Chapter 3 – The Main People Involved
When buying a home or other property, you’ll have to rely on a range of professionals to guide you through the process. For first time home buyers in particular, it helps to be acquainted with these specialists and their roles.
Mortgage Broker – A mortgage expert who introduces buyers to a full range of mortgage products, interest rate options, and strategies to pay off a mortgage faster. This professional works only on his or her client’s behalf, and may also be known as a mortgage agent or mortgage consultant.
Lender – Financial institutions such as banks, credit unions, trust companies, pension funds, and life insurance companies which lend money to home buyers.
Realtor – A real estate representative who can find properties in your price range and who arranges the purchase transaction on your behalf.
Appraiser – Property specialist who determines a property’s market value, based on its condition and the selling price of comparable properties recently sold in the area
Property Inspector – Examines the home you intend to buy to evaluate its roof and structural stability, electrical work, plumbing, appliances, fireplaces and furnace. This inspection is usually arranged by the buyer, and allows him or her to address any issues with the seller prior to closing, as well as anticipate any repairs that may be required.
Lawyer / Notary Public – Your lawyer or notary will review the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and ensure that all closing documents have been completed.
Mortgage Insurer – Mortgage insurers protect lenders from losses due to a borrower defaulting on a mortgage at any time during the amortization period. Home buyers with down payments of less than 20% automatically have to pay for mortgage insurance. It is usually added onto the mortgage amount.