Andy Weiser Fort Lauderdale Realtor Blog

Why Realtors Are More Important Than Ever

Smiling Shark

 

When it comes to looking for a Realtor everyone is searching for the same thing. The Realtor must have the knowledge that equals or exceeds everyone who has lived in every house in every neighborhood that the Realtor lists and sells in, the negotiating skills of the Secretary of State and the wisdom of Solomon to help you decide which home is right for you!

Seriously though, how do you find your Realtor?   You can ask friends and relatives for recommendations, read online reviews, ask for references or even make your decision based on who’s headshot you like the most (I kid you not). But at some point you’re probably going to ask yourself “do I really need a Realtor at all?” After all you can go to Trulia / Zillow and get all the “facts and information” you want right of what’s available, right? Without having to answer all sorts of pesky questions like “have you been pre approved for a mortgage yet or do you have proof of fund?” (Since getting a contract signed without mortgage preapproval or proof of funds is about as rare as hen’s teeth.) Or, what’s really a deal breaker for you to have in your new home and what’s merely on the “gee, it would be nice list”?

Litigation presently pending alleges among other things that “Notwithstanding express notice, Zillow does not remove all of the ‘SOLD’ listings from its site, although it does remove the listing agent or broker’s name once the property is sold,” and “Instead, Zillow continues to display many of the SOLD listings with the accompanying photographs in an apparent effort to drive further Web traffic to its site and to sell more ads.”   That’s right, those sites you’ve been depending on aren’t there to help you find your new home, they’re there to sell advertising space.

So that takes me back to the original premise- Why Realtors are more important than ever.   Over 93% of homebuyers used a Realtor last year up from 70% in 2001. So it doesn’t look like we’re headed the way of the traditional travel agent or the dodo bird anytime in the near future! As real estate transactions become more complicated, the consequences of not having a professional real estate practitioner on your side when purchasing something as important as your home can lead to devastating economic as well as emotional consequences.

There is a branch of economics called “transaction cost economics”. Without boring you with theories and lines of equations let me boil it down to a few sentences. Transaction cost economics explains that life in general is simpler without intermediaries inserting themselves into a transaction. The more commonplace and mundane a transaction is, the less need there is for a middleman. You can book a flight on JetBlue from Fort Lauderdale to New York for $89 with just a few clicks of your mouse. On the other hand, infrequent, highly emotional and costly purchases like buying your new home require the solid expertise and guidance an impartial expert can impart. There’s a good reason why the people in the C Suite hire professionals to manage their lives. Take a page from their playbook. As a Buyer, using a Realtor costs you nothing.  Contrary to popular belief, people who buy FSBOs generally pay 5.9-7.7% more than those working with a Realtor. As a Seller, your net profit is higher and you only pay when the house sells. Whether you choose to heed your Realtor’s advice is up to you, but not listening to it can cost you dearly.
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Fort Lauderdale Flood Insurance 101

Now that we’re in hurricane season (June 1- November 30), let’s talk about Flood Insurance.

 
Some of the things I hear most often from Buyers are “I hear that flood insurance is VERY expensive”, “the house I’m looking at isn’t in a flood zone so why should I carry it?” and “Since I’m paying cash I’m not required to get Flood Insurance so I’m not going to”. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of Flood Insurance. First of all, I think we all agree that it’s an annoyance. Yet another thing to pay for.

 
The national average premium for flood insurance is $700 per year. In Fort Lauderdale, flood insurance on a typical 100’ waterfront home on the East side of town is approximately $875 per year. OK, that means that we’re 1.25 times the national average. The average claim nationally in the past 5 years has been about $42,000. So using that same equation, that means that the average claim in Fort Lauderdale is about $52,500. The figures I’ve used are for a primary residence which is defined as a location where you (or your spouse) will live for more that 50% of the 365 days following the effective date of the policy. The days don’t have to be consecutive either. There’s usually a surcharge of approximately $250 if this won’t be your primary home. That’s still not bad! So it doesn’t look like I’m shilling for the insurance companies: I’m not forgetting that there is a deductible of about $5,000 on this kind of policy and a 30 day waiting period from the time you purchase the policy until the coverage goes into effect.

 
What about if your home is not in a designated flood zone? More than 20% of all flood claims are for homes not in a flood zone! Extra heavy rainfall can cause a flash flood in any neighborhood anywhere, even those not in flood zones. The good news is that Flood Insurance in non flood zone designated neighborhoods is less expensive!

 
If your home is in a designated flood zone (FYI- if your home is on water it’s in a flood zone) mortgagors will usually require you to have Flood Insurance as a condition of your loan in addition to the homeowner’s policy they require. Why? Because homes in these neighborhoods are more likely to experience a flood than a fire, so your friendly banker is going with statistical evidence. Since most lending institutions aren’t in the mortgage business, the only thing they’re getting from your Flood Insurance policy is the knowledge that if there is a flood, there will be money there to get your family’s life back to where it was pre-flood so you can continue to make your mortgage payments. Think about the people who had Flood Insurance after Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and those who didn’t. While there is (limited) Federal disaster assistance it’s usually in the form of a loan that has to be paid back with interest. So even if you’re paying cash, in 30 years the average $875 per year premium will have cost you $26,250 which happens to be exactly 50% of the $52,500 claim example I used earlier.

 
While flood insurance can seem like just another unnecessary thing to pay for or a way for insurance companies and mortgage lenders to part you from your money, just ask the people in Houston and Chicago this week.  I’ll bet that those that have it are glad and those that don’t now wish that they did.
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AndyWeiser.com Has A New Look!

The Easiest and Most Complete Way to Find Condos and Homes in Fort Lauderdale just got even better!
The complete redesign of AndyWeiser.com has been completed.

 

June 5 Post

 

AndyWeiser.com is considered to be the most comprehensive online information resource for Fort Lauderdale Real Estate and information and facts by Realtors and consumer alike since first going live online in 2002.

Unlike other Realtor websites, I have designed the site for the client who is seriously shopping for a home or condo rather than the casual browser.

To wit: the buyer that uses AndyWeiser.com expects market expertise and completely personalized service  from a professional not the typical automatically generated impersonal computer searches that others provide.

Consistent dialogue between us insures that I will find you your perfect Fort Lauderdale property.

Some feel that this is an old fashioned approach in a modern world. I see it differently. I believe that my clients are entitled to my knowledge and analysis of the current Real Estate market, of the history and specifics of the neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding towns and to the benefit of my more than 30 years of Real Estate experience beginning in Manhattan and since 1998 in Fort Lauderdale.

I am in the top 1% of all Coldwell Banker agents worldwide.

In a nutshell- AndyWeiser.com is a customized, enjoyable Real Estate service rather than the usual one size fits all, assembly line process that is unfortunately usually provided.

I’ve used this first article of my new blog to tell you a bit about me and how I operate.

To learn more about me follow me on my new Facebook page at Andy Weiser Fort Lauderdale Realtor or on LinkedIn at Andy Weiser

Send me questions at [email protected] or [email protected] (I’ve had the AOL screen name since 1987) or call me at 954-560-9667.

To all of my friends, clients, and colleagues who have been following me on Facebook for the past few years: Thank You.  You’ll need to re-like my page since it’s now a business page and not a personal page anymore.

Please like my new Facebook page at Andy Weiser Fort Lauderdale Realtor.
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