Buying a home is often a major transaction for an individual or family and generally occurs infrequently. It is not surprising then, that Buyers have need for a number of experts to assist them in this endeavor.
Realtors – A real estate agent who represents a Buyer’s interests in buying a new home can be a wonderful resource. The real estate agent can initially assist by recommending the best geographic area for a Buyer to look based on the Buyer’s lifestyle, commuting requirements and school needs, among other factors. Real estate agents are an excellent source of information about various communities a Buyer may be considering – from the services a community provides its residents, to their form of government, to the rating the municipality’s school system has attained within the State. The real estate agent will also guide a Buyer through the process of making an offer on a home and can provide expert advice regarding the offer a Buyer plans to make. Real estate agents assist throughout the transaction by arranging for engineering inspections, pre-closing inspections and resolving numerous issues which may arise before the closing of title.
Attorneys – Attorneys will review a contract and provide legal advice regarding the contract and modifications to protect the Buyer’s interests during the transaction. This usually occurs during the three (3) day attorney review period found in all realtor prepared contracts. The Buyer’s attorney negotiates any needed modifications to the contract. The attorney is frequently involved in negotiating a resolution of any issues raised as a result of the Buyer’s home inspection. The attorney also utilizes his/her legal expertise when reviewing the title history of the property, any easements or restrictions which may limit a buyer’s use of the property and any other liens against the property which would constitute a defect in the title. The attorney then identifies any issues which would adversely affect the Buyer and seeks to resolve them. The attorney will assist with satisfying the conditions of Buyer’s mortgage commitment, review the loan documents, complete them and attend to their execution at closing. The attorney summarizes the financial aspects of the transaction on a HUD-1 form, calculating adjustments for real estate taxes, water, homeowners association dues and the like. The attorney also represents the Buyer’s interests in resolving any last minute issues which arise at closing. The attorney then takes responsibility for recording the deed, and if applicable, the mortgage, in the County Clerk’s Office.
Home Inspectors – Home inspectors are critical in helping the home Buyer determine the condition of the property they are buying. Some inspectors perform most, if not all aspects of a home inspection. This would include structural, mechanical, electrical, roof and basement conditions. However, for certain transactions, specialized inspectors for wood destroying insects, mold, septic systems, well water, underground storage tanks and radon may be needed.
Home buyers should take advantage of the expertise of the various professionals available to assist them in this important transaction.