Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Home Buying Questions

Over the years, our team gets this question over and over. For us to be able to answer this question, we will need to know a little about what’s most important to you. Are you looking for great schools for the kids? Then take a look at our best neighborhood pages, and look for the communities tagged with great schools. Likewise, if you are looking for a waterfront home, you will find that our waterfront communities are tagged accordingly.

As it is in most places, the real estate market in the Orlando area is cyclical. If unsold homes (Active Listings) inventory rises, the market will be more favorable for buyers. As the inventory of unsold homes goes down (fewer Active Listings), the market shifts to home sellers, and prices tend to rise. We keep a simple Real Estate Market Snapshot here for the Orlando Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), so you can watch for trends. These are the actual MLS listing numbers for the Orlando MSA, which include Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole counties:

There are many reasons. Here are a few:

  1. Many real estate agents will not show you properties since they are obligated to screen prospects to ensure all are pre-qualified to buy.
  2. If you can view some homes, you will not be positioned to submit purchase offers. Offers without pre-qualification will be rejected by reasonably well-represented sellers.
  3. You will have an estimate of your loan cost, monthly payment, and your required down payment. This information is important so you can ensure that your needed funds are ready and available for when you are ready to purchase. Moving money last minute can be costly and stressful.

An FHA-approved condominium is a condominium project or association that has been approved for FHA Lending. If a condominium has an FHA approval, you will be able to use FHA financing to purchase the property. If not FHA-approved, you will need to find a non-FHA loan or pay cash for the property.

You can determine if a condominium association has an FHA approval by using this FHA Approved Condo Lookup Tool.

Keep in mind, many condominium associations do not have FHA approval. You should not be overly concerned if your condominium project is not FHA-approved. However, if you are buying a condominium in a non-approved project, you should check with your lender before submitting a purchase offer.

You can see a working sample of a CD here.

A Closing Disclosure is a form that provides final details about the mortgage loan you have selected. It includes the loan terms, your projected monthly payments, and how much you will pay in fees and other costs to get your mortgage (closing costs).

Home Selling Questions

If you need to know how much your home is worth in today’s real estate market, you have three options:

  • Fastest Option: Automated Valuation Model (AVM)
    If you need a fast, approximate value of your home, you can get an Automated Valuation Model (AVM) done in less than 5 minutes.
  • Better Option: Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)
    If you need to know how much your home is really worth in today’s Orlando real estate market, you will want to contact a real estate agent to have a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) done on your home.
  • Best Option: Appraisal
    The most credible and accurate home valuation option is an appraisal. If you need a credible and accurate home valuation, your best option will be to get a Market Value Appraisal. You can find an appraiser by doing an online search or asking your Realtor.
  • Are you a Full-Time Agent?
  • Are you a Realtor or just a Real Estate Agent?
  • How much do you charge?
  • What do you expect my proceeds to be?
  • Do you receive kickbacks from the service providers you recommend to me?
  • What advance training or designations do you hold?
  • How will this help me?
  • Do you use a professional photographer?

If you need to know how much your home is worth in today’s real estate market, you have three options:

  • Fastest Option: Automated Valuation Model (AVM)
    If you need a fast, approximate value of your home, you can get an Automated Valuation Model (AVM) done in less than 5 minutes.
  • Better Option: Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)
    If you need to know how much your home is really worth in today’s Orlando real estate market, you will want to contact a real estate agent to have a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) done on your home.
  • Best Option: Appraisal
    The most credible and accurate home valuation option is an appraisal. If you need a credible and accurate home valuation, your best option will be to get a Market Value Appraisal. You can find an appraiser by doing an online search or asking your Realtor.

It depends, but our normal charge is between 5% to 7% of the home’s sales price. We cover all of the marketing costs to complete the sale.

A portion of our fee is paid from us to cooperating REALTORS. By compensating other agents in the market we leverage approximately 10,000 more agents to sell your home.

You can use our Selling Costs Calculator to estimate your home selling closing cost and proceeds.

Typical Closing Costs for home sellers in the Orlando, Florida area include the following:

  1. Florida Documentary Stamps on the Deed = $.70 per every $100 of the sale price. (i.e. $100,000 ÷ 100 x .70 = $700.00).
  2. Title Insurance (Owner’s Policy)
    The Owner’s Title Insurance Policy is a one-time fee paid at the closing of escrow. The State of Florida determines the title policy cost. Currently Florida Title Insurance Premiums are determined based on the purchase price of the property as follows: up to $100,000 = $5.75 per thousand, over $100,000 = $5.00 per thousand (i.e. $100,000 = 575.00; $200,000 = $1,075.00).
  3. Title Closing Agent Fee
    Does the title agent charge the fee for handling the closing itself? Some of the miscellaneous expenses are included here like, mailing and other minor fees. The Closing Agent Fee will range from $400 to $600 in most cases.
  4. Title & Lien Search Fees
    Title and Lien Searches will be done to ensure there are no outstanding bills or issues on the property. These fees will total from $100 to 250.
  5. Florida Real Estate Brokerage Fees/Commission
    The Real Estate Brokerage Fee or Commissions will likely be your largest expense when selling your home. Most real estate companies offer full service, which means the brokerage pays most marketing costs upfront. You only pay the real estate commission if there is a successful sale. Real estate brokerage fees range in cost from 5% to 7% for most sales.
  6. Real Estate Property Taxes
    The seller will be responsible for paying property taxes when selling a property. The property taxes are prorated from the beginning of the year, January 1, until the day before the transaction closes. This proration is used because property taxes are paid at the end of the year. Therefore, since the seller will be gone, money will be collected from the seller at closing.
    • Your Property Tax Proration is calculated by:
      • Divide your total Property Tax Bill by the 365 days in a year. This will give you your Proration Amount Per Day.
      • Count the number of days in the tax year you will have owned the property on the day before the closing.
      • Take your Proration Per Day in step #1 and multiply it by the Days of Ownership in Step #2. This will give you your Property Tax Proration number. This number is the Seller’s Real Estate Taxes due at Closing of Escrow.