Real Estate

How to protect yourself as a first-time homebuyer

Buying property in Florida requires more than just contacting the seller or their real estate agent. To get the most value for your money, it helps to know the many ways you can protect yourself as a buyer. For the first time homebuyer, one could get so excited about going through the public listings and trying to negotiate with the real estate agent or the seller himself. But without professional advice, there are plenty of ways extra costs can easily add up. These are costs that the new home buyer may not realize until the final transaction or closing.

First of all, it helps to know that there are different agent relationships in Florida. There are transaction brokers who are there to facilitate a transaction with no loyalty to the seller or agent. Then there are the seller’s agents whose primary role is to obtain the highest price for the seller, as well as protect the seller’s interests and facilitate a quick sale. The third agent relationship is a buyer’s agent but works in a listing office. This clearly has a conflict of interest because they may have the buyer’s interest in mind but, since he/she is working at a listing office, said buyer’s agent is also obligated to protect the interests of the listing office.

These options don’t really have the interests of the entire buyer in mind. However, for a first-time homebuyer, going it alone can present surprises like hidden costs in terms of repairs or closing costs passed on to the buyer. There are many other surprises that a new buyer may not be aware of, and your best bet is to have an agent whose interests are entirely in your protection as a buyer. By having a buyer’s agent, you have the peace of mind that you have a professional who knows the right questions to ask the seller or seller’s agent, knows how to negotiate, and ultimately determines the correct value for the buyer’s money.

For example, what is the current trend of the real estate market in the area? Are repairs needed and what is the best way to negotiate repairs? When was the last time the roof was changed? Is there no previous repair that still has a violation record?

These are just a few of the many other problems that can arise for first-time buyers. It helps to have a real estate professional, an agent whose sole motive is to protect the home buyer.

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