event of a fire or unfortunate event.
You will want to look into flood insurance if your home is in a flood zone. If you are in a flood zone, coverage kicks in 30 days from the purchase date.
A home inspector inspects the structure of the home and looks for any immediate problems like water damage, foundation damage, shoddy electrical work, etc. Then they provide you with a list of potential problems with recommendations to cure.
Don’t confuse them with appraisal inspectors. Appraisal inspectors work for the bank that is issuing you the loan. The bank wants to ensure that the price buyer and seller agreed upon is valued at the market. Again, they are there to protect the bank’s investment.
These people will be your working team members when purchasing your first home. Vet your real estate salesperson first since he or she will be playing the most important role in a successful closing. Your real estate broker will be able to recommend all the other players for your team, making your job easier.