1. All lenders charge the same fees and interest rates. Shop lenders ask how they can help you with closing costs. Non Profit Credit Unions are on top of my list For charging less fees.
2. Lenders who have military reference in there name are geared to help Military buyers with VA loans. Again shop rates and ask what a lender will do to help you. Squeaky wheel gets the oil. You are doing them a favor not the other way around if your credit scores are good and income validated, there's no magic bullet. No favors, get what you deserve, if you don't ask, you won't get it.
3. Appraisals values are the same for a Refi or a purchase. VA appraisals are the most liberal and Refi appraisals are the most conservative.
4. All Real Estate Agents are also Realtors. To use Realtor as a designation RE agents must abide by the National Association of Realtors code of ethics and be a member is good standing.
5. RE Agent job is to unlock the door and write the contract. The work behind the scenes to find your dream house was calling setting up appointments doing back ground check to be sure the house is even loan able takes time. After a fully executed contract the agent must continue setting appointments for home inspections, termite inspections repairs appraiser appointments and coordinating escrow title and answering to lender for underwriter requirements for your loan.
6. All RE agents sell where they live. This is so important please ask if your Agent is local. Local agents know the School districts HOA CC&Rs and zoning, where as most out of area agents do not.
7. All RE Agents are full time. Ask this is very important, say in the last week before closing your lender needs a permit for an addition or and addendum written if you can't get a hold of your agent because he/she isn't available until after 5:30 this could cost you closing on time and having to pay per diem and having to reschedule a moving truck or losing the interest rate lock on your loan.
8. The Home inspector is a licensed professional when it comes to roofs and foundations. Specific problems need to be addressed by a professional in that field if there is a red flag.
9. Buyers due their own due diligence. Almost never go to the county check on zoning permits school districts crime maps and never take anyone's word.
10. Going direct to the listing agent will get the my offer accepted and I'll get a discounted price. Some agents will promise if you go with them as your buyers agent they will gauranty your offer will be accepted. I've heard agents say this at open houses. The fact is you just helped them double their commission, dual agency. And their first loyalty is to the seller not you. You won't get a discounted price and you won't get full representation. Live and learn on this one.