Sarasota Real Estate Market News

Buyers

Buying a home is an exciting and fulfilling experience.  It is also something that should not be approached lightly and is important to perform adequate due diligence to insure that not only the home is right for you, but all other aspects of the homeownership experience are within your expectations.  That is why it is important that you choose an agent that understands the process and can provide useful information throughout. 

Having a REALTOR assist you as a buyer costs you nothing.  The seller pays all commissions to selling agents and buyers agents in the transaction.  As a buyer, you pay nothing for this service. 

There are many things to keep in mind, but here are some basic tips for Buyers:

Learn the market.  I suggest that as a buyer, have your REALTOR set up a search for properties in your price range, based on criteria that is important to you.   These searches allow you to watch the market to see what is selling and what is not, and why.  And since they are customized to your criteria, they narrow the field considerably allowing you to focus on the finer details differentiating each property.

Get your financing arranged.  If you are going to finance your purchase, get a pre-qualification letter or bank statements or other documentation if you are going to pay cash.   Although there are many properties on the market, the truly ‘good deals’ are getting scooped up quickly by buyers that are prepared to buy and offer ‘clean’ contracts (with few contingencies) and financing pre-arranged.  This is especially true in the foreclosure market.  A good rule of thumb is:  If you think you see a good deal – there are probably 5 – 10 others that see the same thing, so be ready to act…because they are.

Understand the process:  Make contacts with inspectors, insurance agents etc before you find a property.  If you are not familiar with any, ask your REALTOR, or check with the local Better Business bureau.  This will allow you to analyse expected costs and avoid unexpected surprises during the purchasing process.  It is also important to know what is expected of you and deadlines for performance when under contract.   For example, in many cases if the buyer does not inspect the property and inform the seller of any issues within a certain time frame, according to the contract the property is deemed acceptable.

Get a Guarantee:  If someone is confident they will provide good service, they will provide a Guarantee.

Buyer Services Guarantee

What follows are a series of videos produced by HUD (US Department of Housing and Urban Development) that outline the home buying process from looking for your home, to securing financing and what to expect at the closing.

The homebuying process obviously starts with finding a place you’ll want to call home.  This short video will instruct viewers on assessing how much of a home you can afford, working with a real estate agent and what happens once you find the home you want to buy.

Once you’ve found the home of your dreams, the next step is to shop for a mortgage loan. This video will help consumers use the good faith estimate (GFE), which is a form that spells out the terms of a loan offer, to shop for the best loan for them.

This video walks consumers through the actual closing process including how to make sure the loan they were offered closely matches what they encounter at the settlement table.

[http://www.5min.com/Video/Ilyce-Glink-on-Investing-in-Residential-Real-Estate-497395279]

This is an excellent primer regarding the pros and cons of investing in residential real estate

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