How To Pick The Best Vendors To Supplement Your Next Deal
How can real estate buyers pick the best service providers to ensure a successful transaction and smooth experience?
There are a lot of people and companies involved in every real estate transaction. There can be an enormous difference in the deals and services real estate professionals and vendors provide. Which ones you have in your corner can make all the difference in whether your deal gets closed or not, how much you pay, and how rewarding or stressful the process is. So how do you pick the good ones?
A Realtor can either be a great asset who helps secure a great deal on a property and protects your interests, or they can create numerous issues. Finding the good ones can be very challenging. Length of time in business and website design can be terribly unreliable metrics to judge them on. Referrals and verifiable online reviews may be a better barometer for selecting top notch agents. Look for an agent that has experience, is up to date on the market, and has the hustle and respect in the business to get things done.
Mortgage Loan Officers
There are a lot of mortgage lenders out there. Some are definitely better than others. In reality, most have the ability to offer the same deals, if they want to. What is most important, however, is who your individual loan officer is. Your loan officer is the expert that will make sure your mortgage application is structured right from the beginning, that you are fully prepared for what is needed to get it closed, and will go to bat to get it closed when challenges arise. They need to be hungry to get the deal done, committed to good ethics, have real field experience, and have power with connections in underwriting and with third party vendors. Referrals and reviews can be a good guide, but also make sure you interview them in advance and test them out. A great loan officer and their processor will take the lead and manage the transaction.
The title company is where everything comes together for the closing. A good title company can save you money in the process, and ensure you get the deal done on time. A poor one can completely derail the simplest transaction. It is crucial for the title company you work with to be proactive about squashing potential title and signing issues before they arise. After the closing, you need a title company that is ethical and financially strong enough to fulfill their obligations under your insurance, and disbursing monies from escrow to the appropriate parties. Those that plan to buy and sell real estate frequently will want to build a strong personal relationship with title company reps.
Home inspectors are not all equal either. Most are great at their jobs, will be thorough in inspecting properties, and transparent about what really needs to be repaired immediately or not. In the past however, some have been influenced by other parties to overlook major issues in order to keep the deal together and to ensure the commissions of others involved. For this reason, it may be wise to find your own home inspector independently rather than relying on any Realtor or mortgage broker involved. Search online, check license and for members of major associations.
All real estate buyers should be taking out insurance. Today, some will need multiple forms of insurance to meet lender requirements and be totally covered. As with many of the above vendors it can be wise to select those which already work well with your mortgage lender. However, it is also important for buyers to get the best deal on insurance that they can. It isn’t always easy to switch later. Quotes from different insurers can be dramatically different on the same property, and they can vary in how easy they are to work with.
Who the seller is can be just as important, if not more so, than all of the above. In fact, who the seller is can be more important than the property. If you’ve got a terrible seller, it may not be worth going to contract. In some cases, it may be worth making a sacrifice on the property in order to work with a better seller. Be wary of those that are difficult, not committed to the transaction, and may even be looking to profit on the deposits of unsuspecting buyers.
Co-owners and Co-Borrowers
Those that need to bring in co-owners or co-borrowers should also be careful who they are tying themselves together with. Can you trust them to hold up their end of the deal? What risk does bringing them add? What if plans don’t pan out? How can you ensure you are all on the same page, and have an agreement that will stick?