Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a home appraisal and assessment?
An appraisal typically is ordered by a home buyer’s mortgage company to confirm that the value of a home matches the value on the mortgage application. An assessment is completed by the city or county in which your home is located to determine your home’s value in order to calculate property tax.

What are home comparables?
Comparables or “comps” are a collection of recent sales prices of similar homes in your area. They’re used to help determine the price at which a seller should list his home and what a buyer can expect to pay.

What is the difference between a real estate agent and broker?
Generally, agents work for brokers. A broker has state licensing that, like an agent, allows for the sale of real estate. However, unlike the agent, the broker has additional licensing that allows the operation of an agency with employees.

What is a buyer’s representative?
A buyer’s representative (also buyer’s agent) is an advocate for the buyer in a real estate transaction. Buyer’s representatives usually owe full fiduciary duties, including loyalty and confidentiality, to their buyer-clients and work in their clients’ best interests throughout the entire transaction.

What is the standard compensation structure for real estate professionals?
Agents are compensated by commission based on a home’s selling price. When a seller signs a listing agreement, their contract is with a brokerage firm. All fees must pass through that brokerage firm. Typically, the seller’s representative—and your buyer’s rep—will be paid by the listing broker after the transaction closes.

What’s the difference between being prequalified and preapproved for a mortgage?
Prequalification is an informal determination by a lender or mortgage broker stating how much mortgage you can afford. Preapproval is a guarantee in writing by a lender to grant you a loan up to a specified amount.

What is involved with staging a home for sale?
Staging can involve as little as freshening up landscaping, pressure washing walls and hardscapes that have acquired mold, and touching up scuffs on interior and exterior walls to making major improvements, including repainting the home, adding interior accent colors, replacing worn flooring, replacing old furnishings with updated styles, and more.

What is the best time of year to list my home?
Generally, the real estate market slows during November and December when the attention of homebuyers focuses on the holidays. However, property in South Florida sells year round. So the overriding factor should be when you’re ready to list, not the time of year.