Buyer Checklist

  • Evaluate your budget – know what you want to spend for a down payment as well as monthly expenditures (i.e.; maintenance and real estate taxes, monthly mortgage payment, utilities, etc)
  • Obtain mortgage pre-approval from your lender
  • Identify your timeline for purchase
  • Explore different neighborhoods to identify your preferred needs
  • Research schools or in the selected neighborhood(s)
  • Do you best to narrow your search to no more than 10 properties


  1. Pre-approval for mortgage

You must know how much you can spend before you spend it. Unless you’re paying cash, you will need from your mortgage broker a pre-approval letter which shows the sellers of selected property that you are capable of buying.


  1. Find a property

Depending on what you are looking for, the length of your search will vary. The average person sees 10-15 properties before deciding on one. Internet-savvy buyers save time by doing their browsing before they look at properties in person.


  1. Inquire

Everything is negotiable so inquire about assessments, plumbing, electrical, broken fixtures, window replacements, air conditioners, floors, appliances, washer dryers, etc.


  1. Write an offer

Generally, in a sales transaction, a Florida real estate agent represents each buyer and seller. The buyers agent draws up an AS-IS contract for the sellers agent. The buyers sign the contract and forward the contract with at least a 10% escrow deposit; the sellers execute the contract after signing.

Possible contingencies to be negotiated: closing dates, inspection periods, escrow deposits. The quicker the contract can be signed, the better. A contract is binding only after both parties sign.


  1. Inspection Period

Knowing as much as you can about the condition of the property before you buy will help you avoid problems and extra costs down the track. Buyers usually have about two weeks time to hire a certified inspector to perform a full report on the prospective property. After reviewing the report, the buyer then has three options; move forward with the sale, negotiate a new sales price or cancel the contract for purchase.


  1. Commitment Letter (Loan Ready)

 If a property is being financed, the title company (commonly a law firm) assigned for closing the sale will require a Loan Commitment Letter to move forward in the process, your lender will provide this to the title company leading up to closing. This is a very  important document in Florida because once title commitment is given by the lender, your financing contingency is waived and by contract you must close the deal or risk losing your escrow deposit. An experienced lender will help you avoid this situation.


  1. Closing

The title companies will always try to meet the contract closing date. In the case of any type of delays, closings may be scheduled for a later date. Title companies coordinate with the appropriate banks on available dates and times for funds to be transferred.