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Guide to Real Estate Pros
Even if you're buying or selling a house by yourself, odds are you'll spend a good deal of time working with a variety of real estate agents, lawyers and lenders. It's important to know who you're dealing with and how they can help you.

Home Inspector
A person who conducts a thorough inspection of the eight basic components of the house: exterior, roofing, plumbing, heating and cooling, electrical, insulation, interior and structural. You will then be presented with a written report containing recommendations about what repairs should be done and the overall condition of the house. Typically the cost is $150-$300. It's vital to know what condition the house is in before purchasing. Make sure the inspector is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), a professional organization that sets standards for qualifications, experience and business ethics.

Mortgage Broker
An individual or company that obtains mortgages for others by finding lending institutions, insurance companies or private sources to lend the money. The mortgage broker may also handle collections and disbursements. Mortgage brokers can help you get prequalified for a loan, which helps you and your real estate agent know in what price range to start looking.

Real Estate Professional
A licensed person who works under the direction of a broker selling and renting real estate.

Real Estate Broker
An agent who buys and sells real estate for a company, firm or individual on a commission basis. The broker does not have title to the property, but generally represents the owner. Brokers have generally acquired a higher level of training and experience than a sales agent. They may or may not be a Realtor.

The official name for a member of the National Association of Realtors, which sets a strict code of ethics and standards for their members.

Realtor Associate
Salesperson associated with a broker who is a member of the National Association of Realtors. They are bound by many of the same standards and codes as Realtors.

Real Estate Attorney
A lawyer who is specially versed in real estate law. He or she can draw up the necessary legal documents needed for the closing. Your Realtor can recommend a lawyer.

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   Related Topics:
:: Qualifying for a Home Loan
:: Mortgage Basics FAQ
:: Online Mortgage Shopping
:: Househunting Online
:: Online Help With Community and Neighborhood Info
:: Working With a Real Estate Agent
:: New Houses
:: Homeowners' Associations and CC&Rs
:: Real Estate Offers and Contracts FAQ
:: House Inspections Before a Sale
:: Homeowner's Insurance
:: Your Home as a Tax Shelter
:: Real Estate on the Web
:: Deeds FAQ


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