Thursday, May 30, 2013

I'm not a US citizen and looking to buy investment property in Orlando, what should I look for in a Realtor?

Good investment in real estate or property Stock Photos   When looking to select a Realtor in your search be sure he/she has seasoned experience with investment properties.  Many Realtor's specialize in specific communities and cater to buyers of primary residence homes.  I suggest working with someone who knows how to calculate a true ROI for long or short term investment properties and also knows how to calculate capitalization rates.  You'll also need to comply with IRS regulations and filings which are different for foreign nationals.  You're Realtor should have contacts to help you in every facet as you'll need to set up an ITIN for each person on the deed.  You're Realtor should also be able to recommend a reputable foreign tax specialist of investment property.  Many other reputable contacts will be necessary in your absence such as a property manager.  Some one who's worked within the field will have partnerships with these types of partners necessary for your success.  If I can be of assistance, please let me know.

Friday, May 17, 2013

How Do I Choose A Realtor To List My Home?

Decision maker Stock Image

It's important to interview several Realtors before choosing one to list your home. For most people, their home is their largest asset and therefore take time for due diligence before making your decision. Ask them questions such as:
1. How will you market my property?
2. Do they personally invest any additional marketing funds outside of the MLS listing and broker efforts to market their listings and themselves?
3. Ask to see current and sold listings links within the MLS. Do these look professional? Are there adequate and enlightening comments written in the listing? Are there enough photos of the property? Realtors can post up to 25 photos of a home. Are the photos professional?
4. Have the agent provide a CMA - comparative market analysis to see what your home should be listed for and what to expect as a sale price. The CMA should mirror your home as closely as possible with comparable sales.  Is this within reason to what you're looking to sell the home for?  If the Realtor has to expand outside of your community for comparable sales (not enough in your community past 180 days), take into consideration the communities of comparison. Do these communities compare closely to yours?
5. Ask for recommendations. What are their recommendations like on Trulia and other websites?

This could be one of the most important decisions you make so think it through. If you have questions or would like additional information, please feel free to call or email me.

Cathy Starkweather
Realtor & Home Investor Specialist
La Rosa Realty, LLC
01.407.274.8476 /
1420 Celebration Blvd. #200
Celebration, FL 34747

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Is it possible to buy a home with the furnishings?

Stylish living room furniture Stock PhotographyMost homes in residential areas are not furnished, however... many in the short term rental zones like Kissimmee, Davenport and part of Haines City, Florida are.  If not, a seller may be willing to negotiate furnishings if requested and listed on a separate addendum with sale of a home.  It's something your Realtor can assist with in the negotiation process.  Keep in mind, if furniture is purchased and funds are exchanged, it is the responsibility of the buyer to pay tax on this purchase. You may try and negotiate furniture to be included with the sale of the home at zero value.

Why should a seller provide a seller's disclosure right away?

Sign the seller disclosure statement Royalty Free Stock Photo
It's best to provide a disclosure to the buyer immediately.  The seller has the responsibility to disclose known defects that could affect the value of the property. This disclosure could prevent a buyer from filing a lawsuit against the seller, in case defects that were not disclosed before the sale are discovered by the buyer after closing. It is therefore in the seller's interest to let the buyer know in advance if there are any problems with the house that should be taken care of.  Of course, a seller may not know of certain issues until a home inspection is performed.  Some sellers choose to have a home inspection prior to listing the home and fix the issues to help prevent a buyer from retracting their offer if and when the buyer has a home inspection themselves. 

How soon after I sell my home do I have access to my sale proceeds?

Money for house Royalty Free Stock Photos
Once all the buyers funds and all the required documents are received and cleared by the title company and you have a final HUD or closing statement, the title company will usually issue a check or wire to your account within 24 hours.