The American way of doing things is rarely the same as the UK’s and the way property is bought and sold is no exception.

Article written by The Overseas Guides Company

There are some fundamental differences between the role of the person who sells you a property in the USA, known as a “realtor”, to what we call an estate agent in the UK, and the system in the USA is usually considered better due to its transparency. Here are 6 things worth knowing before you go bargain-hunting in Florida:

  1. Professional real estate agents in the USA must be a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), hence the term realtor, licensed by the State(s) in which they operate and be a member of a local real estate association. Talk about regulation!
  2. To obtain their licence, a realtor must pass a test having completed 70 hours of training and then undergo regular training to renew their licence.
  3. While realtors are self-employed and typically only earn from commission, they must still operate under a real estate brokerage, or realty, which will not only support their team of realtors but ensure they are operate within the regulations.
  4. Across all American states, all (or most) new and resale properties on the market are listed on a regional database, known as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This means any realtor can access details of all properties for sale at any one time in their area. This enables buyers to appoint one realtor to act for them and assist in their property search.
  5. In Florida, your realtor will typically prepare an “offer to purchase” for you, using a standard contract from the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR). It is also the role of a realtor to “protect” their client in the real estate transaction, which means researching the proposed sale price prior to an offer being made and building contingencies into a contract so the buyer can withdraw without penalty under certain circumstances.
  6. Many buyers in Florida purchase “title insurance” through a title company to protect them from any losses associated with defects that might arise after a property has changed hands. Title companies will often a perform conveyancing role too.
  7. For details of property for sale in the USA, visit the American listings on Rightmove Overseas. One way to save money when buying in the USA is to use a currency specialist when transferring your pounds into dollars to complete the purchase of your property. For more information on this, contact Smart Currency Exchange.

    To understand the full step-by-step process to buying a property in America, collect The Overseas Guides Company’s ‘USA Property Buying Guide

    The views and comments herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Rightmove Overseas, Rightmove Group Ltd or Rightmove Plc