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Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Who’s Involved in Buying or Selling a Property?

African American family in front of new house

Nationwide — Getting involved in the sale or purchase of a property can be an exciting experience as you take your next step in this defining point in your life. However, with this process, there are many people linked to it other than you and the other sellers and buyers in the chain. If you haven’t sold or bought property before, it can be confusing and overwhelming.

Each person plays a vital role in the process but, if you’re unsure about what they do, you might not be getting the most from their expertise. Here is what some of those people who are involved in a property sale do, and what they can do for you – whether you are buying or selling your home.

Real estate agent
A real estate agent is licensed in negotiating sales and purchases. There will usually be two agents involved – a buyer’s agent will help you buy a home, and a listing agent who will list a property and help to sell it. So, your agent will negotiate the purchase with the listing agent on your behalf, meaning that you won’t have to deal with the seller directly.

Title agent
A title agent will be able to confirm if the seller is the rightful and current owner of the property. The title will include information such as boundary lines, permitted use, and the ownership history of the property. It will be filed with the local government, so official records can be checked when the property is sold or bought.

Your title agent will check the records to see that no one else has a claim to owning the property you’re about to buy. Then, once verified, your agent can issue title insurance – so you can be protected against any claims from disputes on who owns the property. Your title agent may be a lawyer who specializes in residential real estate.

Closing agent
A closing agent will help with the transaction and act as a neutral party between you and the buyer/seller, typically working with the title company. Your title agent will attend at closing, so all the legal documents are signed and explained, the payment and property are transferred, and the sale is recorded correctly; the closing agent will deliver these for property recording to the title company.

A closing agent may also be called an escrow agent. This is because the agent can accept money from the buyer and their lender – which is then transferred to an escrow account so that the funds can be paid according to the contract.

Mortgage lender
This party will provide money to someone who wants to buy real estate. The lender can be either a savings and loan institution, commercial bank, credit union, or another financial organization. They will charge you interest on the mortgage, relying on the loan officer to confirm you can – and will – repay the loan. If you don’t do this according to what’s stated in the loan agreement, then your lender can take possession of your property and sell it.