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It's a large tent. There are upwards of 30,000 active licensed real estate brokers in Washington State, and with few exceptions, they are independent contractors who work solely on commission. Typically, the home seller pays for all the brokerage costs in a real estate transaction, including the Buyers Agent's commission. So if you are are buying a home you may have no out-of-pocket expenses for broker services, but choosing the wrong one could cost you plenty down the line. Same can be said for other service providers such as lenders and inspectors. Following is a list of the basic elements of how the buying process works and the associated costs. There's good info in HouseLogic too.
 

  Contracts
 
A“signed around” Purchase and Sale Agreement is a legal contract binding Buyers and Sellers to its’ literal terms and conditions. In most of Washington State, a brokered real estate transaction begins with More...
 
    Loans Types
 
Lending standards are far more strict than they've been in years, and there's a new twist - once under contract, Buyers must have the Sellers written consent to change lenders, or run the risk of losing the deal and their earnest money! Whoa...  More...
 
    Title & Escrow
 
When you buy a home, you want to be certain that it is safely yours. Yet, even the most diligent search of the public records could fail to disclose any number of title defects that could jeopardize your ownership. That's where title insurance comes in. More...
 
    Buyer/Seller Costs
  "Closing" is when all the terms and conditions of the contract have been met and final docs have been signed and recorded. That's when the keys change pockets. So who pays what to get it done?  More....
 
 
   
   
Buyer Tips
 
    Houselogic
   
This is a great resource produced by the National Association of Realtors for Buyers and Sellers alike, covering a wide range of related topics.
  • Sellers
  • Taxes
  • Insurance
  • Home Maintenance