Working with a Realtor is like having a good Navigator

Here are tips to help you and your Navigator get to your desired destination

Choose an Experienced Realtor

Even if you’re an experienced Buyer, there are still things you can learn from a professional.

  1.   Find a Realtor who knows the area well. Someone who is a longtime resident.
  2.   Ask your Realtor if there are any new community developments – either scheduled or being discussed.
  3.   Ask if there are any particular restrictions for that neighborhood.
  4.   If you are concentrating on a particular neighborhood, ask for recent sales comps
  5.   Have your Realtor explain the Florida Bar Sales Contract that would be used in making an offer and how that contract works if there is a counter-offer.

 Buyer Beware

Most listings have a Seller’s Disclosure attached to the MLS info. Or it may be provided upon a request.

A Seller’s Disclosure is not mandatory, and may not exist if the property is tenant occupied.

A standard Florida Bar Sales Contract will provide the language that governs a Buyer’s right to a home inspection. It is extremely important to know the guidelines of this clause and how it affects a Buyer’s Security Deposit. Even in an “As Is” Sales Contract, the standard time for an inspection is 15 days from the “Contract Date” (last signature/initial on Contract).

Your Realtor can help you understand these guidelines and keep your deadlines.

Knowledge is Power

Do your research – through the internet or local county records.

Ask your Realtor to give you the property history off the MLS.  Have Your Personal Financial Documents Ready

Open House – Open Mind

When driving around, looking at Open Houses, it is very easy to be seduced by a home that is priced outside  your budget. A Realtor will help you stick with your plan, and keep you focused on an end-goal. Unless instructed, a Realtor will only show you homes that you can afford. Open Houses are helpful in looking at different styles and décor. If you stop at an Open House, and the price is within your grasp, please remember to let them know that you’re working with an Agent.

Have a Wish List – But be Practical

Know what you want. Make a wish list of items you must have in a home and community. Make another list of items that would be wonderful to have, but not necessarily mandatory.  Giving this list to your Realtor will help you keep focused and practical – and will take the stress out of the search process.

Your Realtor may be able to navigate you through a number of homes – but this may lead to confusion.  By having a wish list, you can reduce the search down to a minimum, and avoid overload.

Do the Math

Determine how much you can afford, based on your current income and debts.  Talk with a financial adviser or mortgage broker.  By calculating your assets, you may learn that you can actually afford a home in a higher price range.  Be up-front and honest with your Realtor, so you can both work together on achieving your goals.