SUNSTONE BUYER’S GUIDE
Buying a home is probably one of the largest financial decisions you will ever make. It is further complicated by often being a highly emotional one as well.
The South Florida real estate market can be especially challenging to navigate, and is unique in many ways. The cost of working with a Buyer’s Agent is covered by the Seller, so before you venture out unrepresented to begin your search, it is crucial that you select a broker who will provide you the attention you deserve and work on your behalf to ensure the smoothest transaction possible.
At Sunstone Brokers our approach is different. Where some companies with hundreds of agents focus on volume, we focus on you and your needs in searching for a new home. We think of ourselves as your partner and will do everything possible to make the purchase process stress-free, and arm you with the knowledge you will need to make a well-informed decision.
Once you have decided to buy a home, it will be important to have a team of professionals working diligently on your behalf. We can recommend qualified attorneys, mortgage experts, appraisers, and accountants to help guide you through any transaction
Determining your financing options before you start your search will save time and help to streamline the buying process. We can help guide you to industry professionals who can answer your detailed questions about financing and help determine the best price range for your search. The two basic forms of endorsement in the early stages of the loan process:
Pre-Qualification: Based on information you provide during an initial interview with a lender or mortgage loan originator, you are potentially qualified for a stated loan amount.
Pre-Approval: After your initial conversation with the lender or loan originator, you will provide information for a detailed background and financial check. You will then receive a letter from a lender stating how much they would be willing to loan you. This is valid approximately 60 days.
The Purchase Process
Wish List: Make a list of all of your criteria by order of importance. Register on the Vortex website and create a folder with your favorites. This will help us find properties that fit your budget and match as many of your requests as possible.
Viewing Properties: We will research our extensive listings database and will arrange viewings of properties that fit your criteria and budget.
Offer and Acceptance: Once you have found your perfect property, we will use our expertise to help you make a fair and competitive opening offer. We, or your attorney, will prepare a contract of sale that includes your offer price and terms. Typically a good faith deposit of up to 10% of the purchase price will be offered upon acceptance or at another mutually agreed upon time.
Mortgage Application: This process may take some time to complete, therefore it is important to contact your bank or loan originator immediately after having a signed contract. Lenders will require a “fully executed” contract with the application.
Preparation of the Board Application: (Condo sales only) We will assist you in the preparation of your Condo Board Application, provide copies to the management company and help you with any other requirements.
Board Interview: (Condo sales only) You will be contacted for a scheduled interview with the Condominium Association. Usually these meeting are merely a formality and notification of the board’s decision will usually be given in 48 to 72 hours. We and your attorney will coordinate the closing once the board has given purchase approval.
The Walk-Through: We will accompany you to inspect the property prior to the closing of sale. This inspection is important to verify all is working properly in the apartment and the seller has or is moving out as agreed. Important things to inspect are appliances, faucets, plumbing, light fixtures, outlets, etc.
The Closing of Sale: Closings are normally held with your attorney, the seller and seller’s attorney, the lender’s attorney, and both real estate agents in attendance. However “virtual” closings are not uncommon. In these cases, all parties sign their documents in separate locations and transfer funds via wire transfer.
Typical Buyer’s Closing Costs
Buyer’s Attorney: $1200+
Home Inspection: $350-$400
Documentary Stamps (Doc Stamps) on the Mortgage: $0.35 per $100 of the amount of money borrowed.
Intangible Tax on the Mortgage: $0.20 per $100 borrowed
County Recording Fees: $10 for the first page recorded and $8.50 for each additional page. Typically 10-15 pages are recorded as part of a home purchase.
Condo Board Application Fee (if applicable): $200
Title Insurance: In Miami-Dade and Broward Counties it is customary for the Buyer to pay for the Title Insurance. Title insurance protects you against errors in the title process that may jeopardize your ownership rights in the future. Title insurance in Florida functions on a tiered rate structure based upon the purchase price of your home. Rates are assessed per $1,000 of your home’s value according to the following schedule:
First $100,000: $5.57 per $1,000
$100,000-$1,000,000: $5.00 per $1,000
$1-5 Million: $2.50 per $1,000
$5-$10 Million: $2.25 per $1,000
Over $10 Million: $2.00 per $1,000