You probably can guess who the 8 most important people are that you need to know when buying a home but how do you find the “good” ones? The ones that can make your transaction happen, not break it?
With all of these 8 most important people, these professionals all have several key traits in common.
- are experts in their field
- have the experience and the know-how to work successfully for you
- work for an established, reputable company
- are educated
- are educators
- are ethical
- are transparent
Finding these top-notch professionals can be difficult but you are not alone in this. Your Realtor is a huge resource for you. Whereas you may only do a handful of real estate transactions in your lifetime, your Realtor probably has done a handful of transactions over the last couple of weeks! So use your Realtor’s experience to your advantage.
Here are the 8 most important people you need to know when buying a home.
#1 – The Lender
How a lender can make or break your transaction.
Make: They have all the qualities listed above. They ask you a thousand questions, ask for documentation and run your credit before offering you a pre-approval letter. Some lenders may even run your file through underwriting first. They offer assistance and advice if there are marks on your credit report, how to handle debt, and what to do to increase your buying power.
Break: If your lender just asks you for you name, your income and the property address you want to purchase and then produces a pre-approval letter, that lender will probably break your transaction. You’ll probably find out the day before closing that your lender cannot fund your loan.
#2 – The Home Inspector
How a home inspector can make or break your transaction.
Make: They have all the qualities listed above. Communication skills are a critical attribute a home inspector can have so that they can objectively and clearly educate the home buyer about the house and the findings. A home inspector who is available to the buyer to answer any of their questions before, during or after the transaction will make your transaction!
Break: The home inspector who fails to put his/her findings in context, causes fear and confusion, and then is not available for follow-up questions can break your transaction. A home inspector who also offers advice outside of their area of expertise or offers to repair the finding(s) can also break your transaction.
#3 – The Title Insurance/Escrow company (s)
How title/escrow companies can make or break your transaction.
Make: They have all the qualities listed above. The title company 1) issues the correct policy and, 2) has strong reserves to offer full title insurance on properties other companies may find risky. Escrow companies and escrow officers who follow escrow instructions and work tirelessly to meet close dates. Work with all the parties involved in the transaction to make sure the transaction closes, funds and records on time.
Break: A title company who does not follow the purchase and sale instructions and attempts to offer a lower policy without explanation. Escrow officers who are too overloaded to close the file on time so they just don’t.
#4 – The Home Warranty Company
How a home warranty company can make or break your transaction.
Make: They have all the qualities listed above. Not all home warranty companies or warranties are created equal, so be sure to understand what is covered. A home warranty company that has many local contractors to do the warranty work means they can be to the house quickly to take care of the repair.
Break: Home warranty companies that have a longer list of things they don’t cover than what they do cover can break your transaction. Poor customer service and the lack of contractors in your area can also break your transaction.
#5 – The Home Insurance Agent
How a home insurance can make or break your transaction.
Make: They have all the qualities listed above. They will see if there are any gaps in your insurance coverage and understand the risks of your property. Offers top-notch customer service, offers a variety of insurance coverage options, and is available to answer your questions without having to call a 1-800 number.
Break: The home insurance agent who cannot spend any time with you to explain your options and/or is not available to you can break your transaction.
#6 – The Mover
How a mover can make or break your transaction.
Make: They have all the qualities listed above. They will accurately estimate the cost of your move and have the estimate and the contract in writing. Discuss with you how problems are resolved, what the cost is if the estimate is off. Movers are professional, careful but efficient, and have endurance.
Break: The move that cannot meet your move date and notifies you at the last minute, and the movers who hold your goods hostage while trying to get more money out of you can break your transaction.
#7 – The Locksmith
How a locksmith can make or break your transaction.
Make: They have all the qualities listed above. They are able to come to your new home quickly, re-key or replace locks and even help with reprogramming the garage door opener and remotes. A locksmith can make your transaction if they are insured, honest and reliable.
Break: There are some companies that pretend to be locksmiths that prey on the public. Look for a locksmith who at least arrives in a company-marked vehicle, ask for some type of identification like a badge or at least a business card, get an estimate and an invoice in case problems arise.
#8 – The Realtor
How a Realtor can make or break your transaction.
Make: They have all the qualities listed above. They are the glue for your transaction, keeping all the people and their tasks in order and on schedule, solving problems and offering solutions. Realtors are Realtors and not just real estate agents. Your Realtor is a full-time Realtor with a reputable company, communicates with you, offers professional advice along with the facts, and lets you make the final decisions.
Break: The Realtor who has little experience with no managing broker support, the Realtor who is not available and doesn’t return calls/emails. A Realtor who doesn’t have the experience to see red flags ahead of time, and who cannot refer you to the seven other best professionals listed here can easily break your transaction.
As mentioned, your Realtor can refer you to the best professionals in your market, but how do you find the best Realtor? Talk to you friends, relatives and colleagues. Did they have a positive experience with their Realtor? Visit open houses to meet with the Realtors hosting the open house. Virtually interview a Realtor by searching online – do they have an online presence? Does their resume/bio resonate with you? Click here for the top questions to ask your next Realtor.
Take the time to get to know these professionals who will be working on your behalf, and you will have increased your odds for a smooth, trouble-free transaction!
See more articles in my Home Buying Guide:
Must-Have Online Research Tools Every Buyer Needs
10 Critical Questions to ask your Realtor
6 Tips when Purchasing a Home
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a Home
Financing and the Costs to Buy a Home
10 Commandments when Applying for your Loan
How Buyers Can Negotiate Successfully in a Seller’s Market