Buying or selling a home is one of the largest financial decisions of your life. Having the right people on your team, with systems in place is key to you making a smooth move. Take seriously who you hire for a Realtor, mortgage lender, inspectors, and insurance quotes. 

Start your home buying or selling process by interviewing two full time professional Realtors, or one you Trust. Your Realtor will negotiate a legally binding contract on your behalf.  You may also have your attorney advise you on the terms.  Make sure your Realtor works full time, is educated with designations associated to real estate, and has the systems and closing team in place.  You want your Realtor to handle the transaction and concerns that may arise. Experience is priceless! 

There have been hundreds of Federal mortgage lending changes in the last few years, months, even days.  A mortgage lender who is up to date with the closing disclosure laws will ensure your closing will be on time with few surprises. Having a local bank or credit union means faster service. Iowa consumer protection laws protect you against demand clauses or riders that may not be customary for out of state or web lending services.  Your lender will also work closely with your Realtor and closing company. 

What liability or licensing does your inspector have?  Asking for credentials, referrals, and an example report can help you decide the type of service and cost you are wanting to spend.  Hire licensed professionals when inspecting the home for lead base paint, mold, radon, termites, or a full house inspection. You are paying for these services so an accurate report will make you feel more secure about your purchase and be a great selling benefit down the road. 

Home owners insurance has experienced many changes in coverage and riders in recent years.  Cedar Rapids and Marion experienced a 100 year flood in 1993 and a 500 year flood in 2008 leaving many homes non insurable. National Electric code has also been adopted raising the insured cost of fuse boxes, over lugged wiring, and hard wired smoke detectors. Your insurance premium is calculated in your monthly payment so reviewing at least two policies for coverage, riders that may need added, and deductible are important. Your offer on the home should be contingent upon you receiving an acceptable insurance quote for the home.   A flood rider may cost double the money and raise your payment to something you can’t afford.  I have also found with hail roof claims as an example the house may not be insurable.  Without an insurance policy the bank will not give you a mortgage. 

An experienced Realtor will help you navigate through:

Selling or buying real estate with referrals

Negotiation skills

Market knowledge

Mortgage Lender and Down Payment Options

Additional Riders or Insurance concerns

Closing disclosures and Transfer of Title

Any questions you have along the way


Heather Morris

Broker Associate Skogman Realty