A home is probably the single largest purchase you will make in your lifetime. Why would you do it without the advice of an expert? There are so many “behind the scenes” things that happen in the process of contract to closing that the buyer is just never aware of.
Location – Your Realtor Will Find the Right Neighborhood
There are so many “pocket neighborhoods” in the Fort Lauderdale area that a new home buyer or someone relocating to the area would not know of and simply overlook. Fort Lauderdale and Oakland Park have so many small neighborhoods unique with their own qualities. For instance, Garden Acres in Oakland Park used to be a mango orchard 75 years ago. As a result the yards are lined with stately old trees. Victoria Park in Fort Lauderdale is known for its charming older homes. Many of these homes are graced with beauty and historic character. Lazy Lake is the smallest incorporated municipality in Broward County. This tiny village started off with 13 homes on 13 acres. The village is a landlocked enclave surrounded entirely within the borders of the city of Wilton Manors. Lazy Lane is the one street that runs through the area. Your realtor has all of this knowledge and your source of education.
Many neighborhoods in Oakland Park have recently gone through the transition of changing from septic to sewer. As a buyer, you would not know whether or not that neighborhood has been converted. As a result you could end up purchasing a home you assumed was on sewer and once you’ve moved in, find out that the home is on septic. It’s a realtor’s job to provide this information to you.
A realtor is trained in negotiating. This is what he does on a daily basis. When you are buying a home there are too many emotions involved for you to think clearly. You need an impartial party to help you get the most for your dollar and not have you overpay for a property. Someone needs to let you know when to walk away or when it’s time to dig your heel in and see it to the bitter end. Your realtor will provide comps. These are properties that have sold in the last 6 months. Your realtor will arm you with these to give you the knowledge of what the last homes in the neighborhood sold for to help you make an educated offer.
Realtors write contracts daily. They know how many days to allow for an inspection. What’s the difference between a regular contract and an AS IS contract? How do you count the days in a contract — business days or calendar days? Are there liens on the property? Are there any open permits? Can the contract be assigned? How many days should be allowed for you to get financing? Are you protected so you don’t lose your deposit if you can’t get financing? A realtor has all of this information.
Your realtor will be certain that information is disclosed to you about mold, water damage, roof leaks, electrical problems, changes in zoning etc. Every homeowner provides each buyer with a property disclosure about all of these issue and more. The homeowner is required to sign this which holds him liable to any fraudulent information provided. Did your neighbor who purchased a For Sale by Owner receive this information.
Be loyal to your realtor. A good realtor builds a relationship with his clients. The more homes he sees with you the more he gets to know what your likes and dislikes are. Are you looking for a beachfront condo on Fort Lauderdale Beach or a vacation pool home in Wilton Manors? You’re creating an alliance with each other and work together as a team. Your realtor can show you ANY property not just ones he lists. So if you see a property without your realtor let it be known you are working with someone, your realtor deserves that courtesy.