Who, What & Why – Key Players In A Real Estate Transaction

Ever wonder how many people are involved in a real estate transaction? Believe it or not, a typical sale today involves more than 20 steps and can require over a 100 different people. Less than 20 years ago, a property could be bought with a simple two-page contract. Today, there are better laws to protect the consumer, which include mandated disclosures; environmental and structural reports; and other legal documents that make a transaction more complex. Several professionals with different skills and expertise are needed to ensure that the buying and selling transaction goes smoothly, on schedule and conforming to the legal requirements. Whether your contemplating buying your first property or hundredth, it’s a good idea to be familiar with some of the key players who may work directly with you or behind the scenes.

Mortgage Lender: Is a company that provides home loans using its own money. The lender will also describe the terms of the loan and determines the monthly payments. Mortgage lenders offer many different types of mortgage products to fit the financial situation of the buyer. Examples are banks, saving and loans and mortgage bankers.

Mortgage Underwriter: This individual evaluates a loan application to determine if it meets the lender's standards.

Realtor: Is a licensed professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors and upholds the standards of the association and its code of ethics.  Realtors can represent Buyers, Sellers or both parties in a transaction.  They can provide knowledge of the local market, protect their client’s interest, manage terms of the contract and resolve unexpected issues.

Home Inspector: A professional inspector determines the condition of all mechanical and structural aspects of a home. The inspection is a summary of the property's condition and may point out areas that need repair or attention in the future.   A General Home Inspector may request additional experts for extenuating circumstances such as a Structural Engineer or Pest/Wood Inspector.

Title Company: A company that conducts a title search, which is research done to trace a title back to its original owner or back to some date dictated by statute. A title search is done before the sale of property to ensure that there are no competing claims.

Appraiser:  An Appraisal is an objective, impartial opinion of property value in the market place as of a specific point in time. An appraisal protects both real estate buyers and lenders.

Home Insurer:  Owners and buyers can purchase various types of insurance: hazard, private mortgage and earthquake. The policies guarantee compensation for specific losses.

City Inspector: Some cities require a Point of Sale inspection by the Building Department as a condition of title transfer.   The City of Lakewood requires a Point of Sale on rental and commercial properties.

County Recorder and Auditor: To establish your clear title to the property, the deed and mortgage must be filed and recorded in the Recorder's office of the county where the property is located. The Auditor's office provides information regarding the taxable value of a home and real estate property taxes.

Surveyor: A licensed surveyor will provide a precise measurement of a piece of property if actual pin survey is required. In most transfers you will hear the term "ALTA survey" which does a general over view of property lines for encroachments and a drawing of the structures on the lot, but is not a pin survey.

Michelle Mehaffey-Taylor is a Lakewood resident and licensed Realtor with Keller Williams EZ Sales Team - Michelle@EZSalesTeam.com; MyLakewoodLiving.com.

Michelle Mehaffey Taylor

Michelle Mehaffey Taylor is a Lakewood resident and licensed Real Estate Agent with The EZ Sales Team at Keller Williams Realty - Michelle@EZSalesTeam.com; MyLakewoodLiving.com

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Volume 11, Issue 6, Posted 4:41 PM, 03.17.2015