A Breakdown of the Supporting Players Involved in Your Real Estate Transaction

So you’ve begun the process of shopping for a new home, or maybe have decided to investigate whether now is the time to sell your current property. With the advent of modern technology, you probably start your research from an online site (like the handy one you’re reading right now). You find a property that looks perfect or see that the home next door sold for way more than you expected, and decide now is the time to make your move. Before you head to that open house or throw up a “for sale” sign in the front yard, let’s talk about getting some professional help.

The right real estate professionals with knowledge, experience and the expertise to match your particular transaction, can make the difference between smooth sailing and a bumpy road of a home purchase or sale. But before we get to the who, let’s talk about what these fine folks will be doing with a quick primer of the various people that will be involved in your real estate transaction and their roles in buying and selling your dream home.

Real Estate Agent

The most well known member of your home buying or selling team is also the most critical. Real estate agents don’t only cart you around to Sunday open houses. An experienced agent will listen to your families particular needs for local amenities and neighborhood feel. In a sale, a well connected agent will have the marketing know-how to advertise your home, as well as the knowledge of the market needed to price your home competitively for a fast sale. In exchange for their services, the buyer and seller’s agent will each collect a percentage of the sale price as a fee, which is typically paid for by the seller.

Mortgage Broker

Not quite as well know, but equally as important, your mortgage broker will be the middleman between yourself and your lender if you’re on the buying side of the transaction. A good broker will listen to your financial situation and housing needs and will help you choose from the myriad of financing options available in the increasingly complicated lending market. Unlike your agent, the broker will generally collect a fee paid at closing. Some lenders can charge higher or additional fees than others, so be sure to do your research in this category.

Title Agent

If you’ve been involved in a real estate transaction you’ve probably hear the term “title”, “title agent” or “title company” and have smiled and nodded rather than admitting you have zero clue what you’re paying these people for, well join the club! The title agent is a crucial but overlooked player in your purchase or sale transaction. The title agency or company will be responsible for performing a title search to ensure that no third party has any claim to your property. Title will also oversee the transfer of funds from buyer to seller and their financial institutions. You’ll pay a fee for these services, but title is definitely a workhorse that earns their money in any transaction.

Real Estate Attorney

Last but not least is the optional in some states, mandatory in other, component of real estate transactions, the attorney. When you utilize them, real estate attorneys will be in charge of the back and forth correspondence and negotiations between buyer and seller. The real estate attorney will review your contract package for completeness and compliance with all local laws. They will also usually provide an office for the closing of your transaction.

So there we have it, a run down of the various professionals who will be responsible for making your next home sale or purchase operate smoothly. While exact fees for each may vary, experienced pros are worth their weight in gold when it comes to the big investment decision involved in property transactions. Next time we’ll break down what to look for, and what questions to ask, when selecting the right pros for your individual real estate needs.