Florida Real Estate Buyer Information
Home Buyer Tips
Get to know a Realtor you feel you can trust. A Professional Realtor, experienced in both new construction and resale homes, can act as your Buyers Agent and advise you on:
Your Buyers Agent will be happy to guide you through the many home buying steps from offer to closing without undue stress. Its true .... an experienced Realtor can and will save you time, money and grief.
Learn about the market before you shop for a home. Before you can purchase a home you need to feel comfortable about where you are buying and the price range you are dealing with. You can get an idea of the Sarasota real estate market by researching properties for sale on the Sarasota MLS. But the best way to learn about the market is to enlist the assistance of a licensed Sarasota Realtor ®.
Know how much to offer. Knowing how much to offer is one of the
most difficult parts of buying a home. Your Buyers Agent can provide you with a list of recently
sold properties of comparable size, location and amenities so you can compare selling prices. Then
you'll know whether this property is realistically priced.
Some parts of Florida, particularly the Sarasota Florida real estate market are more in demand than others. Property prices there, have been going up consistently. Although they my have come down some recently, properties in very desirable areas have not. In those areas, prices you saw even last year may no longer be the price you'll have to pay.
Officially cancel your inactive credit cards. If you have an credit card you're not using with a $5,000 limit, even though you owe nothing on it, some mortgage lenders consider that a potential future debt. Too many inactive credit cards with significant credit limits could keep you from obtaining a mortgage loan. Don't just cut up your extra cards; officially cancel them, and do it now so there will be time for the news to reach the credit bureaus.
If you'll need a mortgage, shop for a lender before you shop for a home. Get pre-qualified (preferably pre-approved). Pre-approval is powerful leverage during price negotiation.
If you need a mortgage, don't assume your credit is spotless. Ask your preferred lender to pull your credit report. It may contain errors or old unpaid balances that need to be addressed before you formally apply for a loan.
Between pre-qualification and closing, consult you lender before any major purchase. Credit purchases affect your qualification for a mortgage, even after you've been approved right up to the day of closing on your home purchase.
Be careful from whom you take advice. Don't count on Uncle Bob, a Realtor 20 years ago. Home builder's salesmen and Realtors representing the seller won't necessarily tell you all you need to know. Your Buyer's Agent, on the other hand, is required by law to tell you everything he or she knows that could affect the value of the home.
Seller's and Realtors representing sellers of resale homes don't always tell the whole truth about the condition of the property. Get a Professional Home Inspection so the Seller, not you, pays to correct any problems.
Buy a home you can really afford. There are tax advantages to owning a home, but, there are also on-going expenses (decorating, lawn care, trash pickup, etc.) that you may forget in the excitement. "Buy a bit less, rather than a bit more than you think you can afford," is good advice.
On a new construction home, decide what features you want and stick with it. Some new home salespeople will sell you upgrades which add little, if any, value to your home when you sell it. A competent Sarasota real estate agent can help you understand which do and don't add value to the home at resale.
According to Connie Belmont, an experienced and successful Sarasota FL real estate professional, "Choosing the right Buyers Agent is about the most important part of buying a home. He or she is bound by law to represent your best interest and yours only. You need to feel confident with the realtor you choose."