FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida. Buying real estate or investing in real estate can be exciting, but also stressful. If this is your first home purchase, or if you are just getting into the real estate investment market, it is wise to have the help of a qualified real estate lawyer on your side.  Real estate attorneys in Fort Lauderdale, Florida who can help you navigate the legal issues and challenges that can sometimes arise during a real estate transaction. If you’re planning to purchase real estate, here are ten things you should consider.

  1. Know the Market. More than researching median sale prices, you’ll want to know exact sales data on homes and properties that have sold in your region that are similar to the property or home you are looking to purchase. These are considered comparable sales. While an appraisal will look at comparable sales, there are ways you can look at comparable sales before making an offer on a home. Ask your real estate agent if he or she has a list of comparable sales. By having the hard data in front of you, you can make a stronger offer that is based on actual sales data and not just on a homeowner’s offering price or on your own emotions.
  2. Do the Math Regarding Fees. When considering what you can afford and what investment property to buy, you’ll also want to factor in fees when making decisions. Forbes reminds buyers that the title company, lender, brokers, and other professionals will all take a cut. Consider the cost of buying and selling if you plan to buy a property for investment purposes.
  3. Location. Location. Whether you’re buying an investment property or purchasing a home for your residence, location matters. What are the nearby schools like? Even if you don’t have children, the school district quality can tell you a lot about community engagement and value. Is the home or property close to public transportation options? How long is the average commute from the home or property? These are factors future buyers and renters will consider, so you should consider them too.
  4. Be Prepared to Walk Away. The home purchase process is just that, a process. As you move from making an offer to inspecting and appraising the property, you’ll learn more. If you learn anything during the course of the sale that raises red flags or shows that the home is a bad investment, don’t be afraid to walk away.
  5. Get Your Contract Right. Don’t assume you have the house until you finalize your contract. Have your contract reviewed by a qualified real estate lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  A real estate lawyer can review the terms of the contract and ensure that you are protected should the deal fall through or the property proves to be unacceptable after inspections or appraisals.
  6. Find the Right Real Estate Agent. Interview several agents before choosing one to work with. You want someone who has the time to give you the attention you deserve and who will put your interests first. There are many moving parts in a sale. You need someone with good attention to detail who will keep things moving along.
  7. Ask the Right Questions. When finding a real estate agent, real estate lawyer, loan officer, or other professional, taking a little time to ask the right questions can make an immense difference in the outcome. Before hiring a real estate lawyer or other professional, ask him or her how many years’ experience he or she has in the field. Is he or she a member of professional organizations? Has he or she won awards? Can he or she provide references. You are making a major purchase. You need a strong and qualified team on your side.
  8. If buying a condo, review the financials and rules. Condo purchases can be more complex than home purchases. Does the condo board have enough money to cover major repairs? Is there an assessment in the future? What are the condos rules and do they match with your lifestyle? For example, no pets, no rentals, and rules regarding common areas could be deal breakers. If you are having trouble reviewing any documentation you are provided with, consider hiring a real estate lawyer to protect your interests.
  9. Before making an offer, ask about repairs or issues. Agents and sellers are required to disclose any known issues. However, sometimes you’ll need to ask in order to have those issues disclosed.
  10. Hire a real estate lawyer. A real estate lawyer can be your advocate as you navigate the legal and financial processes that unfold with any real estate sale or purchase. Investing or purchasing real estate is exciting, but it is important to protect yourself.
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