You’re about to buy your first house! Good for you. There’s nothing like a new place to call home. As a first-time homebuyer, you may not know all the people who are involved in the process, so we built this cheat sheet to help.
- Buyer’s agent
- Listing agent
- Mortgage/loan officer
- Title/escrow officer
That’s you! You decide what matters most and set the criteria when it comes to location, price range, and must-haves for your home. As a new buyer, you’re likely looking for someone who knows a lot about real estate to help you through the process. Someone like, you know, an agent!
It is your choice whether you want to work with a real estate agent, but we definitely recommend it for the best and easiest outcome when buying a home. It’s nice having a real professional in your corner. Here at Homie, you’ll get a dedicated local real estate agent and a team of experts to help you every step of the way.
The Buyer’s Agent
A buyer’s agent is a licensed real estate agent who represents someone looking to buy a home. In the old days of real estate, buyer’s agents would track down homes for sale, pick up their clients to take them on home tours, manage the legal elements of the contract, and help finalize the closing. Because there was so much heavy lifting, and because homes were less expensive than they are today, agents charged a high commission on every sale.
Today, most buyers find the homes they want to see online, so the same amount of work isn’t required from the buyer’s agent. Buyers still need a professional to show homes, help with the legal work and negotiation, and communicate with the listing agent.
Homie filled that need by creating teams of dedicated agents who help buyers get everything they need done for less money than traditional agents typically charge. You still get all the perks of working with a traditional agent, but you pay a lot less. Homie buyer agents are some of the most experienced in the industry, and because they don’t rely on the same high commissions to get paid, the whole process is low pressure. We listened to today’s buyers talk about what they want and delivered.
This is the person selling a home. They decide how to price their home and what to include in the sale, with the help of the listing agent. Don’t worry—your Homie agent will help you understand and negotiate the best deal on the home you fall in love with.
The Listing Agent
A listing agent is a licensed real estate agent who represents and works in the best interest of the seller. That means they help set the price of the home, coordinate tours, and manage all communication directly with the buyer’s agent.
This is another part of the home buying process that has really changed. Pre-internet, a lot more work was required to coordinate with different buyer’s agents. Homie helped improve this part of the process, too. If Homie is representing the seller of the home you want to buy, you could save even more money in commissions.
As the buyer, you hire an inspector during the due diligence period to do a thorough check on the condition of the house. Inspectors evaluate the foundation, roof, plumbing, doors, electrical…basically everything you can think of. They want to make sure the home is in good condition before you sign on the dotted line. An inspector will develop a detailed report describing the condition of the home and highlighting potential issues that should be resolved prior to close. That report is given to the sellers, and then both agents go to work negotiating how to handle the issues.
The Mortgage/Loan Officer
If you aren’t buying a home with cash, you will probably secure a loan from a lender or bank. Often, a dedicated loan or mortgage officer will help you with the ins and outs of getting funding in order to close on your new home. The loan officer will work directly with you to verify your income, financial details, and eligibility, then help you evaluate different options, terms, and interest rates.
This can be the most stressful part of the home buying process. We recommend finding a mortgage company that you trust, and that is willing to help you get the best rate on your loan. (Hint: Homie Loans*)
The appraiser is someone who determines the value of a property. They evaluate similar homes and conduct a thorough in-person analysis of the home to determine its current value. Location, upgrades, and the size of the home are all considerations. It’s important to note that an appraiser brings an unbiased view and valuation of the house. Typically, the lender or bank that is loaning you the money to purchase the home requires a third-party appraiser to verify the value of the home. This also ensures you don’t pay too much.
A title officer is responsible for making sure your home’s title is clear. In other words, they make sure the house belongs to the seller and ensure there are no liens against the home. They also work with real estate agents to finalize all closing documents. If you’re looking for a title company, we’ve got a suggestion for that, too. Check out Homie Title!**
How does Homie help?
Homie is an end-to-end solution. A dedicated Homie buying agent will help you find your dream home, put in an offer, schedule an inspection, and make recommendations for a loan and title company, while Homie’s attorneys will look over contracts. By integrating more of the services you need when you buy a home, we make the process simple and save you a ton of cash.
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