Dated: 03/13/2018

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1. Your Realtor = Transaction Broker

  • A transaction broker’s job is to facilitate the transaction

  • Transaction brokers can represent buyers, sellers or both

  • They work ethically & fairly with all parties and disclose all known facts that materially affect the value of a home

  • All Florida real estate licensees are assumed to be transaction brokers, unless other arrangements are made in writing (e.g., single agency for buyer or seller, or non-representation)

2. Attorney’s are not Required at Closing

  • Most Florida real estate transactions are closed with title agents

  • Many title companies have real estate attorneys on staff for as-needed consultations

  • You may, of course, retain the services of a licensed real estate attorney at any point in your Florida real estate transaction, at your cost

3. Insurance can be Challenging

  • In addition to homeowner’s insurance, your lender may require flood insurance

  • Homes with older roofs, or roofs that do not meet certain wind mitigation standards, may be tougher to insure, often requiring higher premiums

  • Your insurer may charge a higher rate if your home has older plumbing (e.g., galvanized pipes), outdated electrical, no hurricane straps or other issues

  • Get an insurance quote as soon as your contract is signed and finalize the details well in advance of your closing date

4. Foreclosures 

  • In Florida, foreclosure is a judicial proceeding that can take a year+ to complete

  • Foreclosure listings on Zillow & similar sites are often inaccurate, showing incorrect prices, or even showing homes that aren’t listed yet, or have already been sold

  • Tracking down a bank that may or may not own a particular REO property to “swing an offer” is virtually impossible – you must wait until it comes on the market

5. Florida is a Homestead State

  • Florida homeowners can file for a homestead exemption worth up to $50,000 (home must be your primary residence)

  • The exemption reduces the amount of property taxes Florida homeowners must pay, and limits how much their taxes can increase each year

  • You can file on line once you received you deed

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