Buying a home is not only a huge milestone, but also a long process. There are multiple steps involved, so it should come as a relief to know that someone will be helping you through each phase of the process. In our last post we discussed the roles of the Real Estate Agent, Mortgage Advisor and Insurance Agent. In this post we will discuss the remaining key players who will assist you on your way to owning a home.
The Title & Escrow Officers
In MOST cases, these two people work for the same company, and although many believe that their roles are one in the same, their duties are very different.
The title officer deals with issues relating to the title or deed of the home. The title is the proof of ownership of a home. Their task is to make sure that there are no discrepancies that will get in the way of the sale. Discrepancies may include (but are not limited to) overdue taxes, zoning restrictions and liens. In the case they do run into issues, they will contact the seller to find out the accuracy behind their findings.
An escrow officer is an objective third party that is involved in a real estate transaction. They take care of notarizing and signing the final loan documentation. In addition, they collect any other paperwork that has to do with the sale of the home and ensure completion of all requirements from each party before any money transfers hands. The escrow officer will also notify the county about the new property owner.
The Home Inspector
This person will inspect the home for damages or issues that need to be fixed; could be mold, pests, structural damage etc. It’s highly advised that you have the home inspected by a professional, but it is not mandatory. This step is critical because the outcome of the inspection will determine whether you move forward with the transaction, or stop and re-evaluate the terms of the sale.
They are responsible for estimating the market value of the home. There are certain criteria that they use to estimate the value, such as measuring it against similar homes in the area. Some lenders require more than one appraiser’s estimate. If the home value estimate is less than what was offered, it’s back to the negotiation table. If the estimate is equal to or more than what was offered, the process continues on its course.
After the paperwork is done and you have the keys to your new house in hand, the movers will come to your rescue. There are varying degrees to which movers can be involved. It can be as minimal as loading your packed things into a truck and unloading at the new place, or as extensive as packing everything up for you. Whatever you choose, monitor what they are doing and make yourself available to answer any questions they might have. Obviously movers are not a necessary service, but if you have budgeted for them and have a big move, they will definitely make your life easier.
I hope you have a better understanding of who will help you in the home buying process. If you still have questions please leave them below! Any advice from those that have recently been through this process is also welcome.