Whether you're buying a home or selling a home, it takes a village to successfully pull off a real estate transaction. Most people are aware of the top 3, but there can be as many as 10 parties in a typical transaction. There can actually be more than ten.
1. BUYERS & SELLERS - this is a given, but technically, they're the most important. After all, it all starts with a buyers and sellers.
2. REALTORS - These are professionals who represent buyers and sellers. They help write real estate offers and contracts, manage the timeline through the closing day. Buyers agents represent home buyers, helping them find the right home and contract negotiation. Listing agents represent home sellers and help them with the process of selling their home, from staging, market planning and negotiation. Licensed Realtors have access to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), which is a massive shared online real estate database and marketplace.
3. LENDERS - Lenders provide the financing for homebuyers.
4. TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY (or Title Law Firm) - Title Insurance Companies are the most common business in any Florida real estate transaction. They act as a neutral party, equally representing both buyers and sellers. They also have a major financial responsibility as they are the financial nexus of the entire transaction. All money flows through the title company. They also research the legal title of the home to ensure that the title is clear and ready to transfer ownership...and they ensure their findings with Title Insurance Policies, which protects against undiscovered liens. They also file the new deed into public records.
5. REAL ESTATE APPRAISERS - Real Estate Appraisers are independently licensed professionals who provide market valuation reports. They are hired by the buyer's lender to ensure that the buyer and the lender are both aware the current market value of the home and the general condition of the home.
6. PROPERTY SURVEYOR - A property surveyor is an independently licensed professional who creates professional drawings of the property, including the footprint of the home, the lot dimensions, legal property lines, encumbrances, easements, swimming pools, decks, fence lines, bodies of water adjoining the property lines and more. Their reports are ordered by the Title Insurance Company, and are a necessary documents for the title company to issue a title insurance policy endorsement called the Florida Form 9, which is required by all mortgage lenders in Florida.
7. HOME INSPECTOR - The home inspector is an independently licensed professional who performs a comprehensive inspection of the condition of the home itself. Unlike a real estate appraiser, a Home Inspector's report is focused only on the condition of the home and all of it's systems, including appliances, HVAC, plumbing, roofing, flooring, mold, wood condition, pools, pool machinery and more.
8. PEST INSPECTOR - The pest inspector is an independently licensed professional who inspects the home for signs of active or past infestations of pests such as termites, ants, spiders, rodents, and other critters. They can also treat active infestations and issue reports and guarantees that certify that past infestations have been treated.
9. INSURANCE AGENT - The insurance agents helps the buyer insure the home for general homeowner's coverage as well as flood coverage.
10. THE STATE OF FLORIDA - The State of Florida is involved in every real estate transaction in the form of transaction taxes (document stamps, intangible taxes and deed stamps).
If this seems overwhelming, don't worry. Your best two resources to help you understand these parties are already on this list!
If you’re looking at buying a home in the Greater Tampa Bay area, it’s surrounding communities…or anywhere in Florida, we’d love to help!
You can reach us HERE.
PS - Honorable mentions to the "top 10" list above include: handymen, plumbers, roofers, mobile notaries.