8 Simple Steps to Buying a Home in Florida
Find a good Real Estate agent.
Way to often it’s perceived that all real estate agents are the same. Just like in all professions each person is different. Real Estate Agents range from it being a great designation but never working in the industry to the extreme eighty hours per week demanding individuals. We at Gast Real Estate Pros started over 15 years ago and consist of a nice friendly team of agents. Making the right choice could save you time and money. It’s a common practice that the Buyers agent is paid a commission from the Seller upon a successful closing. Even though your not paying your buyers agent you will be expected to sign a Buyers Broker Agreement that says the agent will work diligently for you if you agree to purchase a property from said agent.
Buying a Home in Florida - Find a Lender.
Most Real Estate agents will offer suggestions of lender familiar to your area, but you can always use a lender of your choice. Lenders can have different programs that often range from 3% to 20% down payment. But not all lenders are the same either, from turnaround time to offering a loan that matches your needs. Some lenders might offer 2nd homes, vacation homes, or condo mortgages while others may not be allowed to by their company policy. Typically a credit score of 620 or better is needed but varies by each lender.
Buying a Home in Florida - Become a ready, willing and able buyer.
Get a pre-approval letter from the lender, this allows you to know what you can really afford and confirms if any credit issues need to be resolved. Once you have a pre-approval letter in hand which is required when making an offer, you can now start to decide what you want to buy. Confirm some home buying criteria, knowing the number of bedrooms might be easy but finding other amenities in your price range need to be considered. Things like types of neighbored; the location to shopping, medical, schools and so many others need to be considered.
Buying a home in Florida - Viewing homes.
Most agents can get you a list of the current and new homes for sale that meet your needs. Great agents can get you VIP list of all newly active houses that hit the market the same day they are listed. Almost all sellers would expect to be given at least a 24 hour notice before showing you their home. The key here is to do your homework and know what you’re looking for, it’s not about visiting fifty homes and buying one. Save yourself the confusing and heart ache and get your list narrowed down to just a few homes that you would actually buy based on the price, age, # beds and neighborhood. A recent poll showed the average buyer made an offer after looking at only five homes. We find that a great home is sold within a few days, if you find that home be ready to make an offer or be willing to lose it to another buyer.
Buying a home in Florida - Making the offer.
The real estate agent will help guide you in filling out the offer to purchase. Offers range from below asking price to over asking price and could include negations about closing time frames and other personal items like appliances for example. It’s common to give the seller 24 to 48 hours to response to the offer. Your Real Estate agent will present your offer and pre-approval document to the selling agent. The selling agent then presents the offer to the seller. The seller can choose to accept the offer, counter the offer or even ignore the offer and let it expire.
Buying a home in Florida - Accepted offer.
If you have an accepted offer you now have limited time based on your contract to perform home inspections, apply for the mortgage, get property appraised, bind insurance and get the property closed. These are very important steps and if inspections or appraisal comes back with issues you might be renegotiating or even looking for another house.
Buying a home in Florida - Scheduling.
Remember in the first step that not all real estate agents are the same. Well let’s assume you picked an agent that can give full attention to detail, return calls, be diplomatic and are understanding and diligent you might just get your new house closed on time without spending more money or having to start over. Often there are so many moving parts in the after the offer is accepted phase that almost any phase can easily cause a hiccup and this is where you need to count on your Real Estate agent. If your Real Estate agent is good you will never know how much work it took to get your house closed. A typical property will take 30 to 60 days to close from the time an offer is accepted.
Buying a home in Florida - The Closing.
At this phase you would have performed a last minute walk thru to confirm accepting the property in its condition and are now going to have a title company perform the closing. The title company will walk-thru the documents that need to be signed for both the seller and the buyer. Often this is done on the same day at the same time but rarely in front of both parties simultaneously. For most this is the first time the buyer and the seller see each other. Once the Last document has been signed and approved by the closer the keys are handed over to the new buyer.
Disclaimer; This buyers process was a quick summary of how the overall process to performed from start to finish. There can be millions of little steps involved to complete the whole process of purchasing a home; the key is finding the right Real Estate Agent.