Frequently Asked Questions

For Buyers

Welcome to Florida! Since you’re moving here, you probably expect your community to look stunning, right? That’s the Flordia way., and that’s why we have CDDs. A CDD is a Community Development District – a special taxing district set up by the developers of your community to pay for the construction of roads, easements, community amenities, and overall beautification.
When you purchase a home, the advertised tax basis is the current assessed value of the home, less any exemptions or deductions that the current owner might have in place. The basis is also capped at 3% a year for owner-occupied homes, so if the home has been owned by the same owner for a long time, the assessed value could be way below market value. But whenever a home sells, its property tax basis is reassessed at – or close to – current market value. That could lead to a monstrous increase in the tax bill on your home come January of the year after you purchase. Work with your realtor to plan ahead for how much this tax bill might increase over current levels so that you’re not blind-sided by a tax assessment come property-tax time.
Zillow’s estimate of value is an algorithm that takes into account your local area home sales, among other things. So if your home looks a lot like homes in your neighborhood that have recently sold, then the estimate of value assigned by Zillow to your home could be very close to accurate. However, if you have a unique home, or if your area is lacking recent sales, then Zillow’s estimate of your home’s value could be way off. Talk with your Homeprop Realtor – they’ll let you know for sure.
There are many factors that make a home “good”. But “good”, by our definition, is when the value of a property is projected to increase. There are lots of ways to know if the value of a neighborhood is poised to increase or decrease, including current use, future land use and vacancy rates. Your HomeProp Realtor can help you cut through the clutter and identify the characteristics of a strong housing market – both now and in the future.
Talk with your HomeProp Realtor about building permits in your area, as well as future land use. These factors are key in determining what’s going on in the community around your home.
While an appraisal can be a useful guide in helping you know if you are paying too much for your home, it’s important to remember that appraisals are opinions of current value. The future value of your home is impossible to perfectly predict. But there are always indicators of market trajectory. Talk with your HomeProp Realtor about market prices. We’ve been through a few market corrections, and we can tell if you’re looking at possible price reductions in the near future, or if the future is looking bright.
If you’re paying cash for your home – or if you don’t have a financing contingency in your purchase contract – then you don’t need to worry about selling your home before you purchase another. But if you’re planning on getting a mortgage, there’s a good chance that you will be required to sell your current home before you can purchase a new home. And if this contingency exists, it’s rare that a Seller will consider your offer as competitive, given that so many offers will come without the contingency of the owner needing to sell. Our best advice is to sell your home and close on the sale before you enter into a contract on a new home – unless having cash to close on the new home is not a problem.
Always! Your offer will not be taken seriously by a Seller unless you have a preapproval from your lender to purchase a home at a given price. Get pre-approved, and establish a ceiling on your home-buying budget.
Strong demand for homes in Florida post-covid, coupled with a decades-long slowdown in construction of new homes, has created a massive shortage of homes for sale. Simply put, there are way more buyers for Florida homes than there are available houses. That’s a good thing for future values, but it makes finding a home rather difficult. Start your search early and be prepared to make competitive offers in order to win in the home buying process.
While there are factors that can impact the value of a home, many of them can be thoroughly-mitigated so as not to pose any hazard to life or safety. But a property that had a sinkhole will always have a stigma associated with it, and any seller with knowledge of past settlement must disclose it to future buyers. In a perfect world, avoid them. But we know many people who live happy lives in homes with negatives histories.
A Realtor helps you navigate the uniqueness and complexities of a local housing market. You need them to understand the history and the trajectory of an area, the dynamics of the housing market, the financing process, tax scenarios that might be unique to our area and any number of other things of which you might not be aware. It’s a great idea to pay for good counsel and Realtors are just that – knowledgable and experienced experts who can help you avoid pitfalls and take advantage of good opportunities. A Seller will almost always have a Realtor looking out for their best interests. A Buyer should have the same. Whether you’re buying new construction or an existing home, use a Realtor for your side of the deal. You’ll be glad that you did and it won’t cost you anything additional.
In Florida, Sellers pay Realtors. So if you’re using a Realtor to help you buy a home, the cost of your Realtor will be paid by the Seller. The purchase price is set to include the cost of Realtors, so a shrewd Buyer might attempt to exclude a Buyer’s Realtor and negotiate out the Buyer’s Agent Commission from the purchase price. While that happens occasionally. it’s not common because the Seller’s Agnet is sharing their commission with the Buyer’s Agent. When you’re not represented as a Buyer, the Seller’s agent just get’s the whole commission – they don’t share it with their Realtor and they typically don’t cut it from the deal to lower the price. So use a Realtor. It most cases, it really isn’t costing you anything

For Sellers

There’s no question that everyone loves a move-in ready home. Buyers might be comparing your home against fully-remodeled homes and new construction. If that’s the case, unless your home is priced at a sufficiently-large discount to allow for the cost of the rehab and the inconvenience of the Buyer having to do the repairs themselves, then you should definitely make repairs to your home. It is hard to sell a home that is at a lower standard than the competition. If your competition is remodeled product, then you should remodel. If it’s in similar condition to yours, then you can get away with selling it as-is. Your HomeProp Realtor knows the market and they can advise you on whether or not it’s appropriate for you to rehab your home before putting it on the market.
In this market, homes are typically going under contract in under 10 days. Add an additional 45 days for closing, and start-to-finish, your home should be sold in under 2 months.
While there are lots of costs that impact the sale of a home, we advise Sellers to budget for up to 9% of their sale price for closing expenses. This includes Realtor commissions, Title Insurance, Recording Fees, Doc Stamps, Taxes… pretty much all the costs that are shown on your closing statement.
A Realtor will help you set the highest possible sale price for your home. They will provide it with maximum exposure to available marketing channels. They will negotiate the best offers to the best possible terms for you. They will advise you on what is norman – and what is not – during the closing process. They will be your experienced advocates in the process of Selling your home. People do sell their home without using a Realtor. But since things can and do go off the rails in a home sale process, it’s always best to have someone on your side, watching out for the possible pitfalls in the transaction and helping you get the most cash at closing.
In Florida, Title Agents are tasked with performing the sale of most residential properties, and while Title Agents and Brokers often have Attorneys on Retainer should something go wrong in your transaction, most transactions are competently without the use – or the cost – of an attorney.
Zillow’s estimate of value is an algorithm that takes into account your local area home sales, among other things. So if your home looks a lot like homes in your neighborhood that have recently sold, then the estimate of value assigned by Zillow to your home could be very close to accurate. However, if you have a unique home, or if your area is lacking recent sales, then Zillow’s estimate of your home’s value could be way off. Talk with your Homeprop Realtor – they’ll let you know for sure.
A professionally-staged home always looks better. But in a hot housing market, vacant homes and homes that are well lived-in trade just as fast as professionally-staged homes. A cluttered home should be de-cluttered before sale. A vacant home is fine as long as a buyer can easily contextualize the living spaces and how they will use them. Professional Staging can set your home apart and help you command a higher price in challenging markets or for unique properties.
No! In today’s housing market, a home will sell whether it’s occupied or vacant. But it’s very important for you to be flexible in accommodating showing requests. Keep your home tidy so that you can be ready to show your home at a moment’s notice. This won’t last long, but for a while you’ll have lots of showings and many people who want to see your home with minimal notice. Stay positive and stay nimble – your flexibility will help you to seller your home much faster.
A HomeProp Realtor will help you maximize the sale price of your home. They will confidently negotiate on your behalf. They will identify what is “normal” and what is “not normal” in a home sale, and will help you stay ahead of potential pitfalls and take advantage of good opportunities. They know what special marketing tools and media your unique home might require, and they employ them when necessary. They are trustworthy and loyal to you and to your transaction and they provide good counsel if – and when – things don’t to perfectly.
In an appreciating markets, home values are established by upwardly-adjusting the relative comparable value of home that are similar to yours. The assumption is that since prices are going up, your home should sell for slightly more than your home’s most recent comparable sale. If prices are dropping, the inverse is true. Work with your HomeProp realtor to help you find the true market value of your home – don’t just trust Automated Valuation tools like Zillow.

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