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April 28th, 2010 9:19 AM by David W. Welch
There is something called RESPA which stands for Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. It basically is designed to protect consumers in the real estate process by requiring disclosure of fees charged by all the professionals involved in the transaction. The real estate licensee has to disclose any transaction fees they may be charging, and the title agent has to account for the fees they charge on the closing statement. Additionally, for the buyer, lenders have to provide a Good Faith Estimate or GFE. If there are any fees being paid between the professionals in the transaction, that must be disclosed as well. My broker, for example, has a business relationship with both a title agency and a mortgage lender, and discloses that to eveyone in every transaction even if neither of those two companies are involved.
I will first disclose that the lender I recommend is with the same mortgage company my broker works with, but there is no financial benefit to either my broker or me. I recommend him simply because he does his job very well, he communicates with me and he makes loans at a fair price and terms. The title agency I recommend, is a family owned business that I have also worked with for more than 10 years. They also do a great job, communicate with everyone and they provide their services at competitive rates. There is no financial incentive or benefit provided to me by either the lender or title agency. Whether you are buying or selling, ask your Realtor for recommendations when looking for a loan or title agent. If you decide to shop around, RESPA disclosure requirements can help you compare apples to apples. It is not quite that easy, so ask your Realtor to help you sort through the numbers.
Communication is the key to a successful and smoother transaction. Make sure you weigh that when shopping for real estate, title and mortgage services. Saving a few bucks might cost a whole lot more in time, stress and possibly a lost sale. Need a good lender or title agent? Just give me a call/text (407-924-7670) or e-mail me.
David Welch Real Estate Optimist, Orlando Real Estate