Many different professions and trades work together for you and your home.

By William Decker, Skokie Real Estate Roundtable

Who do you call, first and foremost, when you decide to buy a house?  Your parents?  A Real Estate Lawyer?  An Appraiser, A Mortgage Broker?  A Real Estate Agent? A Home Inspector?  A Designer?  A Remodeling Contractor?  Or someone else.

The correct answer is “Yes”.

Well, you probably have a particular one who you would call first (and I’ll bet you call your parents first), but you will probably have to deal have to each of these people at some time during the process of buying, owning and selling a house.  Each of these people have specific skills and expertise and you will probably need to call all of them at one time or another.

The problem you will most likely run into, especially if you are first time buyer, is that you know next to nothing about the process.  Who is the most important person for you to call first.  Who can guide you through all the mazes and over the hurdles?

The answer is “All of them”.  Let me explain.

Each of these people form your “Home Team”.  None of them is capable of handling the whole deal.  But together, especially if they can work as a team, they will make the experience painless AND they will all work to protect your interests.  One the other hand, if they don’t work together, in one or more tries to dominate the procedure, your home buying experience can quickly turn into a train wreck.

There are two key requirements for selecting your Real Estate professionals:

  • Hiring people who are knowledgeable in their particular field and have resources backing them up.
  • Hiring people who have some “cross training” in the other fields and consider those in other fields to be among their resources.


So Real Estate Agents should know something about law and home inspection and Home Inspectors should know something about contracts and appraisals and everyone should be somewhat cross-trained in all the other professions involved.  Some of this training just comes from experience, but some should also come from getting educated by people in these other fields.

Now, this is not a new idea.  Some years ago, a nationwide Real Estate company tried to combine all these separate experts together and offered a “One-Stop-Shop Service”, a one point of contact business model.  It went well for awhile, but then human nature kicked in.  The Real Estate company started determining their choices for “partners” more by who could pay the most for the referrals and who would not “kill the deal” for the Realtor.  The focus became more about money than about best serving the client.  There were other examples of this problem, sometimes run by mortgage companies or by lawyers or by banks, but the situation was always the same, profit pressure overcame customer service.