Key takeaway

A range of real estate professionals, from surveyors and appraisers to specialized attorneys, can be part of your homebuying process. Some of them work with you directly, while others operate behind the scenes or work with your lender to smooth the process.

There are certain important homebuying tasks you can’t do on your own. For example, you need to verify the legal boundaries of a property and check whether the roof, HVAC, and other parts of your home are in good condition before you buy. Understanding the roles that different professionals play in the homebuying process can help you enter the transaction a more empowered, confident buyer. Here are a few of the people you need to know, and their roles in your purchase.

Specialists who can help you

Learn more about what they do

In the following section, you will have the opportunity to listen to audio job descriptions of people you may interact with during your homebuying process. It is possible that the screen reader may lose focus during this process if you close a transcript and try to move to the data point below. If this happens, please just navigate back to where you previously had been. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Home inspector

I help ensure there are no hidden surprises in your new home.

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86 %
Percentage of inspections in which the home inspector found an issue that needed repair.


I’m hired by your lender to determine a fair market value for the property.

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$ 339
Average appraisal cost in the U.S. (typically paid as part of closing costs)
Source: HomeAdvisor


Where are your property lines?
I’ll find out.

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$ 504
Average property survey cost in the U.S.
Source: HomeAdvisor

Closing attorney

I’ll make sure you have all the necessary legal documents to help you get to closing.

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$ 1,000
Settlement costs for using a closing attorney typically are between $500 and $1,500, with the cost often split between the buyer and the seller.
Source: Zillow



All four of these professionals play an important role in the homebuying process. They will help you make sure the home you’re buying is in good condition and that you legally own what you expect to. And in most instances, they will do their jobs in the background, just keeping you and your primary homebuying team updated on the results and any potential challenges along the way.

Knowledge is power. By learning the basics of the homebuying process, you’ll be able to approach it with a sense of assurance — and with the understanding that a team of experts is there to help you along the way.

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