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Old 09-24-2015, 06:37 AM
Location: Port Charlotte
3,926 posts, read 4,755,634 times
Reputation: 3408


It is a 60 hour course.
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Old 09-24-2015, 06:44 AM
Location: O-Town
1,285 posts, read 1,044,113 times
Reputation: 723
Originally Posted by bmw335xi View Post

Go with Redfin.com, they pay their agents a high salary, so they are very selective with who they hire versus 99% of brokers will accept anyone and everyone because they only pay commission, so the more people working under them the better it is for them.
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:09 AM
1,021 posts, read 735,730 times
Reputation: 2448
Omgosh, yes, I completely agree with you. I had that same frustration with my real estate agent and insurance agent.

I was looking to buy my first home in South FL. The real estate agent knew what I was looking for and my budget. Due to houses being sold like hot cakes, I was more than ready to complete and submit an offer right then and there if I see something I like. I even gave her a list of houses to show so she doesn't have to do that part of the work. Every week, she showed us the wrong listings. Budget, neighborhood, everything was wrong.... And then, if I have questions or a new listing is posted, she won't call back until 3 days later. By then, the new listing was gone. Finally, I found a place I fell in love with. Told her to get the contract ready on the same day. She promised it will be ready by noon. I tried following up with her as I received nor heard anything until 4 days later. Whoops, she admitted she forgot and the seller has sold it to someone else. I was furious. Eventually, I bought a house without a help of a realtor, hired the seller's realtor to finish the transaction and everyone is happy.

Some insurance agents are full of it. I had one that kept selling me a very expensive homeowner policy NOT applicable to the type of home I own! Not only that, the insurance companies kept cancelling my policy stating I applied for the wrong one. I paid over $2500 a year for months of headaches. I found out from research and other people that I was supposed to get a different cheaper policy and I was being way over insured. I kept telling her it's the wrong policy she is writing for me but the agent refused to write the proper policy. I went to a different agent who wrote me the correct policy but I was told only selected companies will insure me for reasons they won't tell me, costing me over $1500 a year. Finally, I had enough of being naive and called for quotes myself and got a great deal: $450 a year with Liberty Mutual. All my basics are covered inside the home. The building and outside are covered by my master policy from the association. Best of all, my mortgage lender is completely fine with the coverage I selected. I will NEVER again trust any 3rd party agent for help.
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:09 AM
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,414 posts, read 1,650,999 times
Reputation: 8603
I learned about all of this on Citi-data before purchasing our house in FL. Flood insurance, wind/hurricane insurance, flood maps, crime maps and links to all sorts of FL specific information is here. Our agent was quite competent in advising us on comps and to sit tight during negotiations. She was up on getting a wind mitigation done on the roof etc., but I knew all that going in having read about most of it here.

Hopefully your agent has told you, or you have discovered, your property tax will be based on the selling/appraised price without the Homestead exemption and will be higher than what the current owner is paying.

Buying real estate FL was an eye opener for me, so many things I never had to consider or be aware of, not living in a hurricane prone area before.
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:46 AM
Location: Punta Gorda, FL
773 posts, read 533,972 times
Reputation: 980
Originally Posted by Restrain View Post
OP, you posted while I was writing the prior post. As an real estate agent I would NEVER give an insurance or flood insurance quote. I would refer you to any number of insurance agencies to let them give you a quote. Again, that is their job.

Yes, your agents failed in their responsibility to you.

BTW, as you are buying a home in an identified flood zone (flood insurance) did the agent warn you about the 50% rule? Check out the Florida flood mitigation rules. A lot of homes were torn down in Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda after Charlie due to this rule.
If I gave the impression I expected a realtor to provide insurance quotes, I apologize. I would never expect that. What I would have liked is at least a small primer on buying properties in Florida and how FEMA can affect that. After learning all this on my own, I sent our realtor some FEMA PDFs and suggested she provide them to future clients. I realize some may run off scared after reading them but they would never be able to say their realtor left them in the dark. If you're going to buy down here, there's probably not a lot to dissuade you, so buyers knowing the facts up front is just good business. Those who initially ran might come back loyal to you. Those who don't come back probably would have run eventually.

As for the tear downs, we've taken a lot of walks through PGI since we've been here. I kept seeing these empty lots that had old driveways on them. I told our realtor I believed these to be lots that used to have homes on them and asked if these were demolished after Charley. She said she didn't think so. When I talked to the PG Building Dept. and asked the same thing, he told me many homes got caught in the 50% rule and had to be demolished. Our banker said many of her clients got caught in that rule and were under-insured and lost their homes. The city says rebuild or demolish. Some may still be paying a mortgage for an empty lot.

Yesterday I had a long conversation with our realtor. She wanted me to help her understand all this because, as this was unfolding, she was going to people in her office asking questions and didn't get much help. She said she had just asked a 30+ year veteran in the office about the 50% rule and if he knew about it. His reply was something like, "Oh yeah. I know about it. No one seems to care." I told her if buyers had a full understanding of that rule, they would absolutely care. But it's only an issue if the house doesn't meet current code. And it's a major issue if it's below BFE.

I believe our realtor really cares and would have absolutely advised us of everything she is legally able to. It now looks to me like she never received the help from people in her office they should have given her. Maybe there's a general attitude buyer's don't care. If so, I believe it stems more from they aren't being fully advised. As a buyer new to the rules here, it took me a while before I realized the 50% rule could cost you dearly if you don't truly understand it. I may not like the rule but at least I know it before buying.
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:14 AM
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
5,314 posts, read 8,144,006 times
Reputation: 6377
I don't recall if the 50% rule was a subject of the license class but I do remember that it was not discussed beyond a bullet point because that is the type of thing that catches my attention. I took that class in 2005. Almost 100% of my work is outside the special flood zone designation areas so I never came across the rule in my experience. It wasn't until I attended a class by an attorney a few years back regarding waterfront property issues that I heard about it. I think that is a problem and, hopefully, the current license training covers this point.
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