Buying a home is likely the largest investment you will ever make, and you need a team of real estate professionals to help you navigate the process. There are steps to buying a home beyond working with the right realtor, and getting the right loan.
As you start the home buying process, you need to build a strong team of real estate professions to answer your questions and guide you through what has become a very complex process. Don't assume you'll only work with these real estate professionals once. They will earn your trust, and become valuable resources for any future home related activities like refinancing your house or remodeling your kitchen.
You might be focusing today on buying a home but chances are good, you will own at least two or three more homes in your lifetime.
While it's true (and of course I'm biased) your #1 partner when buying a home is your realtor, there are many other home professionals needed to complete the home buying process. In case you're a first time homeowner, let me review the key home professionals you're going to need to complete your home buying team.
When Buying a Home, Partner with a Realtor
A Broker/Realtor will be the person who represents your interests during the transaction. Experienced real estate agents know the lay of the land, the path you need to walk and the legal issues that may arise. Find a broker/realtor that you can work with and trust for the long-term. This is not a relationship that will end at the closing. This is someone you want on your real estate team going forward – because you will rely on this person for years to come – if they are worth their weight in gold.
Financing Your Home with a Mortgage Broker
Speaking with a lender in advance and getting pre-qualified is critical so you know what you can afford. The last thing you want to do is walk into an Open House, fall in love with it – only to find out you cannot get a loan. Start with an experienced lender and collect all the financial documents you will need in order for them to do a thorough job. Don’t buy any large assets to incur more debt before your closing and don’t HIDE something that you think won’t rear its ugly head.
Home Inspectors Lower Your Home Buying Risk
Your home inspector is an experience professional who will go through each system and feature of your home, identifying what is normal wear and tear versus a problem that needs immediate attention. It's also helpful when buying a home, to know when you're going to have to replace key home systems like a roof in 3 to 5 years. This gives you the time to budget for this future expense. Home inspectors can also help you prepare your home for sale, or if you've neglected maintenance for a number of years, they can help you prioritize what needs to be done to get your home back in tip top shape.
Every Homeowner Needs a Handyman
This is a person who can be available to answer questions that may come up from the Home Inspector. This person is someone who will be on your team for years to come to answer any questions with your home as you consider remodeling and adding features.
Home Insurance Agent
Shop around in advance and have your home insurance lined up. Find out if you need any special insurance (flood, earthquake, etc.) that may be required based on the location of the house. Consider an agent that will not just give you the best deal, but one that will be there when and if you need to make a claim. Sometimes the “best” deal price wise, is not the best deal when you have to make a claim.
Buying a home should be exciting and fun – and it will be if you walk into the process with your team of professionals to rely on.