Have you ever been part of a real estate deal, either buying or selling a home? Can you recall having an uneasy feeling? Imagine planning future real estate transactions with representation from a dream team: an all-star team of experts who complement each other for a flawlessly-executed real estate project. Here’s what you need to know about each of the major players.
Your Real Estate Agent
A realtor will likely be one of the first experts on your team. Expect them to guide you throughout the entire tumultuous journey - from your first consultative meeting until you celebrate a successful closing.
Of course, you should know who is not on your team. What a real estate buyer may not realize is that unless you sign an agreement to engage a buyer agent to assist with your home search, the realtor showing you a property of interest represents the seller.
Regardless of who they represent, all real estate agents owe their clients the fiduciary duties of disclosure, loyalty, confidentiality, and accountability. Here’s how it should work from either side of the playing field:
What an agent brings to the team:
Sellers: The Seller’s agent lists the property for sale on the appropriate listing services. A Seller’s agent should know your property’s market. Understanding potential buyer demographics and community information, such as school districts, transportation, and local medical facilities, will accelerate your sale. The Seller agent’s responsibility is to find and secure the best property buyer.
Buyers: A good Buyer’s agent will get to know the buyer to be able to find a property that meets your criteria and fits your lifestyle. There’s no reason not to have a Buyer’s agent on your team.
Your Home inspector
An inspector evaluates a property’s structural condition and operating systems. If a homeowner feels there might be a need for building repairs, they can have their property professionally inspected prior to putting it on the market. This ensures that potential buyers will not find any unforeseen conditions that could hinder an offer. On the flip side, buyers should always have a property of interest inspected – even if the seller provides you with their own recent inspection report.
What to look for in a home inspector team member:
The key to a good inspector is thoroughness. Expect a comprehensive top to bottom check of the condition and function of all house systems that will be provided to you in a detailed written report. Do not let the value or age of the home affect the inspection. Your inspector should understand that it’s possible to find poor workmanship on any structure.
Your Mortgage Broker
When shopping for a mortgage, there’s more to consider than a good interest rate. You’ll start to feel the team coming together when you find a loan officer within a reputable company that will bring more than monetary value to the table.
What a mortgage broker contributes to the team:
A great mortgage broker will help buyers select a home that financially fits, with a solution that could include debt consolidation or even a portfolio review. Prior to shopping for a home, a broker can provide you with a prequalification letter, which is a valuable determination of the amount you can plan to spend.
In a residential or commercial real estate transaction, the moment you have negotiated an offer and you are prepared to go into contract, your attorney’s job starts.
Begin your relationship with a consultation to review the terms of the offer. Your attorney will then work with the other side’s attorney to draft and finalize the contract of sale. In preparation for closing, the Buyer’s attorney will negotiate any requests resulting from the inspections, perform a title search, work with the Buyer’s agent to determine if the improvements have been permitted correctly, review all closing papers and financial responsibilities, and schedule and coordinate the closing. The Seller’s attorney will negotiate any requests resulting from the inspections, review the title search, collect information necessary for closing, and draft the closing documents. Your attorney is your representation. At closing, they will walk you through the process and answer any questions you have or that are directed to you by other parties.
What else a real estate attorney team member can do:
In addition to the function of an attorney in a real estate purchase or sale transaction, property owners might engage a real estate attorney for a number of other reasons including residential property rentals and tenant negotiations, commercial leasing, tax appeals, deed problems, encroachment, trespassing, property transfers, and zoning. Choose a real estate attorney carefully. You will rely on this member of your well-planned dream team to look out for your best interest.