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Laura Byrne's Advice

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Laura Byrne wrote:

How a buyer can get the "Scoop" on a prospect

Hi, I'm not familiar with agency law in Florida, but here in Maryland, if you have a Buyer's Agency contract with your Realtor, she or he is bound by that agreement to represent your best interests. The agent owes fiduciary duty to you, not anyone else. Personally, my business is built on referrals so I treat each client as if they were family or a close friend and do everything I can to make sure they are getting the best deal possible for the situation, and what they really want. However here are some extra precautions you can take just in case, or for some extra peace of mind: 1) Include an appraisal contingency. Even if you're paying cash, I always recommend an appraisal. Make sure your agent includes an appraisal contingency in the contract. That way, if your property appraises for lower than the sales price you can include a clause allowing you to back out if the seller doesn't agree to lower the price. Also, rest assured that the appraisal needs to be ordered by a third party as even the lender is prohibited from choosing the appraiser nowadays.2) Research public records, police reports, and talk to neighbors. 3) Conduct your own market analysis. Ask your Realtor to send you ALL the listings in whatever zip code you are buying in, that are either active, under contract or have sold in the last 6 months. Be sure to compare apples to apples - looking at photos, taking condition (or is it a short sale or foreclosure) into consideration. Online auto-generated value computations, while they sometimes are in the ballpark, aren't customized enough at this time to really give you a true estimate.Best of luck!
November 01 2011