How to Cool Nerves During Real Estate Transaction|
By: Dian Hymer
August 18, 2003
Buying or selling a home can be exciting, time-consuming, worrisome and anxiety-producing. But, there are ways to maintain relative calm during the process.
You will need to rely on a team of professionals to get the job done. The first step is to employ the best professionals you can find. In most cases, your team will include a real estate agent, a mortgage broker or lender, inspectors, an insurance agent or broker, a title officer and a closing agent (escrow officer or real estate attorney, depending on where you're purchasing). You might also need to consult an accountant or your personal attorney depending on the complexity of the transaction and on your personal situation.
Working with qualified professionals will help to lighten your workload. There are a myriad of details that need attending to during a real estate transaction. There are inspections to order, further inspections to complete, ordinances to comply with, in addition to finalizing your financing, arranging for insurance, making sure that there aren't any defects in the title record, deciding how to take title and planning for the actual move.
While you'll make life easier by delegating certain responsibilities to your designated professionals, the key to reducing stress during the transaction is to stay personally involved. You are the decision-maker in the transaction. You should never delegate this responsibility to someone else.
Make sure that the people who are assisting you keep you well informed throughout the course of the transaction. This means, among other things, letting you know when there is a problem.
Some real estate agents try to shield their clients from bad news. This practice can result in bigger problems. For instance, if there's a potential problem with the property, you need to know about it as soon as possible. Then you can look into the problem and resolve the issue. This is far better than discovering the problem after closing when your only recourse might be to sue the seller in court.
HOUSE HUNTING TIP: Part of staying informed includes understanding the course of events that must take place for the sale to close. Ask your real estate agent and loan agent to provide you with a transaction calendar or a list of deadlines. This will let you know what is expected of you and others involved in the transaction and when it's expected.
Among other things, you'll need to know when your contract contingencies (for inspections, financing, appraisal, etc.) are due; inspection times and dates; when your loan application must be submitted; when your increased deposit is due; when the appraisal will be done; when you'll have final loan approval; when your loan documents will be ready to sign; and your signing deadline.
Make sure your team provides you with updates throughout the transaction. If you haven't had a status report in awhile, contact the appropriate person for feedback. Knowledge is power. Don't hesitate to ask for an explanation if you have any questions.
Most buyers and sellers are amazed at how much time is involved in a real estate transaction. To further complicate matters, you may find the home of your dreams at the least opportune time. After looking for months, you might enter into contract to buy a home just before you head off for vacation or when your work schedule is extremely busy.
THE CLOSING: Reschedule any appointments that aren't absolute necessary until you have more free time. And be sure to schedule fun and relaxation time during the process. You deserve it.
Dian Hymer is author of "House Hunting, The Take-Along Workbook for Home Buyers," and "Starting Out, The Complete Home Buyer's Guide," Chronicle Books.
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