What a REALTOR® Will Do For You
Source: http://www.har.com/cs_why_use_realtor.htm

Financing. A professional Realtor® knows a lot about the different kinds of financing options available to you. He or she also has experience working with the different lenders in Houston, and can direct you to someone with a home loan that is right for you. Most mortgage companies and banks have limited options, but your Realtor® can point you toward the lenders that are best qualified to help you.

Finding. Once you know how much you can and want to invest, the fun begins. You will want to start with a list of properties that closely fit your needs. A Realtor® has many resources to help you conduct a thorough search. The property you are seeking may not be actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.

Deciding. Making a final selection is an exciting, emotional decision. Your Realtor® can help you by providing objective information about each property. A Realtor® can tell you about the area¹s utilities, zoning and the quality of local schools. Although you may "fall in love" with a certain home, two questions must be answered by an objective person. Will the property meet all of my needs in a home? Will I make money on my investment when I am ready to sell the property? A Realtor® can help you answer these questions objectively.

Negotiation. A lot of details will need to be negotiated in the contract including price, financing, terms, date of possession, and the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should also provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.

Due Diligence. With a negotiated agreement in hand, it is time to complete the evaluation of the property. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your Realtor® can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports. You will also want to see a preliminary report on the title of the property. Title indicates ownership of property and can involve confusing status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example, easements (access rights) for utilities. Your Realtor® can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.

Closing. Finally, there is the closing, or settlement. Generally, you will meet with your Realtor®, your lender, and an attorney to finalize the contract. Your Realtor® will see you through to this very last stage, when the papers are signed and the keys are in your hand.

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