If a person does not buy and sell a home very often then familiarity with the process and the available providers is less likely.
Just the simple process of choosing a real estate agent requires research to some degree whether a cursory Internet search, drive around for signage or even inquiry of others.
Whether a buyer or seller the most important player in your real estate transaction will be the real estate agent selected. Your Realtor's local knowledge and experience should provide a network of proven local providers to help make the process of buying or selling a home as pleasant as possible.
How one chooses a real estate agent (or any other vendor) can vary greatly although, in my opinion, personal referral by a trusted person is probably most reliable.
But what about the other providers involved in a real estate transaction?
When it comes to choosing other providers involved in the real estate transaction I believe personal referral still reigns as the best method.
The first provider that needs to be consulted (after choosing a Realtor) is the lender. I, like many real estate agents, will often get this question early on... the earlier the better!
With lenders experience counts as well. I have seen some lenders who work better with some types of buyers/loans and some that should be avoided if at all possible!
Lately my experience has been with one online lender who has seemingly provided tremendous service to my clients although a customer told me last week they had a less than ideal experience.
I also have had personal experience with several Brevard County, Florida financial institutions including banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers with some being my "go to" rated and others my "no go to" rated lenders.
There are other providers in the real estate transaction where buyers seek direction including survey company, property inspectors and insurance companies.
Two of these are pretty straight forward - surveys and insurance. Survey companies are dealing with verifiable facts and insurance companies have rates even with some variance (although specific influences like structure, credit, etc can vary between companies).
Home inspections are critical to the home buying process.
How many people go in the grocery store and pick up a carton of eggs and pay for them without ever looking inside the container first? The same goes for the most costly and most important transaction many of us ever undertake.
While costs are important, experience and local knowledge should be the major factors - not commission charged - when choosing your real estate service providers.
Most everything in this world is priced low for a reason.