With the right strategy, buying a home in the Orlando area will be a very rewarding experience for your family.
As with any real estate purchase, planning, research and local knowledge is essential to a successful outcome.
We’ve put together a list of often asked questions for home buyers looking to make Central Florida their home (or second home!).
How long does a typical home buying process take in Orlando?
If a buyer is ready with funds and the seller is motivated and organized, a home can close in around 6 weeks. It can move faster in certain circumstances, but that’s a fair estimate.
Should we speak to the bank before or after we look for a home in Orlando?
We would always advise getting a pre-approved loan, before you begin looking.
Armed with a ‘proof of funds’ you can satisfy a seller’s agent that you are serious about buying. The result is that you can view homes more easily, and, get your offers taken seriously!
What discount can I expect to get from a seller in Florida?
If you get 5% you are doing well. Occasionally you may get more, depending on the property’s condition or the seller’s motivation.
10% is generally way out of the question.
Consider this; if an owner offers a huge discount, ask yourself why!
Should you use a realtor to buy a home?
You might expect us to say ‘Yes’
Here’s our genuine advice though;
A good realtor will help you find the best property, in the best community at the best price, with the least fuss.
A bad realtor is usually easy to spot within a few viewings. Leave them and find another asap.
Without a realtor, you are relatively in the dark about the area and upcoming changes to roads, schools, amenities and shops etc.
A good realtor is a huge asset and costs the buyer nothing.
(The seller pays the real estate commission)
How close should a new home be to Disney?
For vacation rentals, your rental guests always like to be reasonably close to Walt Disney World.
Within a 20 minute drive is fair (under normal driving conditions)
For residential homes, or second homes, you might be faced with more choice and easier driving if you extend that distance a little further.
Central Florida is blessed with some fabulous neighborhoods, old and new!
Negotiating on Price – A Strategy is Key!
So you’ve finally found the perfect home for sale?
From this point forward you have the following possible outcomes;
- You buy the home at the asking price
- Your reduced offer gets accepted
- Your reduced offer gets rejected
Although the 3 points seem obvious, in reality, the odds are stacked more against you than you may think.
Without a clear negotiation strategy, your offers can often be rejected swiftly.
The golden rules of negotiation are simple and effective.
- Information is Power!
Know the home and the area, including every possible strength & weakness
- Be Fair to Keep the Advantage!
Always be polite, courteous and most importantly fair with your offers.
Be mindful of the risk of failure!
If you really have few alternative homes on your wish list, or you feel that there are other bidders on that home, you may need to consider reducing the ‘spread’ of your bid range.
A ‘low ball’ bid can lose you credibility and drive the vendor to focus more seriously on alternative buyers.
If you have agreeable ‘backup’ properties or no other buyers interested in that home, you can get a little wilder with your bid patterns.
Whatever happens, consider the risk/benefit of your discount aspirations.
Don’t lose the one and only perfect home for the sake of a few %.
- Use every scrap of buying power you’ve got!
If you have cash, mention the speed of closing.
If you are pre-approved on lending, mention it.
If you have better homes in your wishlist, mention it loosely, but don’t get into a messy debate by giving property addresses etc.
Be polite, but do your best to weaken the vendor’s leverage.
Home surveys, walk throughs are great for this.
- Keep in Control
Don’t ever concede on price, closing dates or features etc without getting something more valuable in return!
- Use the ‘Flinch Point’ effectively and don’t overuse!
Imagine someone refusing a 2% reduction on asking price?
The ‘Flinch’ is essentially the moment your drop the phone when the vendor rejects your more than fair bid.
“Hey, sorry about that, I actually tripped and dropped my phone just there, are you seriously rejecting our offer?”
That kind of reaction adds ‘reality’ to the vendor’s understanding of your mindset.
Don’t overuse it though!
- Set a ‘highest price’ point for the transaction, and keep working the deal until it becomes clear that the vendor is NEVER going to accept that price.
- Never ‘walk away forever’.
Always leave room to re-open the discussion and make it clear that’s the case.
After you’ve walked away, make a specific call, write and email or send your business card and contact information to make it clear that you are happy to discuss further if conditions change.
It’s harder than you think to achieve that, but prices can tumble fast after you ‘walk away’.
Always stay in control, be fair and give no concession for free, when you are negotiating on property prices!
Remember to use your realtor’s strength and experience in negotiation!
Should I buy a ‘Short Sale’ home in Florida?
If you want a cheap deal, aren’t in a hurry, don’t need to buy a specific home and don’t mind a high risk of your deal falling through, then short sales are certainly interesting!
They work best for people wanting to start or add to a property investment portfolio.
Generally though, for second homes, or vacation rental use, a little more certainty is helpful.
(SHORT SALE = A sale of a property that falls short of the debts and liens against it. By definition, lenders might not agree to allow the sale of a home under such conditions)
Should I buy an Orlando area home that’s in Foreclosure?
If the prospect of a great deal on a specific ‘bank owned’ home appeals to you, then a Foreclosure purchase might be a much more negotiable opportunity than a ‘Short Sale’.
Discounts can be significant, but buyers need to close quickly, and cash is always the most luring advantage that buyers can use.
(FORECLOSURE SALE = When a lender has legally taken a property to offset its debt. The bank is free to negotiate with buyers for the best offer.)
What are the neighborhoods like in and around Orlando?
Follow three steps to understanding a prospective neighborhood.
1 – Conduct some basic online research yourselves
2 – Seek advice from a reputable realtor
3 – Check the community several times a day for traffic & noise levels
4 – If a community is gated, your realtor can get you access
Which areas within Central Florida have the best schools?
Schools are one of the biggest driving factors in home buying.
Finding the best schools in the Orlando area needs some expertise and we’d definitely recommend great research and discussion with a realtor.
How much are the utility bills per month in Florida?
The size of the home and the way that you use it can affect utility costs considerably.
Heat is mostly free in Florida, but air conditioning is the driver of Electricity costs.
As a very rough guide, a modern 3,500 sqft home can run at average monthly costs of;
$300 – Electricity
$ 90 – Water
$100 – TV/Cable/Phone
$200 – Pool Heat (Where applicable)
$Annual Property Taxes Vary
$Property Insurance Vary
Orlando Home Buyer Guide Articles – Click the titles to read more
- Decide what the home will really be used for! It pays to be open minded!
- Top 10 Considerations for an Orlando Vacation Home!
- Choosing the right floor plan and features!
- Homes Close to Disney, an insider’s views about location!
- Finding the right community for you, your family, your guests.
- Renting your home, an emotional but wise decision! Free vacations forever!
- Don’t buy a home unless these features are included!
- Furnishing and decor, are the key to lots of bookings!
- Should you pay cash or get a mortgage?
- Mortgage advice for US Residents and Overseas owners
- Choosing a good property manager to take care of your home
- What could possibly go wrong – Being prepared makes a difference!
- Things to Worry About When Buying an Orlando Home!
- Dealing with the taxes and other boring but essential stuff!
- Buy an Existing Home or Build a New Home Exactly to Your Needs?
- Getting A Visa Or Green Card to Live in Orlando!
- Orlando Home Buying FAQ
- Top 10 Home Buying Web Guide Articles
Contact Our Realty Team Now and Let us Find You Your Dream Home!
407 973 1456
7345 W Sand Lake Rd
Orlando, FL 32819
Reunion Resort Homes For Sale
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