Just as Dorothy needed her posse to make it to the Emerald City, you’ll encounter a wide range of folks on your way to buying a home. Of course, buying a house is more complicated than clicking your heels together three times and chanting “there’s no place like home,” no matter how dazzling your shoes are. Fortunately, the following pros will help you along the way.
1. Realtor As the “good witch” (or wizard) and the primary guide on your journey, your buyer’s agent has a fiduciary responsibility to look out for your best interests. He or she will take you from the early days of narrowing down neighborhoods to the final signature on the sale contract. Be sure to interview several Realtors to find the one with the best experience, area knowledge and references before you decide who to work with.
2. Loan Officer Unless you’re able to make a cash offer, you’ll likely be working with a loan officer to procure a loan from a bank. Don’t forget that you have options – you can choose to work with an independentmortgage broker who works with several institutions or an in-house loan officer at a specific bank. Whichever route you choose, be sure to shop around for the most competitive rate.
3. Loan Processor Once you begin working with a loan officer, a loan processor will likely be the person helping you assemble the nuts and bolts for your loan application (and there can be a lot of nuts and bolts).
4. Inspector The licensed inspector examines the property you’re looking to buy, identifying all potential structural problems. An appliance that seems to be in good working order to you may actually be full of mechanical issues that are more trouble than a flock of flying monkeys. The inspector will file a written report that usually includes photos, but it’s best to join him or her during the inspection so you can ask questions.
5. Appraiser Usually, your lender will select the appraiser who will do a room-by-room walk-through of the property and use those findings along with current market knowledge to determine their professional estimate of the property’s present value.
6. Transaction Coordinator Some real estate offices have a transaction coordinator to act as a liaison between all of the people mentioned above. This helps ensure an efficient process and prevents you from having to juggle numerous emails and voicemails.
7. Sommelier This expert will help you make the critical decision of which vintage to use when you toast the purchase of your new home!
When you’re ready to begin your real estate journey, start by contacting your local RE/MAX agent.