Who is the first person you contact for help when you’re ready to buy a home? If you’re like most home buyers your first email inquiry goes to a REALTOR®. Once you start heading down your home buying path you’ll quickly see that no one buys a home with the sole help of a real estate agent. You may even feel like the process of buying a home is slow and confusing and you’re always being told you have to contact someone else, but that’s because there are a lot of hands touching all the different, not so pretty, parts of buying a home.
How many people do you think are actually involved in the process of buying a home? I’d love to hear your guesses. 2? Maybe 3? Try 10+ people. Whoa! That seems like a bad punchline to one of those “how many people does it…” jokes right? Yeah, that’s a lot of hands for documents to pass between. So who are all these people?
How Many People Does It Take to Buy a Home?
For every purchase there is at least you, the buyer. If you have a partner or a cosigner (or both) there could be two or three people on the buying side of the contract alone.
Same for the selling side. With any home you’re purchasing there is at least one seller if not two who are selling the home to you.
Unless you are going solo (or what people call “unrepresented”) there is also a REALTOR® for each side of the transaction. That’s two people there. So where are we – four people at minimum so far? If each real estate agent has a transaction coordinator that’s another two people. We won’t even go there. Let’s stick with two.
Loan Officer (+3)
If you are purchasing your home with financing you have a loan officer and that loan officer has an underwriter. Your loan officer also has to order an appraisal of your home, which is done by a third person who is a certified appraiser. That’s three more people who touch your contract or a part of your purchase transaction (I hate calling it that but sometimes that’s the best way to explain it. Forgive me.)
Title Company/Lawyer (+1)
With the transfer of the deed you will need either a closing/title company or a closing attorney to review your paperwork and prepare your closing documents. Let’s just assume all lawyers prep this work themselves and they don’t have assistants or anyone that helps them so this can count as one person.
If you opt to do a home inspection this is another person who will have to view your home, write a report, and share said report with you and your agent before you can move on to the next step of the purchase; submitting a Repairs Request Addendum. In addition to the whole home inspector the seller also has to have a termite inspection completed within 30 days of closing (at least in Virginia.) That means at least two inspectors need to review your home and a third will have to review it if you are getting an VHDA or FHA loan.
That’s 10 people right there! That’s assuming there is only one buyer and one seller on each side of the home purchase/sale. Other people involved in completing the purchase of your home include your Homeowner’s Insurance representative, the people who help you set up each of your utilities, and any contractors who need to be available to come complete the items on your Repairs Request addendum. Once we add in all those people, man, we’re looking at about 20 total individuals involved in helping purchase a home.
This may seem a little crazy (excessive possibly) that there are this many people involved in the sale of one home. It may seem like this slows the process down, which to be honest coordinating this many people doesn’t make it quick, but it does protect you as a buyer to have all of these entities exist separately. So when you start to get frustrated that you feel like your progress has slowed as you move to closing just remember 1 of 20 people is working to get you closer to living in your new home.