Episode 2: Here are the PDF links to download the documents mentioned in this episode:
#002 – Real Estate is a Team Sport
Hello everyone and welcome to Episode 2 of the Agent On Duty podcast.
This is a foundational episode where we will talk about the fact that real estate is a team sport.
This is one of the most foundational aspects that I believe everyone needs to understand that in order to successfully navigate through a real estate transaction with peace of mind.
Going alone, or rather trying to go alone is a disaster waiting to happen.
And so in this podcast, I’m going to cover a lot of information in this episode. And in order for you to get the most out of the information that I’m going to share, I’m going to provide a couple of resources for you at the end of this episode, and the resources are Your Real Estate Team Checklist, a downloadable PDF form that you can use to help put your real estate team together.
I’ll also provide a complete transcript of this episode in a blog post, and also a downloadable PDF document.
So be sure to stay tuned until the end. And then you will find out where to get these documents.
This will help you to make the most out of this podcast and understanding that real estate is a team sport and getting your real estate team together for your real estate transaction.
Quick Intro to John Marion
Before I get into the information about the team just very quickly, I want to reintroduce myself for those of you that are new to the podcast.
I am an Associate Broker with RE/MAX Town & Country in Canton, Georgia. And my company is called Innovative Properties Group. My website is innovativeproperties.com.
Innovative Properties Group is a team of licensed real estate agents that I lead with my business partner, Sandra Watkins. We have a team of agents that we train and provide resources in the real estate industry to complete transactions for our clients in North Metro, Atlanta
Sandra and I also own Georgia Rental Group, which is a property management company. We manage over 150 properties in the North Metro Atlanta area.
And finally, we have a real estate investment company called Alpha Dog Investments. Our company actually buys houses, fixes them up and resells them on the market. Or sometimes we identify a good investment property for our landlords, for them to hold as rental property or other residential investment properties that we offer to our clients. So that’s our investment company.
Seller & Buyer
Let’s get right into the show now.
So obviously in a real estate transaction, we start with a seller and a buyer. When a seller agrees to accept an offer from a buyer, both parties have what we call a meeting of the minds. That is, there are basic terms in the buyer’s offer such as price amount of earnest money deposit, a closing date, a method of payment, the length of the due diligence period, contingencies for the final loan approval and the appraisal of the property and other basic terms that both parties agree to in writing in the purchase and sale contract.
So starting with a seller and a buyer, that’s where a real estate transaction starts when they have a meeting of the minds and a signed purchase contract.
While sellers and buyers have what we can call an adversarial relationship, it doesn’t need to be an argumentative or contentious relationship. And the process can be very smooth and cordial.
Even if there are difficult circumstances to navigate through and negotiations that need to take place during the due diligence period or during the transaction, these things can be done in a professional way. And, although it’s an adversarial relationship, it doesn’t have to be a contentious relationship.
So both parties have a meeting of the minds in the beginning of the transaction, and there may be additional negotiations that take place because of facts that are discovered during the due diligence period or contingencies that need to occur during the transaction. Both parties might be required to come back to the table and negotiate just a little bit more to keep the transaction on track and complete it.
Real Estate Broker
So anyway, we start the transaction with a meeting of the minds with a seller and a buyer. And in most cases, the other people on the team then are the real estate agents, the listing broker and the selling broker, for most people in a real estate transaction. This is the most important person on the team: a real estate broker or agent that represents them.
Now, a real estate broker or agent is not absolutely necessary to begin or complete a real estate transaction, but in most situations is the best option for both sellers and buyers. I will talk more about for sale by owner transactions where no brokers or agents are involved in the transaction in a future podcast episode, but most home buyers and home sellers use real estate agents and brokers buy and sell property. And so that’s what I’ll be talking about.
And that’s why an agent is an important person to have on your team. So if you’re a seller, the first step will be to hire a real estate brokerage firm to represent you in the sale of your property. And if you’re a buyer you want to have a buyer’s agent representing you in the transaction.
The seller’s agent has the duty to represent the seller and the buyer’s agent has a duty to represent the best interests of the buyer. A good agent will help you as the seller or the buyer to understand the process of the transaction and when things get difficult, and they often do, your agent will absolutely be a huge benefit to you.
Additionally, your agent will coordinate all the moving parts of the transaction with other members of your real estate team. A real estate transaction can be, and really is, a complex transaction – there’s a lot of moving parts.
And as we talk about each of the team members that you need on your real estate team, you will understand more of what I mean by that.
And by the way, a note regarding the payment of real estate commissions paid to brokers. Normally the commission is paid fully by the seller and the buyer gets the benefit of having an agent represent them at no cost.
So I don’t know if a lot of buyers really fully understand that if you’re a first time home buyer or new to the real estate industry in terms of doing a transaction, you may not realize that real estate agents who represent buyers does not cost you anything.
They collect the commission from their broker who is paid from the seller’s broker. So when you are purchasing a property, get a good real estate agent, an experienced real estate agent who can help you through the process, and it will not cost you anything.
You do not have to pay the commission to the buyer’s agent. So this is one of the greatest benefits I think in the residential real estate industry is that buyers have access to professional brokerage services and to have an agent and a broker assigned to them that will look after their best interests. It just really is a fantastic person to have on your team.
So my assumption is that your real estate transaction will include you being represented by a buyer’s or a seller’s agent, depending on what side of the transaction you are. And then that the other party to the transaction also has a real estate broker representing them. And again, in a future episode, we’ll talk about for sale by owner properties, where no agent is involved in the transaction.
Photographer / Videographer
So let’s move on to another team member, a professional photographer, or a videographer. A professional photographer is an extremely important person for the seller of a home to have on their real estate team.
In most cases, I think the Broker listing the property for sale will include professional photographs as part of their services. Ask your broker about that. I know in our case, we do that and maybe that’s not always the case in every region of the country. Maybe the seller has to pay for that separately, but I, but at least in my business, we offer that to our sellers and we provide and hire the professional photographer to take pictures.
Okay. A warning about photographs. If you are selling a home, do not let your agent use cell phone photos to market, your property. That’s a big no-no. You can never get the quality of photograph that you need, even though cell phones can really take good photographs, especially in good lighting. But there’s a huge difference between the quality of photographs that a professional photographer will take with an actual camera with a lens with lots of glass in it.
It’s just a different quality product. So do not let your agent use cell phone photographs to market your property.
Now, the only exception I would make to that, and I have done this myself, for some of my clients, because I work with a lot of investors and I sell a lot of homes that are fixer-uppers. Sometimes I will go through the home myself and take photographs with my cell phone. I’ll process them a little bit if they need to up the lighting or whatever.
But that’s the only time I make an exception. And my purpose in taking a set of photographs of a fixer upper house is not to try to make it look beautiful. It is to document the property condition and the faults with the property and the problems and the repairs that need to be made.
And the typical buyer for this type of home is not an owner occupant buyer who is buying their dream home. It’s usually an investor or an experienced buyer who’s paying cash, or has access to an investment loan. And they are specifically looking for a house that’s a fixer-upper and they’re not looking for beautiful photographs of a nice home. They’re looking for photographs that show them the faults of the home. And so in that case, I don’t really need a professional photographer for that situation. But that’s very rare. And the type of home that you as a buyer will most likely be buying is not this type of home.
If you’re a seller, most cases, you’re not selling a home like this. So you need to get professional photographs. The professional photographer is one of the most important people on your real estate team as a seller.
And just to mention a pet peeve that I have, don’t let your agent use vertical photographs. This happens more with a cell phone because people, the way they hold their cell phone and take pictures is vertically, but a professional photographer, 90% of the photographs they will take of your home will be horizontal photographs. And that really is the standard that should be used.
There are some exceptions for that. If it’s a townhouse that’s narrow and, and you need to show the whole thing, maybe a vertical photograph would be great Or a shower that has a tall backsplash of stonework and you want to show the whole thing exclusively without getting maybe the bath tub next to it in the photograph or something like that.
But the point is use a professional photographer, and they will figure out how to best present the house through professional photographs.
Mortgage Lender or Mortgage Broker
Another person on your team will be the mortgage broker or lender. And this is true if you are a buyer of real estate. So unless you are a cash buyer and have all the cash to make the purchase. But most people don’t, most people get a mortgage loan to purchase their home. And so one of the most important people on your real estate team will be a mortgage broker or a lender.
And then behind the scenes will be a mysterious underwriter. Don’t worry about the mysterious underwriter, but you will hear about them. You’ll hear that your application or the processing of your loan is in underwriting. And the underwriters are looking at the numbers or the transaction or the contract. Don’t worry about them. They’re behind the scenes. They’re part of the lender’s back office that make sure all the T’s are crossed and the I’s are dotted.
You will deal with the front end office of a mortgage broker or person who represents the lender that will take your application and process the loan and help you through the process of getting qualified for the loan. So the lender is a very important person, on your team as a buyer.
For most people, a mortgage is required to make a real estate purchase. And it’s probably the biggest purchase you will ever make in your life. You’re taking on debt to make the purchase by getting a mortgage loan.
So your lender is a super important part of your real estate team so shop around for the right lenders – I’ll talk more about that in just a minute.
Most buyers start with a real estate broker or agent and your broker or agent can give you a few referrals for a mortgage lender in your area that have a good track record of processing loans for real estate transactions.
Some buyers may start with a relationship that they have with a lender – a preexisting relationship that you have with a lender – because you’ve completed transactions. Maybe your banker, or where you do your banking. They also process loans or a credit union. You may want to use them as your lender. And if you don’t know a real estate agent, in many cases, the lender can refer you to a local real estate agent who will help you.
But most of the time in my experience, a buyer starts a real estate transaction with a real estate agent first and then finds a good lender to use based on the referrals from their agent.
The most important thing to keep in mind when using a lender is to shop around for a loan.
Different lenders have different terms, and the fees can vary greatly from one lender to another. It’s not just about the interest rate that they can offer, but there are other lender fees that are really important to compare.
To give you an example of this. I had a client who was purchasing a home some years ago, and he had a lender before I met him that he wanted to use. And we were looking at homes and he was making offers and it was a tough market. Anyway, through the process of working with him over a period of time and actually submitting several contracts that fell through, or he actually got homes under contract and terminated them because during the due diligence period, he discovered some things about the property that he did just not want to deal with some structural issues on one of them actually.
But when I looked at his loan and what he was paying for the loan, I suggested to him that he compare rates with another lender, and he did not want to do that. He was a little bit resistant to it because he was getting a VA loan and as a veteran, getting a VA loan he was approached by this company that specialized in VA loans for veterans. And so their marketing was very good and I’m sure they gave very good service. He just seemed to appreciate them very much and how much they catered to veterans. But I convinced him to the idea of getting a competitive quote on what the cost would be for somebody else to process his VA loan.
As it happened, the person that I referred him to, unbeknownst to me, happened to be someone that sat in the local branch, where he did his banking. It was the same bank and same local branch. It was a national company and a nationwide bank. And the person I recommended to him actually sat in the local branch where he did his banking. So when I told him that when he heard who they were and where their office was, he was like, yeah, I’ll go and talk to them. No problem.
In the end, he did apply with them. And when he got the quote back he saved $10,000 in lender fees! That’s right. He saved $10,000 in lender fees.
Now the company that was specializing in VA loans – they probably – you know, I’m going to think the best intentions of them that they were really catering specifically to veterans. But every lender can do a VA loan. You don’t need a company, a mortgage company that specializes in VA loans to process a VA loan.
So the point being whether you’re getting a VA loan or an FHA, or conventional loan, shop around for a lender. Shop around for the best rate, not only the interest rate, but also the fees on your loan.
It’s very important – the mortgage broker is on your team and you will be relying on a mortgage broker to make the the biggest purchase you will ever make in your life.
So an extremely important person to have on your team and that you select the best person and the best lender you can for your situation.
Okay. Another team member is the home inspector, especially for the buyer. As a buyer, you will want to hire a home inspector who will inspect the property and give you a written report about the property condition during the due diligence period. And this is very important that this occurs during the due diligence period, that the inspection takes place.
You get the report back several days, two or three days is better, before the due diligence period ends, so that you can look at that report and consult with your real estate agent to see if you want to do any further negotiations, or if you’re, you’re happy with the report and just want to move on and complete the purchase and buy the property in its current condition.
The home inspection report will be a document that will be used for further negotiations with the seller to make repairs or ask for a price reduction if needed. And the purpose of the home inspection is not to pick out silly little cosmetic things that obviously you have seen and know about.
The purpose of the inspection is to be a little bit more intrusive than what you saw when you walked through the property as a buyer.
So the home inspector will look beyond the cosmetics of the home. And just to give you an example, a few things that they will look at:
They will test the systems like the HVAC system they’ll turn on the heat and make sure it heats properly and turn on the air conditioner, make sure it’s cooling properly, properly.
They look at the electrical system, they’ll test outlets. Some home inspectors will test every outlet in the home to make sure that it’s wired correctly. They have a device they plug in, and make sure that it is powered correctly.
They’ll test out the plumbing, they’ll turn on every, water faucet, they’ll flush every toilet they’ll run the showers in the bathtubs.
They’ll check all that appliances, usually tested and documented. Often you’ll get a photograph of the label in the appliance that shows the model number, and maybe the year that it was manufactured, that sort of thing,.
The structure will be inspected to some degree. A home inspector normally will go into an attic. They’ll take a look at the foundation in the basement or along the, if it’s on a slab, they’ll, they’ll take a look at that – more closely than you normally would as a buyer. They’ll look at the walls. They normally can determine pretty quickly the difference between just a scuff mark and a crack in the wall that could represent a possibility of a foundation issue or settling in the home.
They’ll test the windows and the doors to make sure they’re functioning. Okay.
They will look for mold and a specialty inspection might be for radon gas in some areas of the country, as I understand it. Radon gas is not a typical part of the inspection where I work in North Metro Atlanta. It doesn’t happen as much, but it’s happening more and people are talking about radon gas more, so we’re seeing that more, but usually that’s an add on to a home inspection in my market. So if that’s a concern, uh, you’ll want to ask for that.
And when you hire a, a home inspector, most of them, will give you options. They’ll have a basic home inspection package. And then there may be options to test other things. For example, if there’s a pool, they can test the pool, or they have somebody in their company that is a specialist that tests the filter and all the things involved in a pool. Or other specialty things, or like doing the radon gas test, for example. If there’s a concern for mold, they, they may have a mold company that they can send out.
But in most cases, when a home inspection company finds deficiencies about the property, they will normally refer you as the buyer to check with the specialist to make sure that what they’re seeing, they have a concern about, but they may not be a hundred percent positive that what they’re seeing is actually mold or a crack in the basement wall – Is that really a structural crack or just a minor cosmetic thing?
The home inspector normally will err on the side of being very cautious and just documenting what they’ve observed, then taking a photograph of it, and then giving you their professional opinion as to whether or not you should consult a specialist to take a look at what they’ve observed.
Another thing that they’ll look at especially will be things like health and safety concerns. So anything that does look like mold they’ll point that out. If a railing on the stairs is loose, they will definitely point those kinds of things because they are considered health and safety concerns.
So a home inspector is one of the most important people on your team.
When you purchase a property, ask your real estate agent for a referral to at least two or three home inspection companies, and you can give them a call or go on their website and get their pricing pretty easily and make a, make a decision.
You do want to get referrals from your real estate agent because most buyers have no or very little interaction with home inspection companies where a real estate agent has seen many, many home inspection reports have interacted with many different home inspectors over the years and has a few home inspectors that they can point out to you where their clients have been very happy.
So you can get some really good choices to find a home inspector through a referral from your real estate agent.
So another person on your team could be a general contractor. Now the home inspection report may result in a general contractor being called to the property to confirm some of the items in the report and to make repairs if they’re needed. So the general contractor can be paid either by the buyer or the seller, depending on the negotiations agreed upon by both parties.
For example, if something were to come up during the home inspection that is in the home inspection report and both parties agree that, yeah, this is something that should be looked at or repaired, you can negotiate that with the seller. If it’s something the seller is not willing to do, but the lender’s requiring, it could be negotiated. Normally the seller would pay for something like that. But, but sometimes you have a seller that doesn’t want to do that, and they’re willing to lose the transaction over something small. So you, as a buyer can pay for that and just forget it, you know, if it’s, something that’s not too expensive and your lender requires that in order to fund the loan, if the seller doesn’t do that, they’re just going to shoot themselves in the foot. because if you terminate the transaction, that same problem still exists for the next transaction.
So many times you can get the seller to pay for, for the most important things, especially health and safety things that the lender requires, the seller will pay for that.
The contractor’s role is important and should be considered part of your real estate team.
Specialty Trades and Inspectors
In addition to the general contractor, there are other inspectors and trades. Specialty types of inspectors may be needed or people in professional trades. If the home is in generally good condition, none of these will be needed for the most part. But if any issues arise out of the home inspection, they will be on your team. And, and you want to make sure that you understand the actual property condition and they can perform the work if it’s needed or make repairs if they’re needed depending on the situation.
So like the general contractor, each of these specialty inspectors and trades are on your team to make sure the property condition is satisfactory to you prior to the closing.
So some things that may be required would be a structural engineer, for example. If the home inspector sees a crack in the basement, and he’s not sure if it’s structural, he’ll just point it out that this is a crack in the basement wall. And he might recommend that a structural engineer be consulted to make sure that this is not anything structural to be concerned about. So in that case, you you’ll want to have a structural engineer out there to look at the crack. And if it’s simply cosmetic and no big deal the engineer will let you know, or if it is a structural issue, they can give a recommendation of how to remediate that issue.
And sometimes it might be something very simple, or it could be something very costly. And it may be big enough that that you’ll want to withdraw from the transaction, terminate the transaction. But that’s an example of, of the type of specialty person that could be called upon because of what is discovered in the home inspection report.
Other people might be an electrician or an HVHC contractor to make some repairs. Maybe the air conditioning is working, but for some reason it’s just not getting as cold as it really should get. And so, an HVAC contractor can come and, and maybe make some repairs, put some more freon in it or do something, just some regular maintenance to make sure that the air conditioner is functioning optimally.
A plumber could be called out or a roofer or a septic company, and of course, painters and flooring companies.
So these are just some examples of some specialty inspectors or tradesmen that can come out and take a look at the house and give a professional evaluation. And these are people that are on your team as a buyer, or if you’re a seller and you’re the one calling on these people to make those repairs, to prepare your house for a sale or to remediate an issue that is discovered when a buyer has their home inspection.
But as a buyer or seller you’ll benefit, by a general contractor and the specialty tradesmen that come out to look at the property and make repairs because they are doing work on the property, so that both parties are satisfied and can complete the transaction.
Another person on your team is an appraiser. Now the appraiser is working for the lender, but it’s an, what is an important part of the buyer’s team, because they will confirm that you are not overpaying for the property.
The lender will not fund the loan unless the property is appraised for at least the purchase price.
And as a buyer, you won’t have control over the who the appraiser is. You’ll be paying the lender for the cost of the appraisal.
And so if you are a cash buyer, though, when you are not getting a loan, you may want to get an appraisal unless you’re very confident in the market and the price that you’re paying, or you don’t really care about the price you’re paying. You don’t care if the property has the value that you’re paying, because there’s other value to you personally, maybe that that home, that you’re purchasing as a cash buyer has so much value to you because maybe you grew up in that home as a kid, and you want to buy it back, or, you like the way that house sits in the neighborhood or on the piece of land and you really don’t care what the value of the property is. From an appraisal standpoint, you just want to buy it at all costs. And if you have the cash go for it!
But if you are not in that situation, as most property buyers are not, and cash buyers who are not using a mortgage lender to get a loan, you may want to get an appraisal anyway, to make sure that you are not overpaying for the property.
If you are getting a mortgage loan, the lender is going to require you to have the property appraised. And so an appraiser is an independent, licensed individual who’s crunching a lot of data and numbers in order to come up with a reasonable determination of the value of the property.
So an appraiser, although as a buyer, you’re not going to hire them directly and you’re not necessarily going to ever meet them or know who they are, they are on your team.
They’re working on the lender’s behalf and they’re working on your behalf as well, because they’re doing an independent valuation of the property to make sure that the lender is not loaning more money than the property is worth, but in your situation as the buyer that helps you so that, you’re not going to get a loan if you are overpaying for the property. So an appraiser is on your team.
Homeowners Insurance / Property Insurance
Insurance. Yes, property insurance! That’s another person on your team: an insurance agent. This is an important person on your team, and this person will be required by a mortgage lender for you to have property insurance.
And so as a buyer, you’re free to shop around for an insurance agent or company and get the best price policy for you. As long as that policy meets the lender’s minimal requirements, and most insurance agents will know what that is or know what they will need to do to check with your mortgage company.
They they’ll ask you for the name of your mortgage company, and they’ll verify what the minimal criteria might be, for insurance. But I think a lot of this is standard in the industry, but, anyway, you have the right to hire, your own insurance agent and shop around for the best insurance policy you can get.
That will be your responsibility to do that. And in many cases you might get the best deal with a company that is doing your car insurance, you automobile insurance, for example. Or if you are selling a house and have home homeowners insurance on a house that you’re selling that same company may be able to give you the best rate that you can for the insurance on the home that you’re purchasing. So keep that in mind. If not, you may want to ask your real estate agent for a referral to one or two, always at least two, maybe even three, insurance agents.
So you can check and shop around for the best policy for you.
Real Estate Attorney / Escrow Company / Title Company
Another person on your team is a title company or a closing attorney, or sometimes called an escrow company.
Now here in the North Metro in the Atlanta area. I don’t know if it’s through this way throughout all of Georgia – actually it is throughout Georgia – closing attorneys are required to do a real estate closing. But in other areas of the country, you may go to what’s called a title company who will do the closing and there’ll be attorneys involved with the title company.
But when you sit down to sign the paperwork in some areas of the country, it may not actually be an attorney at the table that’s conducting the closing and pushing the papers in front of both parties and explaining things. But in Georgia, it’s a closing attorney. But the offices of a closing attorney and a title company and an escrow company, from my perspective, they pretty much perform the same duty. And they are a key person on your team.
So a title company or a closing attorney is involved in the transaction on day one, normally, because as soon as the, we have a meeting of the minds between a buyer and seller, your real estate agent will send the completed signed purchase contract to the closing attorney’s office or the title company’s office. And they will open up a file. And that that company, or that attorney will be involved in the transaction from the time they get the contract to the day that it closes and you signed the paperwork and take possession of the property
In the state of Georgia, the buyer selects the closing attorney. So as a buyer, unless you have a lot of experience buying homes in the same location, you probably don’t know a good real estate attorney in your area. So you’ll have to rely on your broker or your agent to refer you to a local closing attorney who will handle the transaction.
And so it’s super important. A real estate attorney will be a part of your team or a title company, depending on which area of the country you live in which state you’re in. This is a necessary, team member for you as a buyer and also the seller as well.
The real estate transaction cannot take place without a company like this. And in Georgia can not take place without a closing attorney.
So the title company is involved in the transaction from day one when they are sent the contract by your real estate agent till the last day, the day of closing when the transaction is completed. So they are a super important member of your real estate team. The closing attorney is responsible for making all the legalities of the transaction complete, and while they actually represent the lender, at least in Georgia, again, they really are on everyone’s team.
Everyone benefits from the work performed by the closing attorney or the title company!
They make sure that the seller actually owns the property and that they have a right to sell it. That’s very important! This is usually referred to as a clear title and there’s many other technical details regarding title that we’ll have to leave for another episode in a future podcast, but this is an important and good thing.
And by the way, you’ll be getting title insurance when you purchase your property. But this also will be discussed in a future podcast.
So the closing attorney follows the lender’s instructions. And so the lender will give instructions to the attorney and the attorney will make sure that the buyer signs all the paperwork needed to complete the transaction. So the lender will wire the funds to the attorney’s office. And so the attorney is doing the work of the lender and behalf of the lender to make sure you as a buyer get everything signed and you as a seller sign that that deed and all the paperwork is completed.
And so this is a critical component of every real estate transaction and is a super important person to have on your team.
And if you are living locally in the area where you’re buying, or even if you’re from out-of-state, you’ll be interacting on a number of occasions with the closing attorney’s office and the title company’s office. You’ll be wiring your funds to that office – there’s a lot of things you need to be careful about when wiring funds, but that’s an issue for another podcast.
So the closing attorney will collect and disperse the funds, and it’s going to be a payday for the seller and a possession of a new home for the buyer.
And of course the real estate brokers get paid to.
And sometimes the buyer even gets a refund.
So everyone is happy on closing day!
And this happens at the closing attorney’s office or the title company’s office or the escrow company’s office, whichever terminology you use.
A final word about a closing attorney in my market. The parties to the transaction do not usually hire their own individual attorney. So again, we said, when you, when a buyer gets a laon, the closing attorney represents the lender. And so most, most sellers and buyers do not independently go and get their own real estate attorney.
But if you have a special concern, you can hire your own real estate attorney to review the contract and other aspects of the transaction. And most typical transactions, I find it’s not necessary to take this extra step and incur the extra cost. If it’s a typical home sale and purchase, the real estate industry has really streamlined the process, in my opinion, and the closing attorney is probably the only attorney you’ll need involved in the transaction.
A big exception to that would be if you have inherited property, or you have a financial situation where you’ll need an accountant or a financial advisor involved in it, and you are in a tax bracket, or you’re concerned about a certain tax bracket and a complexity of the transfer of the property. These are situations where you as an individual, whether you’re a buyer or a seller may want to hire your own individual real estate attorney that represents you in ways that a real estate agent cannot do.
That’s the only situation where I would say you may want to look at getting your own real estate attorney, but otherwise the process seems really streamlined in the real estate industry and the closing attorneys representing the lenders just make the process very smooth, and they do make sure that the seller really owns the property and that all the legalities are followed. And so in a typical home sale, that’s the only attorney that you’ll need to use.
So finally, let’s talk about another team member: a surveyor.
A survey is not always used and often a new survey is not performed in a typical neighborhood when you purchase a home, especially if it’s what we call a platted subdivision that’s on record at the courthouse. This is especially true if it’s fairly recent, there’s no need to get a survey, but a survey may be needed if it’s uncertain where the property line is, or if it has been a long time since the last survey of the property. And if the exact area needs to be determined, that is the, the acreage how many acres is the property?
If some of those things are not known, then a land survey makes a lot of sense. If you’re a seller of a property, and you have a recent survey, the plat, which is like the diagram or the map, if you will, of the land that you’re selling, the plat is an important document, which helps in the marketing of the property.
So you want to give that to your real estate agent and the agent can upload that on the MLS listing or attach it to the listing, or provide it to a potential buyers or agents, other agents who are representing buyers. And that really is very important in marketing of the property so buyers know what they’re buying and an experienced real estate agent can help you decide if you need to get a survey of your property prior to putting it up for sale.
If you’re not sure, just ask your real estate agent and you can get a, a good idea of whether it’s really needed or not in your situation.
If you’re a buyer, it may be in your best interest to hire a surveyor so that you know exactly where the property lines are and how much land area is included in the sale. And this is especially true for properties that have acreage and properties that have not been surveyed for a long time. But again, in a more modern platted subdivision, those surveys are on record. You can get them easily from the courthouse and in a typical neighborhood, unless you think a neighbor’s fence is encroaching on your property or the neighbor’s shed or, or something weird is going on, you probably don’t need a survey. But that that’s something that you definitely want to ask your real estate agent about if you have any concerns.
A couple of examples recently that I’ve been involved in where a survey was really important…..
We found that in one transaction, that three acres was actually four acres and because a survey had not occurred on the property for 50 years. And for 50 years, the tax records said it was, three acres. And then when the buyer had this survey done, it turns out it was four acres. So maybe 50 years ago, they just wrote in the wrong number. That’s, that’s an example where a survey is really important.
If the property had not been surveyed in 50 years and it’s not in a platted subdivision, it makes a lot of sense to get a survey.
There’s another transaction I was involved in where it had been a hundred years since the property was surveyed! I’m not going to get into the details of that right now. I think I will – in the future – I’m going to have a podcast episode devoted to land survey, and I’m going to bring a land surveyor onto our show, and we’ll talk about, surveying land.
So surveying is really an interesting part of real estate. And having a surveyor can be an extremely important and critical member of your team.
Conclusion of Real Estate Teams
So that’s it, as I promised, I covered a lot of information in this episode.
Real estate transactions require a team of people.
It’s one of the most important and foundational aspects of real estate to understand – real estate is a team sport.
Download Your Real Estate Team Checklist and Episode Transcript
In order to help you make the most out of all the information that I shared with you today, you can download Your Real Estate Team Checklist and get the transcript of this episode right now in a PDF format.
Just go to innovative properties.com/podcast, and you’ll be able to download these documents.
These tools and resources will help you to field your real estate team so that you can complete your real estate transaction successfully.
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I am John Marian and I am the Agent On duty.
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