I'm a Realtor. Ask me anything

I'm a Realtor. Ask me anything

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The Moose

Original Poster:

20,666 posts

171 months

Sunday 28th June 2020
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Expat16 said:
We are moving from Central Florida up to Charlotte in 3 weeks otherwise we could have definitely use your knowledge
When going through the process, if anything comes up and you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a PM and if I can help, I will smile

The Moose

Original Poster:

20,666 posts

171 months

Sunday 28th June 2020
quotequote all
mr_spock said:
Expat16 said:
We are moving from Central Florida up to Charlotte in 3 weeks otherwise we could have definitely use your knowledge
We should be near you around Greensboro! Small world...
What's your target to be out here Spocky?

mr_spock

3,107 posts

177 months

Sunday 28th June 2020
quotequote all
The Moose said:
mr_spock said:
Expat16 said:
We are moving from Central Florida up to Charlotte in 3 weeks otherwise we could have definitely use your knowledge
We should be near you around Greensboro! Small world...
What's your target to be out here Spocky?
My wife’s there already, renting an apartment at the moment. Hoping to get a positive response on the house in the next couple of weeks, then 4 weeks to close and do required repairs for the mortgage - then I’ll come out for a few weeks. So hopefully early August. Not that there are many flights at the moment though!

The Moose

Original Poster:

20,666 posts

171 months

Sunday 28th June 2020
quotequote all
mr_spock said:
The Moose said:
mr_spock said:
Expat16 said:
We are moving from Central Florida up to Charlotte in 3 weeks otherwise we could have definitely use your knowledge
We should be near you around Greensboro! Small world...
What's your target to be out here Spocky?
My wife’s there already, renting an apartment at the moment. Hoping to get a positive response on the house in the next couple of weeks, then 4 weeks to close and do required repairs for the mortgage - then I’ll come out for a few weeks. So hopefully early August. Not that there are many flights at the moment though!
Fingers crossed for you! My bro went from here to LHR about a month ago - I presume there are flights going the other way also!

The Moose

Original Poster:

20,666 posts

171 months

Sunday 28th June 2020
quotequote all
Expat16 said:
The Moose said:
When going through the process, if anything comes up and you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a PM and if I can help, I will smile
Thank you, I’m sure I will have a few questions.
We were looking to buy a house in the Orlando area (Seminole County) then we had a change of jobs and a relo to NC
There are worse places to be than NC! Especially if you can spend time outside the city! What is it you do?

Pothole

32,283 posts

244 months

Wednesday 1st July 2020
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Why do so many of you add a letter/syllable between real and tor?

The Moose

Original Poster:

20,666 posts

171 months

Wednesday 1st July 2020
quotequote all
Expat16 said:
The Moose said:
There are worse places to be than NC! Especially if you can spend time outside the city! What is it you do?

It's my wife who works for a large corporation. We moved from the UK back in 2016 and received our green cards last December
Congrats on the GC - I hope you enjoy the move smile

The Moose

Original Poster:

20,666 posts

171 months

Wednesday 1st July 2020
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Pothole said:
Why do so many of you add a letter/syllable between real and tor?
No idea.

It should be pronounced Realtor, not Realator...however many people (even Realtors) add the extra letter in the middle. I don't know if it's ignorance or just lack of caring.

I mean, you're not a docator or acator...

I don't mind if the general public get it wrong - heck if those with the accreditation can't get it right, then how can everyone else?!

Countdown

29,834 posts

158 months

Friday 17th July 2020
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The Moose said:
My wife and I are part-time Realtors here in Florida. We mainly use our licenses for our own personal (sales/rentals) transactions etc. Having said that, we of course have to go through all the classes, the training and join a brokerage etc.

That being the case, I know there are some PHers who either have property in the US or are considering purchasing/selling property in the US and if you have any questions or would like any advice/assistance, I'd be happy to do my best at answering those questions here. smile
Why would being a Realtor help in buying and selling lots of properties?

I'm guessing that "US Realtor" <> "UK Estate Agent" and that it's more than just putting buyers/vendors in touch with each other. I've purchased/sold lots of properties but never felt it would be easier if I was an EA.

The Moose

Original Poster:

20,666 posts

171 months

Friday 17th July 2020
quotequote all
Countdown said:
The Moose said:
My wife and I are part-time Realtors here in Florida. We mainly use our licenses for our own personal (sales/rentals) transactions etc. Having said that, we of course have to go through all the classes, the training and join a brokerage etc.

That being the case, I know there are some PHers who either have property in the US or are considering purchasing/selling property in the US and if you have any questions or would like any advice/assistance, I'd be happy to do my best at answering those questions here. smile
Why would being a Realtor help in buying and selling lots of properties?

I'm guessing that "US Realtor" <> "UK Estate Agent" and that it's more than just putting buyers/vendors in touch with each other. I've purchased/sold lots of properties but never felt it would be easier if I was an EA.
6 main reasons, in no particular order

1. Commission - the 5 - 6% commission that is generally split between both sides of the transaction adds to or eats into profit (depending)
2. Access to data - yes, through Zillow etc you can get some data, but not as much as you can get through the MLS. The data available is more extensive and over a longer period of time. Also the search functionality is more in depth and allows you to view super specific detail about almost any property. There is so much you can do with the software, I have only scratched the surface
3. Kinda on the same topic - when listing for sale, being able to put the properties on the MLS generates significantly more interest than if it's just on Zillow/Trulia as 'For Sale By Owner'
4. Education - knowing as much as possible about the process helps me strategically plan - we now know so much more about the process than when we started which works to our benefit, including financially
5. You get taken more seriously by all involved in all parts of the chain - lots of places also offer Realtor discounts/commissions. I haven't actually been paid out or saved money because of this but I do feel that I generally get better service
6. Properties listed for rent/sale generally have an electronic keybox system to allow access to properties. Being Realtors allows us access to this keybox system giving us the ability to view whatever we want pretty much whenever we want without having to fit it in with someone else's schedule - viewing on our own is so much nicer than with someone else

Oh, and I guess I'd say it was a hobby/passion of mine and I enjoyed the education and learning. It's also good to network.

tim0409

3,089 posts

121 months

Thursday 21st January
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I have a question on self builds in Florida/US. We built our own house in the UK, and we regularly visit Marco Island/Naples and would love to spend more time there in the future. There are a number of vacant plots/lots around the area we stay in Marco, and out of curiosity I've just had a look on Zillow, and they start at around $130k.

How is the self build market in the US, and what is the planning system like? I've built and renovated a number of properties here in Scotland, and was previously a member of the authorities planning committee so I know my way around the system here, but I think embarking on a project in the US would be really challenging.

Any info would be gratefully received.

Saleen836

8,411 posts

171 months

Thursday 21st January
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tim0409 said:
I have a question on self builds in Florida/US. We built our own house in the UK, and we regularly visit Marco Island/Naples and would love to spend more time there in the future. There are a number of vacant plots/lots around the area we stay in Marco, and out of curiosity I've just had a look on Zillow, and they start at around $130k.

How is the self build market in the US, and what is the planning system like? I've built and renovated a number of properties here in Scotland, and was previously a member of the authorities planning committee so I know my way around the system here, but I think embarking on a project in the US would be really challenging.

Any info would be gratefully received.
It might have changed but as far as I know the laws in Florida construction work i.e building a house has to be done by licenced contractors but you can supervise smile

matrignano

2,866 posts

172 months

Thursday 21st January
quotequote all
Expat16 said:

It's my wife who works for a large corporation. We moved from the UK back in 2016 and received our green cards last December
BofA?

The Moose

Original Poster:

20,666 posts

171 months

Tuesday 26th January
quotequote all
tim0409 said:
I have a question on self builds in Florida/US. We built our own house in the UK, and we regularly visit Marco Island/Naples and would love to spend more time there in the future. There are a number of vacant plots/lots around the area we stay in Marco, and out of curiosity I've just had a look on Zillow, and they start at around $130k.

How is the self build market in the US, and what is the planning system like? I've built and renovated a number of properties here in Scotland, and was previously a member of the authorities planning committee so I know my way around the system here, but I think embarking on a project in the US would be really challenging.

Any info would be gratefully received.
I'm sorry for the delay in replying.

Out of interest, where on Marco do you stay?

Self build, or owner builder here is indeed a thing - and some see it as a right.

FL law does state that construction has to be done by someone who is licensed however you can be an owner builder and have an exemption from this requirement. Whatever you build still has to meet whatever codes are required for the area so a minimum standard does have to be met. You also can only self build for your own property that you will own. It is against the law for you to pull an owner build permit for "substantial" work and then immediately sell (it's either 1 or 2 years from memory).

These days there are so many different inspections that there are a lot less areas where things can fall between the gaps. The hardest part of doing everything yourself is knowing what the code is for each item.

The usual way construction works out here is the owner contracts the General Contractor to build the house. The GC hires whatever subs are required for each stage of the build and manages them coming to site to complete the work.

The alternative to a full self build is a kinda halfway house where as the owner builder you act as the general contractor or project manager. You coordinate the design, the subs and actually building what has been designed and permitted.

It is a bit of a process and getting the paperwork lined up can be a bit of a challenge. I pulled an owner build permit about 6 months ago now for some work I wanted to do at the house and it took longer to get my paperwork ducks in a row than it did to do the actual work. Clearly for a new build it would be much more involved. I think the biggest issue you'll face is that as the owner builder you are supposed to supervise all work on site and if you're here on the 90 day visa waiver program, this would be tricky. You don't have to be on site for every second but you are the one with ultimate responsibility.

ETA: https://www.cityofmarcoisland.com/sites/default/fi...

Edited by The Moose on Tuesday 26th January 18:14

NMNeil

1,283 posts

12 months

Tuesday 26th January
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mr_spock said:
Can I have my name as part owner of a US property without an SSN?
Sharpen your crayons.
https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxp...
https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-w-7

tim0409

3,089 posts

121 months

Friday 29th January
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Thanks Moose, that's really helpful.

Our friends live in Tahiti Road; it was their holiday home and we did a number of house swaps with them, although they have now retired to live their full time. We moved our May 2020 trip to May 2021, but it now looks like that's going to be pushed back..... I've been to Florida/Marco many times over the years (my wife and I married on the roof of the Marco Hilton), and I've come to the conclusion that I want to spend more time there in the future, not least because Scottish winters really don't agree with me!


The Moose

Original Poster:

20,666 posts

171 months

Friday 29th January
quotequote all
tim0409 said:
Thanks Moose, that's really helpful.

Our friends live in Tahiti Road; it was their holiday home and we did a number of house swaps with them, although they have now retired to live their full time. We moved our May 2020 trip to May 2021, but it now looks like that's going to be pushed back..... I've been to Florida/Marco many times over the years (my wife and I married on the roof of the Marco Hilton), and I've come to the conclusion that I want to spend more time there in the future, not least because Scottish winters really don't agree with me!
I agree with you...but then when we go for something, we go wide open!!

It sounds to me like you’d be best off buying and rehabbing rather than building on a virgin lot. Buy something that is watertight but tired and each time you come out here run a project.

PM me if you want more specific information - I am in the process of looking for a builder right now too.

NMNeil

1,283 posts

12 months

Friday 29th January
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Two questions.
When we were looking for a retirement house we traveled all over Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
Every time we went to a realtors office we would explain what we wanted. Single story 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, move in ready; and without fail we would be first shown the semi derelict POS that didn't even come close to our requirements.
Is this standard procedure?
The other question is that when my mother died a few years back she left me her apartment in Nepean, Canada. The day that her death was published in the obituaries I started getting calls from Canadian and New York State realtors asking if I wanted to list with them.
Is it normal procedure to scan the obituaries looking for leads?

The Moose

Original Poster:

20,666 posts

171 months

Saturday 30th January
quotequote all
NMNeil said:
Two questions.
When we were looking for a retirement house we traveled all over Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
Every time we went to a realtors office we would explain what we wanted. Single story 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, move in ready; and without fail we would be first shown the semi derelict POS that didn't even come close to our requirements.
Is this standard procedure?
The other question is that when my mother died a few years back she left me her apartment in Nepean, Canada. The day that her death was published in the obituaries I started getting calls from Canadian and New York State realtors asking if I wanted to list with them.
Is it normal procedure to scan the obituaries looking for leads?
First question. Yes - standard practice...if you’re a crappy agent! Obviously I can’t comment on your situation, but if the budget isn’t sufficient to buy what you’re asking for then have that discussion instead of pissing off the buyer! All I can assume is the budget you said you had wasn’t sufficient and they were trying to get you through the door of anything so they could try to earn a quick commission. Either that or they have a connection with a local builder to do the work and get a kick back from. Just speculating really.

Second question. Again, yes - some people will do this. During real estate agent school, it’s drummed into you that listings make a business, not buyers. There are usually a lot of agents and all looking to come up with a unique angle of finding listings. Some will look through the obits I guess. I have seen an agent stick his card under the door mat as someone is being wheeled away into an ambulance...

NMNeil

1,283 posts

12 months

Saturday 30th January
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The Moose said:
First question. Yes - standard practice...if you’re a crappy agent! Obviously I can’t comment on your situation, but if the budget isn’t sufficient to buy what you’re asking for then have that discussion instead of pissing off the buyer! All I can assume is the budget you said you had wasn’t sufficient and they were trying to get you through the door of anything so they could try to earn a quick commission. Either that or they have a connection with a local builder to do the work and get a kick back from. Just speculating really.
As I said, I gave them all the same fairly specific requirements, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, move in ready, and the first house shown would often look like this, or worse:

Few of them asked how I would finance the purchase, but those who did I told them, cash.
On a sidenote, when we sold our house in Vegas our realtor knew how much profit we made on the sale (about $350,000) and worked her hardest trying to find out where we were moving to, so she could become our buyers agent. She was livid when we wouldn't tell her. biggrin