Maybe. Buying a home is a stressful and overwhelming process, often from the first online search for real estate listings. Realtors can alleviate a lot of the stress and confusion homebuyers face, but they'll also take a fee for their services. That said, realtors may be wise investments for people who don't want to do the legwork, research, and negotiations necessary to get the best possible deals.
Using a Realtor to Buy Florida Real Estate
A realtor is a person who performs real estate-related duties for someone buying or selling a home. A realtor working for the seller is often called a seller’s agent, while the realtor representing the buyer is known as a buyer’s agent.
Generally, both buyers’ and sellers’ agents work on commission—usually a percentage of the home’s final purchase price. The fee is generally settled at closing, so you won’t pay for the agent's services until he or she is finished working for you. In some cases, a realtor may want clients to sign an exclusivity contract, which is a promise that you won’t work with another broker for a specified period of time.
In addition to fees, there are a few other considerations when hiring real estate agents. For example, they are unable to offer legal advice during a real estate transaction. Also, since their commissions are based on the sale price of the home, so they likely have a vested interest in the sales price of the property you are buying.
Buyer’s Agent Benefits for a Florida Home Purchase
Realtors are not the only people who can act as buyers’ and sellers’ agents. A real estate attorney can also perform certain duties of a real estate agent, with the added bonus of advising you on legal matters that arise during the transaction.
Whether you're using a realtor or real estate attorney to buy property, your buyer's agent can be invaluable throughout the process by:
- Finding potential properties. Buyers can easily miss opportunities in a seller’s market, where homes may be sold within days of public listing. Agents often receive information about listings and potential listings ahead of the general public, and can contact you immediately if a home matching your specifications is becoming available.
- Experience. Buyers' agents have experience in the market trends, neighborhood statistics, zoning codes, school districts, and local businesses in residential areas. This specialized knowledge is much more beneficial at the start of a home search, as learning about potential downsides later in the purchase process can cause delays or cancel the transaction altogether.
- Offering mortgage advice. Realtors often recommend one or two lenders for buyers who need to finance home purchases, and agents are forbidden from profiting off of these referrals to lenders.
- Negotiating with sellers. Agents can perform market analyses that tell you if a seller’s asking price is too high or too low, and will consider any potential repairs or costly problems on the property to calculate a competitive offer. They're often familiar with the costs of upgrades, title problems, and seller motivations that can be leveraged during negotiations.
- Closing. Real estate closings involve a deluge of paperwork, and agents are familiar with drawing up the documents and contracts necessary to complete closing. If buyers have questions during closing, they can clarify a document’s meaning with the agent before signing, attaining peace of mind.
Our real estate attorneys can work alongside or instead of a realtor to give buyers the best chance of finding an affordable home while protecting their interests. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to set up a consultation and get answers your questions.