Frequently Asked Real Estate Questions (FAQs)

Home Buying Questions:

What are the best neighborhoods in Orlando?
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 bit about you. Are you looking for great schools for the kids, then look for our neighborhood pages that are tagged for having great schools. Likewise, if you are looking for a waterfront home, you will find that our waterfront communities are tagged accordingly.

In addition, we a number of other resources that will help you find the right neighborhood that fits your needs.

Is it a good time to buy a house in Orlando?

As it is in most places, the real estate market in the Orlando area is cyclical.  If the inventory of unsold homes (Active Listings) 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 watched for trends. These are the actual MLS listing numbers for the Orlando MSA which include Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole counties:

Why do I need to qualify for a mortgage before I find a house?
There are many reason. Here are a few:

  1. Many real estate agents will not show you properties since they are obligated to only show homes to pre-qualified buyers.
  2. If you are able to view some homes, you will not be in a position to submit a purchase offer. Most offers will not be considered without a pre-qualification.
  3. You will have an estimate of your loan cost and an estimated payment amount. This information is important so you can ensure that your needed funds are ready and available for when you are ready to purchase.
What is an FHA Approved Condominium?
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 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.

What is a Closing Disclosure (CD)?
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).

You can see a working sample of a CD here.

Home Selling Questions:

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.  Your can find an appraiser by doing an online search or asking your Realtor.
What questions should you ask before hiring a listing agent?
  1. Are you a Full Time Agent?
  2. Are you a Realtor or just a Real Estate Agent?
  3. How much do you charge?
  4. What do you expect my proceeds to be?
  5. Do you receive kickbacks from the service providers you recommend to me?
  6. What advance training or designations do you hold?
    1. How will this help me?
  7. Do you use a professional photographer?
How will you market my home?
Lead by our RE/MAX Hall of Fame Agent and Team Leader, Phil Coffaro, you can rest assured knowing that you have the best of the best working on your behalf. With skills and systems developed over the past 15 years, nothing will be left to chance. That said, let’s start here:

  • Our Initial Analysis Meeting:
    • During this meeting we will do a complete evaluation of your home.
    • We will discuss Your Goals for the sale:
      • Date sale is to be completed
      • Your financial expectations
  • Based on our initial meeting, we will agree as to how we will go about meeting your goals. Our focus will be on 3 keys components:
    • Setting the Right Price
    • Preparing the Home for Market
    • Building a Custom Marketing Plan and Marketing Calendar that best showcases the Home’s Features and Benefits.

You can learn more about our Home Selling System here.

What will you charge me to sell my home?
It depends, but normally we charge between 5% to 7% of the sales price of the home. We cover all of the marketing cost for the sale.
What are the closing costs for selling a home in the Orlando, Florida area?
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 closing of escrow. The title policy cost is determined by the State of Florida. 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:
    Is the fee charged by the title agent for handling the closing itself. Some of the miscellaneous fees are included here like, mailing and other minor fees. The Closing Agent Fee will range from $300 to $500 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 the 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 will be prorated the beginning of the year, January 1, until the day before the transaction closes. This is because property taxes are paid at the end of the year for which they were assessed.

    • Your Property Tax Proration is calculated by:
      1) Divide your total Property Tax Bill by the 365 days in a year. This will give you your Proration Amount Per Day.
      2) Count the number of days in the tax year you will have owned the property, on the day prior to the Closing.
      3) 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.

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