Brokerage System in Florida
A licensed, multilingual real estate agent in Florida is a significant help for a foreign buyer to ensure the smooth purchase of a property in Florida. The agent can advise you before a purchase in detail and with expertise. If the estate agent in Florida also offers property management of vacation homes or works together with a renowned property management company, he can assess the marketing chances of the purchase property as a vacation home or holiday villa in Florida very concretely and realistically, and give you valuable information about the maintenance costs and the marketing chances as a seasonal rental.
The broker system in Florida differs significantly from the German system. Every licensed real estate agent in Florida (Realtor®) must have a professional real estate license from the State of Florida. He receives this after an extensive state examination and is obliged to undergo annual compulsory training in order to ensure a continuously high standard of training and to maintain the license. These licenses are managed by the Department for Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR). After several years of work at a real estate agency, the agent can undergo another state examination to acquire the broker license. Only after passing the broker examination can he set up his own brokerage firm.
Each prospective buyer can find out very quickly from the DBPR whether the real estate agent of his choice possesses the permission for handling real estate sales or not:
Real estate agents who adhere to a strict Code of Ethics may call themselves Realtor®. They are members of the local (e.g. Royal Palm Coast Realtor Association), state (e.g. FAR = Florida Association of REALTORS) and/or national association of real estate agents (NAR = National Association of REALTORS) and have access to comprehensive local and regional market information, for example in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). They know trends and developments in the industry and undergo regular training. All properties for sale are listed in the central database of the MLS system and every member of the association has access to all the properties offered in that database. That way, the prospective buyer receives a very good overview from his real estate agent regarding the available properties with his real estate search.
Once the buyer has decided on a specific, licensed real estate agent, the agent begins to search for a suitable property in Florida. The broker searches the central database of MLS according to the criteria provided to him by the prospective buyer: Location of the property, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, location on the water or non-waterfront, price range etc.
The suitable properties are automatically sent to the prospective buyer by email on his personal client portal. The prospective buyer receives a link by email with a list of the objects in question that meet his search criteria including location overview, detailed object descriptions and photos:
The prospective buyer can store the favorites of the listing overview in his client portal. On the basis of this list of favorites, the real estate agent then organizes the showings. In the course of the inspections the prospective buyer receives valuable information from his broker regarding the market-oriented classification of the required purchase price. The broker has already carried out a comparative market analysis of the properties in question during the preparation for the showings. On the basis of this analysis, an offer to buy the prospective buyer's dream home is submitted to the seller-broker. After completion of the price negotiations, the real estate agent accompanies his buyer every step of the way until the completion of the purchase.
It is therefore completely pointless to believe that the involvement of several brokers leads to additional listings, since every broker has access to all properties offered. The savvy real estate buyer does not have to move from one real estate agent to another in order to get a comprehensive overview of all the properties on the market. The activity of a real estate agent in Florida is absolutely noncommittal for the buyer and usually free of charge, since the broker commission is typically paid by the seller. The commission is then shared between the broker representing the seller (seller's or listing agent) and the buyer's agent. In the case of very low-priced properties, the buyer is usually charged a one-off lump sum.
An experienced real estate agent also provides valuable services in the area of new construction in Florida. He supports you in the acquisition of suitable land, the selection of the builder, the planning and coordination of the construction work. He will inform you regularly about the status of your new building project in Florida until the final inspection by the responsible building supervisory authority.
Look for a competent broker you can trust, someone who can look back on many years of experience, has relevant references and a successful history. Avoid hiring several brokers - this is absolutely frowned upon and will ultimately limit the chances of success of your efforts. Your broker should also be a member of the Board of Realtors to ensure that he has access to all listings in the region. Ultimately, however, the decisive factor is not the number of properties offered (every broker has access to all properties, provided he is a member of the broker association), but his transparent and competent advice, his negotiating skills and above all his after-sales service.
Real estate agents who, in addition to their brokerage activities, also maintain their own property management company or a rental agency are usually the first choice for the buyer, as this ensures the subsequent marketing and management of the property on a permanent basis. Brokers with their own rental agency or brokers who work closely with a local rental agency can give you reliable recommendations as to which property can and cannot be marketed well. I market a large number of upscale and luxury vacation homes with above-average occupancy rates and an impressive track record.
Always contact a licensed and experienced broker, a REALTOR® - talk to us.