Of course the Hamptons are different—it’s the Hamptons! What’s not so different is the process of buying a home here. In fact, the overall process is very similar to buying anywhere else in the New York area. It’s a process that requires specialists from several different fields. Here is a quick overview of who you will need and how to choose them.
Two of the hot button issues in lending today are rates and service—and most folks focus on rates. After all, the difference between a fraction of a percent can mean tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
But with banks being overly cautious as to who they lend money, and new government guidelines in place, the lending process can be tedious, slow and frustrating. If you want to avoid a few gray hairs and losing years off your life due to stress, don’t forget to shop service. Choose your lending provider just as you would any other profession—interview and get references.
Besides rates, key questions to ask are:
- What are my estimated closing costs?
- What is your average time from contract to clear to close?
Real Estate Agent
It never fails to amaze me how lightly consumers take choosing the real estate agent who will be showing them homes.
So here’s the key question you need to ask yourself before choosing an agent: Do I want that agent representing me, or the person I will be negotiating with (the seller)? A Buyer’s Agent will fully represent you.
Sounds like a no brainer, but studies have shown buyers believe the agent showing them homes is always acting in their best interest, and that’s usually not the case.
Here’s the most important question a homebuyer can ask a real estate agent:
- Who do you represent?
Here are a couple more helpful articles about representation and how to choose an agent
Real Estate Attorney
Just like a buyer’s agent, your attorney has a fiduciary duty to protect your best interests.
Choosing a local attorney who knows local law and procedure makes the most sense. Fees can vary greatly, and the most expensive is not always the best, so beware. Just as with choosing the other members of your team interview and references are a must.
Two questions to be sure to ask:
- Do you specialize in real estate law?
- Will you return my calls in a prompt and professional manner?
The common thread throughout the process will be the real estate agent, so in addition to working with the lender and attorney, you should be able to rely on your agent to coordinate resources in many other fields such as home inspectors, expeditors, and tradesmen, to name a few.