The homebuying process is exciting, can be intimidating and there are a lot of people involved in your transaction. The good news is that all these people are on your team and work hard to make your experience as smooth as possible.
You may or may not meet all of the following people during your home purchase, however your lender, real estate agent and housing counselor (if used) will be there for you throughout the process.
- Housing counselors can help you assess your financial situation, build or improve your credit, and ensure you’re well-prepared for homeownership. Their services are often free. Housing counselors are not required, but they are often recommended for first-time homebuyers.
- Loan officers or lenders evaluate your credit, financial, and employment information to see if you qualify for a mortgage. Once they complete their evaluation they’ll provide you with financing options. They'll also help you complete your mortgage application and keep track of its status during the loan approval process.
- Real estate agents help you find homes that meet your needs, including location, size, and price. They also provide you with information on neighborhoods, shopping, schools, property tax rates. Finally, they’ll typically handle all negotiations with the seller when you put an offer on a home. It's likely you’ll work very closely with your real estate agent throughout the entire homebuying process.
- Loan processors prepare your mortgage loan information and application for presentation to the mortgage underwriter. They make sure you've included all proper documentation, all numbers are calculated correctly, and everything is in order to ensure a timely decision on your approval.
- Homeowners insurance representatives provide you with an insurance policy that covers damage to the house and its possessions, as well as liability coverage. Your lender, agent and others on your team can help you find a homeowner's insurance policy that meets their specific requirements. You will need a proof of insurance document for closing.
- Mortgage underwriters assess if you are eligible for the loan based on your credit history, employment history, assets, debts, and other factors.
- Real estate appraisers evaluate the home and property you are purchasing to determine how much it is worth.
- Home inspectors examine the condition of the home you are purchasing. They will make you aware of any items requiring extensive repairs, as well as general maintenance and safety issues.
- Closing representatives oversee and coordinate the closing or "settlement" of your loan, record the closing documents, and pay the money to the appropriate individuals and organizations.
All of these people play different, but complementary, roles in your homebuying experience. Lean on them, ask questions, and don’t be afraid to reach out often. This is their job and this is your home.