The purchase of a home can be an overwhelming process. Your real estate agent will help with everything from acquiring financing, to finding the right home, to ensuring a smooth closing, and beyond.
Since purchasing a home is likely the largest purchase you will make throughout your life, your real estate agent will enlist the services of trusted professionals such as a home inspector, a mortgage professional, a lawyer or notary, and an insurance broker, to lead you through each step of this process.
Mortgage Professional or Lender Representative
You can acquire mortgage financing through a variety of institutions including banks, trust companies and credit unions. It makes sense to research different lenders because terms and options will vary. Your friends, family and real estate agent will be able to provide a reference for a reputable mortgage provider.
You need a lawyer or a notary to protect your legal interests, such as ensuring the property you are thinking of buying does not have any building or statutory liens, or charges, work or clean-up orders associated with it. Your lawyer will review all contracts before you sign them, especially the Offer (or Agreement) to Purchase. Having a lawyer/notary involved in the process will give you peace of mind and ensure that things go as smoothly as possible.
You should consider having the home inspected regardless of whether it's a resale or a brand new home, by a knowledgeable and professional inspector. Again, your real estate agent or mortgage professional will be able to refer you to a reputable home inspector.
The home inspector's role is to inform you about the property's condition. The home inspector will tell you if something is not functioning properly, needs to be changed or is unsafe. You will also be informed of repairs that need to be made and, quite often, made aware of past problems.
An insurance broker can help you with your insurance needs, including property insurance. Lenders insist on property insurance because your property is their security for your loan. Property insurance covers the replacement cost of your home, so premiums will vary depending on the home's value.