You may or may not realize it, but it takes a team to buy a home and a highly skilled one will make the process of purchasing your home a lot easier.
So, who needs to be on your “real estate A-team”? There are three members – your mortgage broker, your real estate agent and your real estate attorney. Let’s take a look at the roles each of them play.
Your mortgage broker should be there right from the beginning. As I’ve discussed in a previous post, mortgage brokers help you with the most important first step in the home buying process – figuring out how much you can actually afford.
But your mortgage broker also helps you determine what financing options are available to you, given your unique situation. Finally, they coordinate the entire process of securing and closing your loan. That last point is no small feat – it’s what ensures that you will make it to the finish line for your deal.
Real Estate Agent
Some of you might be saying, “Okay, this one’s pretty easy – the real estate agent helps you find your home.” This is indeed true – during your search, your agent will send you listings that have been screened based on your personal preferences and your financial qualifications.
But their job goes beyond that – when you finally find a home that you love, it’s the real estate agent’s job to do whatever he or she can to make that home yours. Among other things, your real estate agent will do the following:
Provide referrals to mortgage brokers and attorneys, if you do not have your own already
Conduct a market analysis and provide sales comparables for properties that are of interest to you
Negotiate the contract price on your behalf
Prepare your purchase application for a condo or a co-op
Provide post-closing assistance as needed (referrals to movers, architects, contractors, etc)
In addition to all of the above, your real estate agent is the primary “deal coordinator” – they are in constant communication with both the mortgage broker and the attorney to prevent or resolve any pre-closing issues and ensure that the deal runs as smoothly as possible.
Real Estate Attorney
Finally, there is your real estate attorney. Emphasis on real estatehere – whomever you hire should specialize in New York City real estate transactions. New York City is a very unique market, so it’s crucial to have an attorney who understands its nuances.
Your real estate attorney is the one who negotiates and drafts the precise terms of the contract. They also help you “look before you leap” by conducting due diligence prior to contract execution to be sure that the apartment and the building have no red flags. Finally, they coordinate the details of the closing once your purchase application is approved and your loan has been cleared.
Choosing Your Team
When choosing your team members, you should keep the following in mind:
You need to be comfortable with them.
This may seem obvious, but it’s critical – all three of your team members are dealing with an immensely important purchase in your life, and they’re privy to lots of sensitive information about you. You need to feel very comfortable with them!
They should communicate well and be responsive.
Communication is key. Getting a deal to the closing table requires a high degree of coordination among everyone, and a deal can fall apart quickly due to a lack of communication and responsiveness.
They inspire confidence.
You need to feel confident that whomever you hire has the talent, experience and knowledge you need to get the results you want.
If you’re in the process of creating your team and you would like some recommendations for a mortgage broker or attorney, feel free to contact me. And, of course, I’d love to be your agent! 😉
Nikki R. Thomas
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
The Corcoran Group – Village Office