Buying a home can be complex. Since it’s probably one of the most significant purchases you will make in your lifetime, it’s a good idea to assemble a team to guide you through the process. Having a solid support team in place will take some of the burden off you as a buyer, as you can rely on experts to make sure everything is just right before and after you make your purchase. Below, we will discuss the benefits of building a team, who will be on it, and their specific roles.
Benefits of Building a Team
Going through the home buying process can be likened to an obstacle course. You could find it challenging to navigate on your own, especially if this is your first home purchase. However, having the expertise of a team of professionals can protect your interests as they guide you through finding a home, making an offer, getting financing, and finalizing the sale.
Let's look at a few advantages of the team approach to home buying.
- Less stress. When you have a home buying team, many of the jobs that would fall on you are taken up by the different team members, meaning less work and less stress for you.
- Less money. While you have to pay for the services of each team member, they save you money in the long run. For example, if you hire a home inspector, he may save you some money by getting you a lower price for the home due to repairs.
- Less chance of something going wrong. Your team members are professionals, meaning they know precisely what they are doing and how to spot and address problems that inevitably arise during the home buying process.
Core Members: Who Does What?
Each of the core members of your house buying team brings expertise and benefits to the home purchase process. These core members and functions include the below:
- Agent: A real estate agent is responsible for listing a property to sell. On the other hand, a buyer's agent is there to support you and help you find a home and a price that fits your needs, desires, and budget. In addition, a buyer's agent allows you to find a suitable property, negotiate a final offer, and hire other professionals you will need in the home purchasing process.
- Lender: Your lender is a financial institution like a credit union or bank that lends you the money to purchase your home. A suitable lender makes the mortgage process simple for the home buyer, supplying you with a good menu so you can choose the loan that best suits you. It is a good idea to look for a lender with experienced loan officers who can assist you and answer any questions that may arise.
- Loan Officer: The lender assigns this team member to help you understand the ins and outs of financing your home. Check to see how many years of experience they have to make sure you have an expert loan officer. You should feel listened to by your loan officer and not pressured, so if your loan officer isn't meeting your standards, you should consider finding a different loan officer.
- Real Estate Attorney: It's a good idea to have a legal advisor like a real estate attorney when making any significant financial investment. A real estate attorney will ensure that everything is fair and legal and that you are in no way getting the short end of the stick in a deal. A real estate attorney considers your interests throughout the whole home buying process. Some states require you to have a real estate attorney during closing.
- Title Company: The title company validates the title of the home and provides insurance for said title. This process legitimizes the buyer's ownership of the property.
- Appraiser: The appraiser inspects the property and compares it to similar nearby properties to determine its value.
- Home Inspector: A home inspector visits the home before accepting the initial bid and before finalizing the latest offer. A home inspector looks around the house, evaluating the condition and potential cost of repairs. The information from the home inspector allows the buyer to ask the seller to fix said repairs or, if not, lower the price. While a home inspector may seem the same as an appraiser, they usually go into more detail regarding specific repairs, issues, and the home's general condition.
- Insurance Agent: Insurance agents aren't necessary as some other team members during the early part of the home buying process, but they are becoming more common as members of the entire home buying team. Insurance agents help you understand what damage you are responsible for as a homeowner, informing you, so you know what insurance policies will be good for you to buy. For example, if you live in a flood-prone area, your insurance agent will undoubtedly suggest you purchase flood insurance, or if you have a government-backed mortgage, they will explain that you might be required to buy flood insurance.
The Bottom Line
Buying a home can be complex, stressful, and exciting simultaneously, but if you have the right team, it can be relatively easy, and you can rest assured you're getting a good deal for the property you are buying. If you don't know where to start, you can always begin with an agent, and they can help you find the rest of the team members.