400 Creekside Drive, Suite 407-409 Pottstown, PA 19464

Before You Buy

Town Houses
Condo Buildings

Building Your Real Estate Team

Whether you are buying or selling, it’s best not to hire a one man band. Your realtor is expert on finding property to buy, as well as having the tools available to sell your house better than any other professional. The wise realtor will understand that while he or she is adept at finding and selling property, he or she is not an expert in drafting legal documents – attorneys are. Avoid any realtor that attempts to discourage you from hiring an attorney as that realtor does not have your best interests in mind.

Here are the folks you will need on your team:

Choose an Attorney

Think of your real estate attorney as the quarterback of your team. Lawyers make your real estate deal enforceable. Heartland Abstract has attorneys on staff who concentrate their practice in title insurance law and real estate law. Here is an article which further explains why you do not want to hire just any attorney – you want to hire an attorney who practices real estate law.
For Sale Sign

Choose a Realtor

We are currently in the 21st century, a time when almost everything is a click or two away. Every house for sale anywhere in the nation is available for you or your realtor to find on the internet. All realtors list on Multiple Listing Service (“MLS”), so access to the house of your dreams is available through any realtor. Since buying real estate is often the single largest purchase any of us will ever make, it is important to spend time finding the right person to help you.

    When interviewing realtors, consider asking these questions to try to determine whether they are really looking out for your interests alone, or whether they are looking to line someone’s pockets.

    1. Do you charge additional fees beyond your commission, such as conveyancing fees, broker service fees, or “additional commission”?
    2. Do you recommend title agents who are in-house or independent? (Steer clear of in-house or affiliated title agents, because there is no benefit to you, only to the referring party.)
    3. Do you have any financial interest in a title agency or lender?
    4. Will you commit to only showing me properties within my specified price range?
    5. Do you have any problem with me using my own independent title agent and attorney?

For Sale Sign

Choose a Mortgage Broker

Let’s face it, most mortgages are chosen based on which offers the best rate. But some mortgage brokers have better systems in place to service your loan than others. Some brokers can make your closing process less stressful than others. Your best bet in choosing a mortgage broker is to engage an experienced title agent or attorney who has dealt with many mortgage brokers and has experienced enough closings with the good ones and the bad ones to know which is which. Listen to their advice.
Mortgage Broker
Home Inspector

Choose a Home Inspector

The home inspection informs the buyer of the current condition of the property and any future potential issues. Most people think that a home inspection provides some kind of warranty. It does not. When you choose a home inspector, is it important to know what you are getting and what you are not getting. What you are getting is valuable knowledge on the essential systems and appliances in your home, which is why it is imperative that you attend the home inspection.

What you are not getting is any kind of warranty, as the home inspection contracts are drafted completely in the favor of the home inspector to either 1) relieve them of legal responsibility for their errors and omissions or 2) limit your recovery on their omissions to the cost you paid for the inspection.

Do your research and ask for recommendations to find a home inspector that you feel will give you the information you need.
Home Inspector

Choose Heartland Abstract as your Title Agent

Welcome to the future of title insurance! Our focus is on you, our client. At Heartland Abstract, we realize that in Pennsylvania title insurance is a familiar, but also unfamiliar, concept in any real estate transaction. It’s familiar because you have “heard” of it and are told you need it, but unfamiliar because you don’t know what exactly it is or even how to obtain it.

It is quick and easy to learn about title insurance in PA. With a simple internet search of “title insurance” you can learn, in minutes, all you need to know to make an informed choice about a title insurance agent.

For many years, realtors, builders and lenders have successfully managed to take this important choice away from you, the client, for one reason only: more money for them. If you receive a referral to a particular title company from one of those people, or they offer to “order” title insurance for you, the chances are great that the realtor, builder or lender has:

    1. ownership in the title company and therefore makes more money from you;
    2. been instructed/directed by the broker/manager who does have an interest in the title insurance company to direct business to them or
    3. received some kind of “bonus” from the title agency in the form of sporting event tickets, lavish dinners, marketing services or maybe the title agency sponsors the liquor at the realtor/lender/builder’s holiday party – all of which leads to ZERO benefit to you and ends up costing you more in the transaction.
The price of all title insurance in Pennsylvania is regulated, meaning the actual title insurance premium charged to the consumer is based upon the purchase price or loan amount and all title insurers must charge the same amount. But other title companies may charge hidden fees over and above the title premiums, which are mostly unregulated and serve as additional income streams that help the title agent cover the “gifts” he or she needs to give to the referring person in order to insure future referrals. None of which, of course, benefits you – in fact it costs you money!

At Heartland Abstract, we do not charge those hidden fees. You get to keep your money!