For most people, the assumption is that the process of buying a home only involves a few people. Obviously, you’re part of it (the buyer), and then there’s the seller, too. There will most likely be at least one real estate agent involved (more likely two – one for you and one for the seller). However, the reality is that there are far more people you’ll interact with during the process, from the buyer’s agent to the mortgage broker you work with. It pays to have at least some understanding of these professionals, and the roles they play in the process.
Before You Start
Before you start shopping for homes, if you’re smart, there are a few people you’ll interact with. One of those is your Long Island mortgage broker. This allows you to get your loan application fast-tracked and start the process immediately. It also means that you’ll know exactly how much you have to spend before you fall in love with a home that’s out of your price range.
You’ll also work with a real estate agent in most cases. Really, the smartest move is to work with a Long Island mortgage broker, and then find yourself a reputable realtor in the area you’re considering. Note that there’s a difference between real estate agents and actual realtors. You may also work with a real estate broker (they hire agents and realtors).
During the Process
Obviously, once your Long Island mortgage broker has provided you with approval on the loan and the amount you’re able to spend, the next people you’ll meet will be the seller (or sellers if you’re looking a more than one home) and their agent(s). You may here these professionals referred to as either seller’s agents or listing agents, but they’re the same.
You should also work with a licensed home inspector. Never buy a home without first having it professionally inspected. You can choose to hire your own, or the seller may provide a report from a reputable inspector in the area.
Next up is the property appraiser. Essentially, these professionals are responsible for ensuring that you’re actually getting what you pay for. They value the property, compare it to the value of homes sold in the surrounding area, and generally make sure that you’re not paying too much for the home.
You will also need to find a homeowner’s insurance provider. You’ll work with an insurance agent. Depending on your wants, needs and situation, you may be able to get homeowner’s insurance through the insurer you work with for auto insurance, but that’s not always the case.
It’s possible that there may be title issues with the property you’re purchasing. To ensure there aren’t, you’ll have to work with a titling company or a settlement agent. They’re responsible for researching the title and ensuring that there are no other claims against it that might prevent you from being recognized as the owner (liens, claims by other family members, etc.). Once the research is over, they’re handle filing the paperwork for you.
After you’ve found the perfect home for your needs, you’ll go back to working with your Long Island mortgage broker. At this point, your broker will submit the address of the property to the underwriter, and the loan process will move forward. Now comes the time when you’ll choose the type of mortgage that’s right for you (adjustable rate, fixed rate, FHA, etc.). Within a short time, you’ll go from choosing the mortgage type you want to the actual processing and underwriting. Once that’s done, you’ll be the proud new owner of your first home.
Of course, there are other people you might meet during the process, depending on your specific situation. For instance, if you’re buying a fixer-upper, you will need to work with a remodeling expert or general contractor. You might work with a flooring installer if you want to replace that aging shag carpet, or a carpenter to fix the old deck on the back of the home.
No matter how you cut it, there are plenty of people you’ll work with during the home buying process. Two of the most crucial are the Long Island mortgage broker you choose and the real estate agent you work with. Both can “make or break” the process and it pays dividends to make sure you’ve chosen wisely before getting started.
If you’re ready to take the plunge into home ownership, get in touch with the experts at Reliant Home Funding to take care of the financial aspects of the process.
Gregory A. Topal
Gregory is Co-Founder and Licensed Loan Originator at Reliant Home Funding, Inc., a Long Island based Mortgage Company. Gregory currently holds a Mortgage Loan Originator License in NY, NJ, CT, CO, FL and PA and plays an active role in running the company. (NMLS #: 38684)
Gregory was raised in Long Island, NY and attended SUNY Oneonta receiving a Business and Marketing degree in 2004. Shortly after graduating he started a career in Real Estate and has been fortunate enough to advance his career throughout the years. He believes his success can be attributed to consistently striving to exceed the expectations of his clients and colleagues.