ORLANDO, Fla. – Throughout Florida, attractive sales prices, stable interest rates and a wide range of choices have created a great market for buyers, according to 2012 Florida Realtors® President Summer Greene, regional manager with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Florida 1st in Fort Lauderdale.
“Today’s buyers are turning to Realtors to for knowledgeable advice about their decisions,” says Greene. “How do I know if a home or condominium I like is really a good value? Am I better off purchasing a property in foreclosure that needs repairs, or should I buy a more expensive home in ‘mint’ condition? Can I qualify for a mortgage loan? These are just a few of the questions that buyers ask every day.”
In today’s dynamic market, buyers benefit from a Realtor’s training, experience and expertise, adds Greene. By drawing on their knowledge of the local real estate market, housing trends and home values, they help buyers avoid potentially costly mistakes and keep the process running smoothly. “A Realtor can guide buyers at every step of the transaction, saving them time, money and aggravation,” she says.
Unlike a real estate licensee who has simply met the state’s licensing requirements to do business in Florida, a Realtor takes the profession to the next level by voluntarily agreeing to act under, and abide by, a Code of Ethics and by becoming a member of the local, state and national Realtor boards/associations. Green notes that Realtors must agree to a set of professional principles, serve clients fairly, and maintain a high level of knowledge about the process of buying and selling real estate.”
A recent survey from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) indicates the need for advice from a skilled real estate professional. NAR’s 2010 “Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers” found that first-time buyers made up 50 percent of all home sale transactions– an increase from 47 percent in the 2009 study and the highest on record since the survey’s inception in 1981.
The report also found that 83 percent of buyers used a real estate professional, up from 77 percent over the past five years. Nine out of 10 homebuyers used the Internet to search for a home. Most buyers reported that the biggest benefit to using a Realtor was the help they received in understanding the process, and 87 percent of buyers would recommend or use their Realtor again in the future.
A Realtor in Florida can provide a homebuyer with a full complement of services:
- Identify suitable properties for your lifestyle and wallet.
- Provide information about neighborhoods, communities and condo developments.
- Determine the right price range – how much home you can afford to buy.
- Offer advice about the personal and financial data needed to apply for a home loan.
- Answer your questions about real estate values, taxes, utility costs, city or county services and facilities, and potential zoning changes.
- Discuss the pros and cons of buying a property in financial distress.
- Help you negotiate the purchase, including factors like price negotiation, financing, terms, date of possession, repairs, and furnishings or equipment.
- Assist you in finding qualified professionals to do property investigations and provide written reports.
- Provide guidance through the closing process to make sure the transaction completes smoothly.
As Greene says, “Buying a home is a huge commitment and a major financial investment.
With a Realtor involved, a buyer can relax, knowing the purchase is in safe, knowledgeable, capable and caring hands.”