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The Team Of People You Need To Buy A Home
Dated: October 12 2021
The Team of People You’ll Need to Buy a Home
For many first time home buyers out there, and even people who have already bought or sold a home, it can feel intimidating to go through the home-buying process. At The Sandy Hartmann Group, we pride ourselves on making sure our buyers and sellers are guided through every step of the home sale process. However, the home buying process doesn’t just involve a Realtor and a home buyer.
If you’re a first time homebuyer or haven’t purchased a home in many years, the info below breaks down the team of people that will help you get from house-hunting to the closing table and why each role is important.
Check out our list of important people below to find out who you’ll need to rely on when it comes time to buy a home!
Here’s Who You Should Be Talking To:
The Realtor- Make sure you work with a seasoned, local Realtor that can help you gain access to the newest listings, analyze recent market trends to help you make the most strategic offer, and walk you through important contract terms that could protect your initial escrow deposit. A great Realtor can also put you in touch with a variety of insurance agents, lenders, home inspectors and more that can help you along the way.
A Great Local Lender- This is a no-brainer if you’re not buying a home with cash only (though 1 out of 3 buyers ARE buying with cash only in Pinellas County currently). Most sellers won’t even consider reviewing an offer on a home if it doesn’t come with a loan pre-approval letter. Our advice is to select a local lender who can offer you competitive rates and closing fees, while also offering you the best loan program to fit your needs. For example, you might qualify for a VA or FHA loan, but is that really the best program for you? With so many ‘low down payment’ programs currently available, you may find one with a better rate or lower fees than what you originally planned on. A great lender can guide you to the best program for your individual circumstances. **This should absolutely be done before you start shopping for a home.**
Your Banker or Wealth Advisor- Not only will a seller want to see a loan pre-approval letter when they review your offer, but many will also want to see proof of funds as well, especially if your offer requires a large amount of cash at closing. You’ll want to be in touch with your local banking representative or wealth advisor as soon as you start shoppingfor a home so you can get the proper statement or letter from them that shows you have the cash to close. Once you’re under contract, you may also need them to help you get bank statements for your lender. You’ll also want to schedule an appointment to wire your closing funds to the title company the day before your closing (thanks to the Pandemic many financial institutions require appointments for wire transfer requests now).
The Title Company- The title company is the firm that will facilitate the closing between the buyer and seller. They do not represent the buyer or the seller in a real estate transaction, but simply represent the ‘transaction.’ What does that mean? It means their job is to make sure the sale between a buyer and seller is properly executed (aka they prepare all the closing paperwork, pull the title history of the property, prepare the new deed, calculate your cash needed for closing, and so much more). They are basically the intermediary for the transaction and their goal is to provide you with a smooth closing. They also provide title insurance to protect your new investment and hold your escrow deposit in their escrow accounts until the closing date.
A Great Home Inspector- Buying a home is probably going to be the biggest or one of the biggest investments you ever make. It’s a large asset that will likely appreciate over time and help you build wealth if you take good care of it. A great home inspector is a ‘must have’ in our book to make sure the home is in the condition you expect it to be in. If you don’t have a home inspector you trust, your experienced real estate agent should be able to recommend several that have done a good job for their past clients. In Florida, you also need a 4-point Inspection and a Wind Mitigation Inspection to get insurance for your home. A home inspector takes care of these inspections as well. (Note: Most lenders won’t give you a mortgage loan unless you can get homeowner’s insurance on the home you’re buying, so you definitely need these inspections if you’re getting a loan!)
A Local Insurance Agent- The insurance laws in Florida just went through some major changes regarding flood coverage! If you have a great insurance agent that specializes in Homeowner’s and Flood Insurance policies, you already knew about these changes. We can’t emphasize the importance of having a great homeowner’s insurance agent on your side when it comes time to buy a home. For one thing, your lender will require you to carry a homeowner’s insurance policy, and secondly, this is a BIG purchase, so you need ample protection with the best rates. Don’t know anyone? Again, this is where a great local Realtor or Lender can help by giving you several recommendations.
If this feels overwhelming, not to worry! Start out with a great local Realtor and they can walk you through the step-by-step process of buying a home and point you in the direction of the right people to talk to. At the Sandy Hartmann Group, we have over 30 years of local real estate expertise in the Pinellas County and Greater Tampa Bay area of Florida, so call us at (727) 400-3315 to get started on your home buying journey or message us here for more details about how we can help you buy or sell a home!
Andrea is the Managing Partner of The Sandy Hartmann Group and runs the team alongside Sandy Hartmann. She would love to talk to you about real estate! Andrea was born and raised in the Tampa Bay a....
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