Buyer Resources - Articles

Buying or Selling Your Home - Working With a Real Estate Agent

Can I use my own Realtor for a new construction home?      
Yes, buyers should be aware of the differences inherent in working with their OWN Realtor as opposed to just going unaccompanied to the sales/site agents who are employed by the developer/builder.
Builders commonly require that an outside real estate agent be present, and sign in the prospective buyer @ the 1st visit.  At times when homebuyers use an advertisement or drive by a new community; they may walk into a development/builder themselves. Builders can refuse to acknowledge & pay your Realtor a commission regardless of how long you have been working with your Realtor or how helpful your agent may become later in the new construction process. DON'T GO IT need your own representation from your own Realtor when you go into new construction. We will assist you from contract to closing & go to all of your inspections. You may find yourself being intimidated to speak up about something you find incorrect or not up to your standards at your construction walk-thru's. Your Realtor will be your support system so that you walk away proud of your new home! Having your own Realtor does not cost you a penny as their commissions are paid for by the builder + it does not hinder your negotiation fee for price of home. So bring your Realtor with you to the sales/site office!

How do I find a good Realtor ?
Getting a recommendation from a friend, family member, work colleague or mortgage lender is an excellent way to find a good Realtor. Be sure to ask if they would use that Realtor again. You also can call the managers of reputable real estate firms and ask them for recommendations of agents who have worked in your neighborhood. In any case, whether you are a buyer or a seller, you should interview a few Realtors to give yourself a choice & see who feels like the right fit for you and your family. A good Realtor typically works full-time and has several years of experience. If you are a seller, you should expect to review a comparative market analysis, which includes recent home sale prices in your area, when you talk to a prospective Realtor.

How is my Realtor paid ?
In many states, it is common for a Realtor to represent the buyers in the transaction and they are paid a commission by the sellers as part of the sellers closing costs. More and more buyers are going a step further, hiring and paying for their own Realtor,   referred to as buyers brokers.

How much does my Realtor need to know?
Realtors would say that the more you tell them, the better they can negotiate on your behalf. The more we know about you & your home buying process, the easier it will be for everyone involved in the transaction. For instance, have you spoken to a lender about your ability to obtain a mortgage. There are a lot of things related to a buyers having gone through the prequalifying process of getting a loan. It indicates how much you can spend on a home, the type of financing the buyer will need and if there are any contingencies. Do you, as the buyer need to sell another home before you qualify to buy another home. How many parties are involved in the transaction. Is the buyer a single person or married. How much money does the buyer comfortably have to put down on a home. Your Realtor wants you to have smooth transaction and the more we know about what may impact that process, the happier all parties will be at the closing table. However, the degree of trust you have with a Realtor may depend upon their legal obligation. Most Realtors in our market function as transaction brokers. The legal description as laid out by the State of Florida is as follows:

(a)  Transaction broker-duties of limited representation.--A transaction broker provides a limited form of representation to a buyer, a seller, or both in a real estate transaction but does not represent either in a fiduciary capacity or as a single agent. The duties of the real estate licensee in this limited form of representation include the following:
1.  Dealing honestly and fairly;
2.  Accounting for all funds;
3.  Using skill, care, and diligence in the transaction;
4.  Disclosing all known facts that materially affect the value of residential real property and are not readily observable to the buyer;
5.  Presenting all offers and counteroffers in a timely manner, unless a party has previously directed the licensee otherwise in writing;
6.  Limited confidentiality, unless waived in writing by a party. This limited confidentiality will prevent disclosure that the seller will accept a price less than the asking or listed price, that the buyer will pay a price greater than the price submitted in a written offer, of the motivation of any party for selling or buying property, that a seller or buyer will agree to financing terms other than those offered, or of any other information requested by a party to remain confidential; and
7.  Any additional duties that are mutually agreed to with a party.

Where can I get information on a Realtor of an Exclusive Buyers Agents ?

All real estate agents are held to a very high standard and must hold a current license in the State of Florida. They have to pass course exams, a state exam, and must have ongoing continuing education to include ethics courses every 2 years to maintain their license. To see if your real estate agent holds an Active license and has not had any disciplinary actions against them, visit: and view the licensee search. If you would like more information on hiring an Exclusive Buyers Agent, you can go to:

Susan Kennedy & The Kennedy Team
Susan Kennedy & The Kennedy Team
Real Estate Team
12276 San Jose Blvd #612 Jacksonville FL 32223