What You Will Learn in This Article (Reading Time – 5 Minutes):
- Which real estate professionals can you expect to interact with in a typical real estate transaction
Understanding the roles of the many people involved in a real estate transaction can make the process a bit smoother, whether you are a buyer or a seller. More than 100 people with various skills and expertise come together to make the sale of a home proceed as planned, although many of these real estate professionals work behind the scenes and do not interact with the buyer or seller. The following are the key real estate professionals involved in your transaction with whom you will likely interact.
Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent is your main contact throughout the real estate transaction. Your agent will ensure your real estate transaction goes smoothly and earns a commission by performing a broad range of tasks. Home sellers work with a listing agent while buyers are usually represented by a buyer’s agent. Throughout the process, your agent will protect your best interests and guide you through every step of the transaction. If you are selling a home, a listing agent will take high-quality pictures of your home, recommend a fair listing price based on a comparative market analysis, list your home on the MLS, market your home to potential buyers, help stage, and present your home, negotiate offers with buyers, meet with the appraiser, coordinate closings, and much more. A buyer’s agent helps buyers find potential homes in the area, schedules viewings, negotiates the contract, and assists with financing. Unlike other real estate professionals, real estate agents receive a commission based on the final sales price of the home. The standard commission for real estate agents is 5-6% which is split between the selling and buying agents and paid out of the proceeds of the home.
Home inspectors are an independent real estate professionals who provide comprehensive inspections and reports on the home’s major systems and components. After a contract is signed by the seller and buyer, a home inspector will inspect the home and prepare a report to document the condition of the home. As a buyer, this inspection report is important because it ensures you are making an informed decision and it can be used to negotiate the price and repairs. Some sellers choose to hire a home inspector to complete a pre-listing inspection to avoid surprises later.
The loan officer in your real estate transaction represents the bank or financial institution making your loan, if you are a buyer. As a buyer, the loan officer will help you explore loan options and understand your loan terms. A loan officer can also help you get pre-approved for a mortgage before you begin your home search.
A seller can ask anything they like for their home, just as a buyer can agree to pay whatever they want for the property. The real market value of a home matters a great deal, however. As a buyer, you want to know that you are paying a fair price for a home. If you are selling, you want to sell for the highest price possible. Lenders also have an important reason for determining the market value of the home: the house will serve as collateral for the mortgage and the lender wants to minimize risk and ensure the collateral will be enough if the loan is not repaid. Home appraisers are independent real estate professionals who work on behalf of lenders to provide a market analysis of the home. The appraiser will determine the home’s fair market value, which will typically serve as a maximum amount the bank will loan to buy the home. As a buyer, if a home is appraised lower than the purchase price, the seller will need to lower the price of the home or you will need to pay the difference.
Insurance brokers and agents are licensed real estate professionals who help buyers with their insurance needs. As a buyer, you will need to take out a homeowner’s insurance policy on your new home. This is usually a requirement when you have a mortgage as the lender wants to reduce risk and ensure the collateral for the loan is insured. The insurance agent will help you choose a policy to fit your needs.
An escrow agent is a vital part of real estate transaction and works to facilitate the sale between the seller and buyer. The home buyer deposits funds in escrow while the seller deposits the deed to the home. The escrow agent will ensure all contingencies are met, documents signed, funds deposited, and a title search completed before disbursing funds and documents to each party. Independent escrow companies typically handle escrow in Southern California. The seller cannot require that the buyer choose a specific escrow holder. In many cases, the buyer suggests an escrow company in the purchase offer, but both parties will need to reach an agreement.
Real Estate Lawyer
If the real estate transaction is anything other than straightforward, a real estate lawyer may be involved in the transaction. A real estate attorney will take over once the purchase price and terms have been established by the real estate agents in the contract by reviewing the contract, negotiating repairs based on the inspection, and collaborating with the title company. Attorneys are important real estate professionals that do not enter into every transaction. There are a few cases in which it makes sense to hire a real estate lawyer, including potential structural issues with the home, purchasing a home that is part of an estate sale, buying a bank-owned home or short sale, selling the home as an executor or heir, or selling or buying a home that is in distress.
County Recorder and Auditor
The deed to the home and mortgage must be filed and recorded in the Recorder’s office. The Auditor’s office will also provide information about the taxable value and real estate taxes of the property in question.
Sometimes a licensed surveyor is needed to give an exact measurement of the property if an actual pin survey is necessary. With most real estate transactions, an ALTA survey is used, which shows a general overview of the property boundaries and any encroachments. These real estate professionals all play an important role in any real estate transaction. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, your journey will most likely begin with contacting a real estate agent to help you list your home or begin your search for a home. Your agent will be by your side throughout the process and often work with other professionals to streamline the process and overcome roadblocks. Because your agent will help you as you work with other real estate professionals while protecting your best interests, it’s vital that you choose a Realtor you trust to represent your interests and help you reach your goals. At Evergreen Properties and Investments, we take pride in guiding out clients through the complex real estate process while helping them make informed real estate decisions. Contact us today to learn more about how the real estate professionals at Evergreen Properties and Investments can help you buy or sell a home in Long Beach.
From the Author: My name is Dan Barcelon and I believe that Real Estate can be one of the most valuable assets you’ll ever own. I’m dedicated to educating and guiding my clients on how to manage and leverage their homes to create an Evergreen legacy for themselves and their family. I primarily consult both home buyers and home sellers on reaching their personal and financial goals through Real Estate in the following cities of Southern California: Long Beach, Carson, Cerritos, Signal Hill, Torrance, Lakewood, Cypress, Downey, Bellflower, Norwalk, Wilmington, La Palma, and Artesia. If you’d like to discuss if buying, selling, or investing in real estate is right for you at this time, feel free to reach out. You can call/text me at 562-270-5812, or you can e-mail me at danb@EPIrealestate.biz.