Orlando Real Estate: The Importance Of Picking the Right Broker
All markets have their ups and downs, and for real estate it’s been mostly down for some time now. However, according to a study and forecast by Attorneys’ Title Insurance Fund Inc., Orlando real estate continues to be the strongest real estate market in Florida because of the area’s strength in fast-growing industries such as healthcare, tourism, education and defense. If you’re a seller, there have been better times, even in Orlando. If you’re a buyer there are some terrific bargains. Either way, in these trying times it is especially important to work with a real estate agent who specializes in the local area. This is a lesson I learned the hard way.
When I bought my first home, I had no clue about real estate or even what MLS stood for (Multiple Listing Service). However, I lucked into working with a local real estate agent who knew the area and its listings inside out. Even though I more or less knew what I wanted, he insisted on showing me a variety of properties in several areas. He said I needed to know what was out there so that I could make an informed decision. While driving me to see properties he explained the pros and cons of every area, location, and building type. His advice proved invaluable as I ended up buying a home that was just perfect.
A few years and two promotions later I was ready to move up and saw a house that I really liked. Unfortunately, I had forgotten how important it was to get the right agent and simply called the number of the listing agent. Real estate was booming back then and I had no problem selling my first home at a large profit, but my new broker either didn’t care or simply didn’t have a clue. As a result, I overpaid for my new home and the entire buying process was a nightmare. The agent knew nothing of the neighborhood, the property was neglected while I waited for the closing, and the agent did nothing to help me at all.
When I was ready to move again, all this came back to haunt me. While I had thought my property was a dream home, it turned out that it had several flaws that made it unattractive in a declining market. The agent had never mentioned that to me. And once again I was stupid enough to enlist an inexperienced part-time broker to sell my home. The national realty firm she worked for was no help at all and, after what seemed like forever, I ended up selling at a large loss.
I had learned my lesson the hard way and resolved to never make the same mistake again. When we finally relocated I drove around the area, spoke to homeowners, interviewed several agents, and finally found a local realty firm that specialized in the part of town I was interested in. They helped me in my search and the difference was dramatic. Like that very first broker of mine, the agent took his time explaining local market conditions, listening to my requirements, going through the Orlando MLS with me, patiently showing me various options, locating a great place, helping me close a good deal, and then assisting me with local laws and paperwork.
They say real estate is location, location, location. In my experience, that’s only partially true. What it’s really about is agent, agent, agent. Orlando real estate remains an attractive and potentially lucrative proposition, but only if you pick the right agent. Whether it’s preconstruction, construction, investment or just advice, getting someone who truly knows Orlando and its markets is essential.