Who Is That, And What Do They Do?
When you’re not a part of the daily grind of real estate, it can be confusing knowing who is a part of your transaction and what their role is. Let us help!
Your Agent. Your Agent is responsible for looking out for your best interests and protecting you in a real estate transaction. If you are a buyer, they will be showing you houses, pointing out pros and cons, assisting you in negotiations, assisting you with finding professionals to help move the transaction along, and will be keeping you safe legally within Real Estate Law. If you are a seller, they will be working hard to market your home, ensure that access to your home is limited to real estate agents, assisting you in negotiations, and will be keeping you safe legally within Real Estate Law.
The Other Party’s Agent. The Other Party’s Agent is responsible for looking out for their best interests and protecting them in a real estate transaction. That is why it may be important to have your own agent and not go with the same agent the other person has, unless they have a team with multiple agents to assist.
Escrow Officer. The Escrow Officer is an independent party, chosen by either the buyer or seller. They are responsible for opening your order, organizing the financial side of the transaction (who owes what, and to whom), prorate utilities/taxes for the property, and will also be your closing agent (the person you sign paperwork with at the end).
Lender. The Lender is an independent party, chosen by the buyer. They are responsible for ensuring that the buyer is qualified to purchase a property. They check the buyer’s credit, debt to income ratio, and keep buyer appraised of the current interest rates.
Inspector. The Inspector is an independent party, chosen by the buyer. They are responsible for looking over every aspect of the house and reporting it to the buyer. Their reports range from cracks in the sidewalk to electrical issues or from foundation issues to roofing issues. If a buyer chooses to have an inspection, it is important for the buyer to look over the report carefully, so they are aware of all potential hazards.
Title Officer. The Title Officer is an independent party, assigned by the escrow company. They are responsible for ensuring that the legal description of the property matches the actual property being sold. They are also responsible for finding any liens against the property, the buyer and the seller. The title officer issues a report called the preliminary title report, which details who may legally access the property and why (recorded easements), as well as any potential CCRs. This report will become the title report, which the buyer and seller will see at closing.
Appraiser. The Appraiser is an independent party, assigned by the bank the buyer has chosen to work with. Appraisers are not specifically allowed to be chosen or requested by lenders or buyers, as they don’t want to be accused of having bias. Appraisers are to be impartial in their judgement of a property, so they can value it fairly and ensure that the mortgage company is not paying too much (in case the bank has to repossess the property).
Listing Coordinators/Transaction Coordinators. Listing and Transaction Coordinators are there to assist your agent. Listing Coordinators are your realtor’s second set of eyes, ensuring that all of the details on your listing are correct across multiple real estate platforms. They also assist in setting up showings on your property, price changes, and the paperwork that comes with listing your property. Transaction Coordinators assist your realtor when you are writing or receiving an offer. They keep track of all of the small details, deadlines, and paperwork, ensuring that everyone received the paperwork they are supposed to.
Other people you may encounter in a transaction include people who specialize in certain repairs or inspections (chimney, roof, mold, septic, etc).