It Takes a Team
Along with the agent, a number of additional service providers will be part of the process:
Buyer’s Agent – Your Buyer’s Agent has a fiduciary responsibility to act as your advocate and coordinate the transaction. The Buyer Brokerage Agreement between you and your agent defines compensation and duration of the contract for the service.
Their Realtor, the Seller’s Agent – The seller’s agent is the person whose name is on the “For Sale” sign. Like your Buyer’s Agent, they follow a strict code of ethics, but it is their job to obtain the best price and the most favorable terms for the seller, not you. So when you are driving around and you see a home that you like, you need to call your Buyer’s Agent, not the Listing Agent on the sign.
Your Inspector – Most people elect to have a ‘whole home inspection’ within the time frame specified in the contract. Usually, this concludes in the production of a report of the home’s condition, including needed repairs and their estimated costs, which generally drive the second round of negotiations for pricing and repairs.
Settlement Agent – The Settlement Agent is the person (or group) who gathers all the relevant documents, loan proceeds, deposits, and payoff information to legally transfer the property according to the contract agreement. In most cases, attorneys perform this service, but sometimes buyers use a title company.
Your Lender – If you require a loan to purchase the property, then you will most likely be using a mortgage lender to provide the funds. There’s a lot of info to unpack when it comes to lending – more on that later.
The Appraiser – An appraiser is an unbiased third party who establishes a value for the lender upon which they will base their loan amount. The appraiser uses similar recent sales and compares them to the subject property to arrive at the the value of the home.