If you thought buying a home was a two-person job (you and your agent!), you’d probably be surprised to learn just how many people are involved in a single real estate transaction. It makes sense why you may not know everyone involved – after all, many of these people are behind the scenes and keep the mortgage process running smoothly while you prepare to become a homeowner. Below, we’ll identify the key players in the mortgage process and how they will help you on your journey to homeownership.
Who Are the Key Players?
Your loan officer is typically your first point of contact and provides all of the information you need to know about different mortgage programs. He or she has the knowledge you need to know to make an informed decision on such a big purchase and can help you pick the loan program that best fits your needs. This person will help you get started on your mortgage application and walk you through the process from beginning to end. Your loan officer is generally your main point of contact and is there to answer any questions that arise during the homebuying process.
Finding a great real estate agent is an important part of your journey to homeownership, as you’ll want to find someone who is as committed to your home search as you are! Good agents will not only facilitate the buying process but can help guide you in the decision-making process in an unbiased way. Your agent will also collaborate with your loan officer to keep the process running smoothly.
Your lender will hand off your completed mortgage application to the loan processor, whose job it is to confirm all pieces are complete. If something is missing or incomplete, the processor will reach out to you to finalize all parts of the application before submitting it to underwriting.
The underwriter is the contact who receives the final, completed mortgage application from the processor. It’s his or her job to review the application with a fine-toothed comb and use your financial history and application details to determine your creditworthiness and if you can afford the home you’re planning to buy. The underwriter may request more information from a borrower to make a final determination.
Once your application has made it through underwriting successfully, it moves along to the closer. He or she will review everything, coordinate the closing process and send everything to the title company for closing day. You should also receive your loan estimate and closing disclosure during this process, which will reflect the final costs of the entire mortgage.
The appraisal process is a very important part of the homebuying journey, as this determines how much the home is worth based on comparable sales in the area. An appraiser will analyze the house and review the quality and condition of the interior and exterior. Then, the appraiser will look at similar homes that have recently sold and use a Uniform Residential Appraisal Report to generate a recommended value for the home. This number is important since a loan officer will only loan out the home’s maximum value, even if the sellers are asking for a bigger sum – which may require negotiations between buyer and seller!
Another important step of the homebuying journey is the home inspection. An inspector carefully checks the home’s interior and exterior systems and structures to make sure everything is in working order and points out potential risks and repairs that may be costly. In many cases, the inspection report is dealt with directly between buyers, sellers, and their respective agents – but if it turns out to be a significant issue, the loan officer may get involved and require repairs to be completed before the transaction is complete.
A title company is responsible for researching the title of the home you’re buying and making sure there are no issues that could prevent the home from being transferred into your name.
Often, settlement agents work for the title company, which helps the process remain smooth from start to finish. The settlement agent is the person responsible for actually completing paperwork that will transfer title and ownership from seller to buyer. He or she is typically the last step in the mortgage process and will record all paperwork after closing to ensure that ownership has been officially transferred.
There are quite a few players in the mortgage game, but you’ll primarily be working with the two closest to you – your loan officer and real estate agent. At C&F Mortgage, our team is always here for you, eager to guide you on your home buying journey. Get in touch with us today to get started!
You can also learn more about the mortgage process by visiting C&F University: cfmortgagecorp.com/cf-university