Who you select matters
As you set out to find the right home for your family, be sure to select experienced, trusted professionals who will help you make informed decisions and avoid pitfalls.
How do you find reputable, experienced team members with whom you feel emotionally and financially comfortable? Start by asking your colleagues, friends and family for referrals. It's important to choose the right team members for you — professionals you can trust and who provide the knowledge and services you need.
Three primary people will make up your team:
A housing counselor can help you prepare for homeownership and ensure you are financially ready. Although it’s not required, it’s often recommended for first-time homebuyers to work with one. A housing counselor can help assess your financial situation, educate you on the homebuying process, explore down payment options and types of mortgages, and provide budget guidance.
You can get started by reaching out to a HUD-certified housing counselor through our Borrower Help Network. Their services are free, and they’re ready to help you. You can also search for a HUD-certified housing counselor in your area on the Consumer Financial Protections Bureau’s website.
Real estate agent
Your real estate agent will help you navigate each step of the homebuying process and is readily available to answer your questions. Their job is to help you find a home that meets your needs and budget requirements. Additionally, they can provide information about neighborhoods, schools, property tax rates and more. Your agent will also handle negotiations with the seller when you’re ready to put an offer on a home.
Your lender is responsible for helping you secure the best financing option for your situation. They’ll educate you on different mortgage options, rates, points and general mortgage terms that may be unfamiliar to you. Once you find your home, your lender will help you understand all costs and terms of the loan, as well as the necessary mortgage documents before signing.
It’s highly recommended that you get a loan estimate from more than one lender to find the loan that’s best for you. This will allow you to compare the total loan costs, the annual percentage rate (APR) and the total interest percentage offered by each lender.