Look for the Helpers. You will Always Find People Who are Helping…Fred Rogers
Selling or purchasing a home is a stressful experience. So much money! So much change! So many legal contracts! It is stressful for everyone – both Buyers and Sellers and their families. The primary person, the one that you will have the most contact with, is your agent. But are a few of the other people in that neighborhood and what do they do?
You may not have a relationship with a home inspector but your real estate agent will be able to give you several names to choose from. Your home inspector will be your guide concerning the physical structure of your prospective property. A home inspector is a qualified professional who visually inspects the structure and components of a home and looks for any immediate or potential problems. They provide a written report to you with a description of problem areas and may also include recommendations for further evaluation. In our state of Pennsylvania you do not need to obtain a license through the state, as realtors do, but you must be able to prove that you are a qualified professional. Your inspector must be a member in good standing of a recognized home inspector membership association. Many inspectors choose InterNACHI (International Association of Certified home inspectors). They also must carry insurance, both errors and omissions and general liability. The inspector will carefully go over the home, exterior and any outbuildings that you request. He or she will also test, or work with someone to test:
Wood Destroying Inspects
Well and water
Your inspector will write a detailed report with photos, usually in 24-48 hours detailing any issues that he or she may have found along with recommendations for additional inspection, structural for instance, that may need a specialized level two inspector. You and your agent will carefully review the information in order to negotiate any repairs or credit requested with the Sellers and their agent.
What if you are the Seller? If you are the seller you can make the process easier by moving any large piles or visual obstructions that might mean the inspector has to come back. You can also plan to be out of the house for the entire inspection. Your presence, however helpful you think you can be, is actually a hindrance.
Title Agents – Processor and Closer
As soon as you have executed the sales contract (that means all parties have signed) your sales agent will order title from a company of your choosing. All agents have title companies that they work with so don’t worry if you don’t have a relationship with one. As soon as Title is ordered by sending the processor the sales contract the work begins behind the scenes. The processor gathers and reviews, along with the Closer, documents in a real estate transaction and makes sure that when a buyer acquires a piece of real estate the title is free and clear of any restrictions. Having the title company conduct a title search and obtaining title insurance will give you the assurance that no one can make a claim to the property after you purchase it. The title agent will clarify any issues with the title, so no one will contest your ownership of the property once you own it. In some cases, the title could be clouded. A cloud on the title refers to any unresolved issues with the property’s title. They could be issues involving former owners, back taxes and even fraudulent claims but with title insurance and a thorough title search and examination, you can be sure you are protected. If any problems arise during the title examination, they must be properly resolved before the transaction is closed.
The closer, after consulting with the with the buyer and seller and their agents, schedules a date, time, and location for the signing of the final closing documents. He or she will be the person at the table responsible for making sure that the parties sign all of the documents to transfer ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer and consummate the loan (if applicable). Once the settlement in consummated the closer will make sure that all of the transfer documents are recorded in the public records in the correct county where the home is located. This completes the final transfer of the title to the buyer.
These are just two of the professionals that will assist you in the home selling and buying process. There is a whole neighborhood of talented professionals who will be working on your behalf the make the process as seamless as possible.