This section is meant for residential buyers.
Investors are also buyers, but they are dealt with separately.

First step: qualification


There is a very important reason for asking for a pre-qualification letter from a lender before we show property.
It is the financing contingency, which is in section 8 of the Florida Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase.
Most of the time this provision is checked and set active.
The provision is meant to protect the buyer in case he cannot get a loan for the purchase.
If he shows good will and otherwise abides by the terms of the contract he will be able to cancel and walk away with his deposit money.

This is fine for the buyer, but what about the seller?
Buyer can cancel up to 7 days before closing date, this can easily be 2 months or more.
In which case, the seller would have taken his property off the market and would have to put it back, with nothing in return for the loss.
Moreover, his property will become "stale", a property that has been for sale for too long is deemed to be undesirable.

This is why savvy sellers will not consider an offer if it is not backed by some proof of the financial standing of the buyer.
This could be a pre-qualification letter from a lending institution, or if the buyer intends to buy cash, then a bank statement will be needed.

Here you will find a list of banking representatives who can help with a pre-qualification letter.
Our customer is of course free to choose the lender, we will gladly work with lenders who are not mentioned in the list.

Why work with a buyers agent


The answer to this question is simple: it is in your own interest.
We have heard, time and time again, of buyers attempting to contact the listing agent because of the misguided perception that they might get a better deal from him.
Let's get the facts straight:

In the state of Florida, if no other brokerage relationship is specified, brokers work as transaction brokers, meaning that their main objective is to facilitate the transaction, this role is the default and it is implied, there is no need for a notice to be given to the parties.
Transaction brokers are supposed to be neutral.
However, the listing agent, since he has been hired by the seller, will have a bias, even if unconscious, for the seller, and try to sell the property he is listing to the buyer, because he gets both ends of the commission.
A buyer agent does not care that much about selling a particular property, he gets his share anyway, so probably will advice the buyer more impartially, and show other properties that might suit better the buyer's needs.


Why bother attempting to bypass your realtor?
Work with him.

About attorneys


We really don't like attorneys, although we do work with a couple whom we know to be knowledgeable and honest.
We want to draw your attention to attorneys who peddle their services by warning against brokers, with statements similar to these:

  1. Beware, brokers are not attorneys and cannot give legal advice (nobody contests that fact).
  2. Brokers work for their own revenue interests (as if attorneys didn't).
  3. Check with an attorney before you sign anything (although not detrimental, this is a waste of money for the reasons explained below).

Let's set some facts straight:

Brokers are bound by a very strict code of ethics, and by several laws.
Brokers can be subjected to proceedings by the Florida Real Estate Commission, and punished with suspensions, fines, refered to prosecution, or have their license revoked.
It is easy to submit a complaint online against a broker.
But the most important thing to stress is this one: brokers do not write contracts, brokers fill in the blanks on contracts written by the legal department of Florida Realtors and approved by the Florida Bar, Florida realtors hold a very strict copyright on these contracts.
Moreover, brokers have access to a legal hotline at Florida Realtors included in the fees they pay, any legal doubt can be fielded by attorneys working for the board, without any cash outlay from the seller.

In light of the above, why waste your money hiring an attorney?
Hire a broker, and get legal advice from the realtor board.