Are you considering buying or selling a home? You might find it valuable to know all the players in the transaction, and who does what throughout the process.
The Listing Agent is a real estate professional who typically represents the seller as a client. They list the property in the MLS and perform various marketing duties for the seller determined by their listing agreement. Their goal is to find a buyer for the property. Typically, the listing agent is paid a commission once the property successfully closes.
Selling Agent/Buyer’s Agent
The Selling Agent is a real estate professional who typically represents the buyer as a client. The agent will explain the buying process to the buyer, suggest certain real estate properties, set up showings, and provide access to homes. Once a property is chosen, the selling agent will negotiate the contract terms. Typically, the seller pays the selling agent’s commission, so the buyer does not pay out of pocket for this representation.
Buyer’s Lender or Mortgage Broker
In the event the buyer is not paying cash, a mortgage broker, lender, or bank is involved in the transaction. The person managing the transaction is usually a LO (loan officer) or mortgage broker. They typically work on commission and are paid when the deal closes. If you are unfamiliar with where to start with the lending process, a good selling agent can typically refer you to a LO or Mortgage Broker to assist you.
Closing Attorney + Title Company
In a non-cash deal, the closing attorney technically represents the lender. They work with the Title Company to ensure the title is clear of liens and encumbrances and that all terms of the contract are carried out. The closing typically takes place at the closing attorney’s office. The title company will provide the title insurance for the buyer. Prior to and at the closing, the attorney’s office will
*collect all figures from the contract, lender and title company, and issue a document compiling these numbers. This is the Closing Disclosure.
*collect all funds at the closing and issue checks as per the final Closing Disclosure.
*coordinates with the Buyer’s lender and fulfill any requirements they demand at closing.
*send to the county for recording any pertinant documents including the Deed, Release of Mortgage, etc.
*disperse all funds including the payoff (if any) of the seller’s mortgage or any additional liens, and seller’s proceeds.
The Home Inspector
The Buyer is encouraged to do their due diligence and obtain a home inspection. This helps the buyer make a more informed decision about whether they should purchase the home or negotiate further. The home inspector is hired by the Buyer to inspect and to inform the Buyer of the physical condition of and defects with the property.
The Appraiser’s job is to assess the value of the property based on location, upgrades, and recent sales. They serve as an unbiased 3rd party for the Buyer’s lender to ensure the condition of the home supports the agreed upon purchase price. In cash deals, the buyer will also sometimes hire an appraiser.
If you’re interested in more information on the buying or selling process, email us here. We have a passion for real estate and represent both buyers and sellers in Atlanta and the entire metro area.
Every state differs in their real estate process and closing process. This post is specific to real estate transactions in Georgia. Consult your local real estate professional for more information on the real estate process for your area.