Select A Department:

Courses in this Department

How Ready Are You to Buy a Home?

Determining Your Dream Home and Finding It!

Factory Built Homes Are Worth a Look

Purchase Manufactured Homes with FHA Loan

How to Buy a Foreclosed Home

Pros and Cons of Corner Lots

Know the Neighborhood Before You Buy

Tune in to an Open House on the Radio

Finding a Qualified Broker or Agent

Shopping for a Loan and Choosing a Lender

How to Improve Your Credit

How to Survive the Loan Application Process

Making an Offer and Signing Contracts

Cancel Your Contract in 3 Days

Understanding the Closing/Settlement Process

Choosing Home Inspection and Settlement Professionals

Double Check Your New Home - The Walkthrough

Know Your Consumer Rights

Seniors Have Many Housing Opportunities

Preparing for the Big Day -- Relocating Moving

Make Your Home Your Castle - Cost Effective Redecorating Ideas


Finding Professional Service Providers

Good ones are out there.

The Best Way
& some other reliable ways.

The best way to find professionals in any field is by personal recommendations. Ask around. Find out who is good in your area and go talk to them. Word-of-mouth goes a long way in a service business.

However, you can't stop there. Don't ever take another person's word for a professional's quality or ability. You need to test that yourself.

Interview them. Ask tough questions. Be sure you are comfortable with the person you will be sharing intimate financial details about yourself. Your settlement professional is going to learn a lot about you. They will know if you tend to be late on your rent. They will know how much you owe in student loans or credit card debt. They will learn a lot during this process. You need to make sure you know who will have access to that information. That means, not only the person you will be working with, but his or her entire staff.

Here is a good way to start looking for the right professional:

  • Talk about it. Ask around. Find out who is good and why. Ask the person recommending someone if they have used the person in that professional capacity. You don't want a recommendation for an attorney from the attorney's next door neighbor who is basing his recommendation on good bar-b-que and not professional services.

  • Ask tough questions. Be sure to carefully interview all references or people making the recommendations. Ask if they would use the person again without hesitation. This is often an easier question for people to answer than a vague question asking for an assessment.

  • Do a little PI work yourself. Call the local Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints against the person or his business. Call the licensing or state boards to see if everything is current and in good standing. Get concrete evidence of professional status.

The best way to find professionals is to do your legwork. Don't expect someone to do the work for you. It is your job to find someone who will work in your best interest and at the top of his or her game.

Getting Help Finding Help
The good and bad news.

Most buyers find their help through their broker. Now, this can work out to your advantage sometimes. But remember that unless your broker is an exclusive buyer broker, he or she has split interest. The seller has equal or more weight than you do in any transaction. That means that you are not the top priority and could suffer.

Find someone who will work for you and you alone. This is a big enough investment that another $750 won't kill you. It will be worth it in the long run if you avoid some major pitfalls or find some loophole you never would have caught.

The same holds true for home inspectors. Find one on your own. Go through local and national associations, such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), to find certified professionals. You want someone inspecting the house who is on your side and not linked with a broker who is also representing the seller.

What Is This Home Inspection?

Why do I really need it?

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