South Florida Real Estate and Community News

July 14, 2022

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Realtor For You



Working with an experienced realtor is the best approach to buying or selling a property. A skilled realtor offers a high level of expertise to guide you through your real estate transaction so you can find the home you’re looking for or earn a high return on selling your property. 


Finding the right realtor is essential to a smooth real estate buying or selling experience, whether you are purchasing your dream home or trying to get top dollar for your property. Consider the following factors when choosing the right realtor for your real estate goals: their experience, qualifications, area of specialization, and commission fees. 


What is a Realtor?

A realtor is a licensed professional belonging to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). As a member of the NAR, a realtor promises to uphold the association’s code of ethics, including transparency, honesty and acting in the client’s best interests. 


A realtor helps you buy or sell your home by representing you throughout the process. If you’re buying a home, your realtor will:


  • Educate you on the current real estate market in your area

  • Locate properties within your budget for you to consider

  • Help you negotiate an offer with the seller

  • Accompany you during home inspections

  • Connect with other professionals in the industry

  • Ensure the closing goes smoothly and is stress-free


For those selling a home, a realtor will:


  • Help you list your property

  • Optimize your listing to get high offers

  • Negotiate with buyers

  • Assist you with closing activities 


How to Find a Realtor

Your first step in working with a realtor is to know where to look. One common approach to finding a realtor is to ask friends or family who they used. You can ask questions to see how their experience went and if they would recommend the realtor. 


You can also use online search tools to locate a realtor in your area. Look for realtors with excellent reviews and testimonials from former clients and reach out to them for an initial meeting. You can also take note of real estate agent signs in your area or attend local open house events to connect with a realtor. 


Factors to Consider When Interviewing Realtors

When you begin talking to realtors to make your final choice, it’s essential to consider the following factors. You can speak with your realtor to get a feel for how they work and if they are a good match for your needs and personality. 


Personalized Attention

When choosing a realtor, the personalized attention you receive plays an integral role in your overall experience. Buying or selling a home can be stressful, and you likely want someone with expert industry knowledge to be on the journey with you. 


Some realtors take a hands-on approach, while others use assistants to communicate with clients. When meeting with a potential realtor, ask them what type of interaction they have with clients. Verify that you’ll work directly with the realtor and how much contact to expect throughout the process.


Do they typically respond quickly to texts, calls, or emails? Are they personable and take the time to explain important aspects of the market? Do they personally accompany you during the home inspection and closing? Do they take care of issues behind the scenes to streamline your experience, such as negotiating with the seller’s agent or preparing documents, so they are ready to sign?


Experience and License

Any realtor you work with should have their state license to practice. In Florida, licensing requirements include:


  • 63-hour Florida Real Estate Commission-approved course

  • Submission of application and fingerprints

  • Pass the Real Estate Sales Associate Examination

  • Active license through a state-approved method


You also want to choose a realtor with experience in your buying or selling location. While a new or newly arrived realtor may be able to do the job, a realtor who has practiced locally is more likely to have connections and understand how the local housing market works. A local realtor can also recommend a school district or recreational activities if you are new to the area.  


If you are selling your property, a well-connected local realtor can recommend everything from general contractors to roofers to cleaning services to help you get your home market-ready. 


Bryan Gold is a realtor with Compass Real Estate and has over nine years of experience in South Florida. When you work with Bryan, you can expect a wealth of local knowledge to help you find the perfect neighborhood and home-improvement connections that ensure your home is ready to sell.   


Realtor Fees

Realtors’ fees are a major consideration when choosing your agent. Realtors typically charge transaction fees and commission fees. Your realtor should include their fees in your contract and discuss them with you upfront.


Realtor commission fees are negotiable, but most charge around 6% of the home’s sale price. If you are selling your home, you’ll likely be responsible for paying all realtor commission fees, so ensure you’re comfortable with their fee rate. 


Research Methods

What methods does the realtor use to research homes, determine list pricing, and perform comparative market analysis (CMA)? When choosing your realtor, choose someone comfortable using up-dated technology and digital tools for these tasks. 


For example, Bryan uses internet searches and specialized real estate technology to ensure his buying clients find the best homes at the best prices.  He uses the same methods for clients selling their property to experience a stress-free transaction and see a high return on the sale. 


Areas of Specialization

When looking for a realtor, consider their area of specialization or expertise. For example, some realtors work primarily in commercial properties, while others work with clients on residential transactions. 


If you are buying a home, find a realtor who specializes in helping clients purchase residential properties. Likewise, if you are selling your home, look for a realtor who is passionate about assisting sellers in getting the biggest returns on their property. 


Bryan specializes in helping clients sell homes and condominiums in South Florida. He enjoys providing a worry-free experience for sellers by walking you through a streamlined process. With Bryan, the experience begins with an initial discussion of your goals for selling your home. He then talks about pricing and performs a CMA for your property. 


Bryan and his team then help you prepare your home and list it for potential buyers. Through a special program with his parent company called Compass Concierge, Bryan can provide you with funds to improve your property, so it sells for maximum profits. He then walks you through the rest of the selling and closing process, making it as easy and simple as possible. 



Choose a Personable, Experienced Realtor 

Buying or selling a home is a significant undertaking. Choose a personable, experienced realtor like Bryan to ensure your transaction goes as smoothly as possible and you achieve your buying or selling goals. Bryan has guided his clients through the buying and selling process for almost a decade and is passionate about the real estate market in South Florida. 


Contact Bryan at (954) 464-3459 or to get started today. 


March 15, 2022

Why It Is Important to Know the Value of Your Home


When the time comes to sell your home, it is crucial to determine the property’s value. Knowing your home’s value lets you set a price that attracts buyers and gives you a significant profit on the sale. 


Explore why it is important to know the value of your home. Also, learn the factors that go into your home’s valuation and how to calculate your home’s value, so you are prepared when you move to sell in South Florida. 



How is Your Home’s Value Calculated?

A home’s value is generally calculated based on several factors such as the property’s age, size, condition, location, and comparable homes. 



The age of your home factors into its market value. Older homes are typically valued at a lower price than newer homes. This is because older homes usually need updates or repairs to bring them up to the standard of newer homes. However, this may not apply if you own a historic home or recently remodeled it.



Size matters when it comes to home value. Homes with larger square footage are valued higher than smaller homes. Buyers typically pay a per square foot price for a home, so more square feet equals a higher price. 


Size can also refer to the types of space in your home. Homes with finished basements, attics, and garages are valued higher than those with unfinished areas because they are considered usable space. Usable space elevates your home’s value, whereas unusable space may have a negative impact. 



The condition of your home affects its value. Homes that are well-maintained or homes with significant updates or renovations are worth more than homes that are run-down or outdated. This is why many people put money into making home renovations before a home value assessment or selling. 


A home that requires a buyer to make significant replacements or repairs is not worth as much as a move-in ready home. 



Location is a significant factor in determining a home’s value. Typically, houses located in upscale areas or near shopping or downtown entertainment carry a high value. The same goes for homes near parks, schools, libraries, hospitals, and other family-friendly and community amenities. 


Comparable homes

An important factor in home valuation is looking at comparable home values. This is typically done with a comparative market analysis (CMA). 


This tool uses several pieces of data to compare your home to other homes in the area, giving you an accurate idea of what your home is worth. If you work with an experienced local real estate agent, they can perform a CMA to determine the market value of your home before listing it for sale. 


In addition to these factors, your home’s value might be affected by trends in the national or local housing market, mortgage interest rates, and tax rates. 



Why You Benefit From Knowing Your Home’s Value

It is essential to know the value of your home, especially if you are thinking about selling your property. Without having an accurate estimate of the value of your home, you risk undervaluing or overvaluing your property which can affect your profits when you sell.  


Knowing your home’s value helps you set an attractive price for buyers, maximize sale profits and avoid low offers. It also gives you a cost-benefit analysis for making home improvements and helps you know when the time is right to sell. 


Set an attractive price

By knowing your home value, you can price your home to be attractive to buyers looking in your area. Pricing too high for your neighborhood can keep potential buyers away. Pricing too low can also cause your home not to sell because buyers may perceive something is wrong with the house. Pricing your property just right helps bring in buyers. 


Earn a profit on your home

Knowing the value of your home allows you to price your home to maximize profits. You can avoid low offers that don’t come close to the value of your property. You can profit from the home’s current value if you know its worth and don’t settle for less than that number. 


Home improvements

Home improvements can increase the value of your home when you go to sell. It is important to know your home value to determine if you should renovate or sell as-is. If your return on investment (ROI) is significant and you can bring in more money with a minor update or renovation, it may be worth investing in home improvements to bring up your home value. 


Determine sale timing

Recent increases in home values have shown that knowing your homes’ value is essential in determining when to sell. If your home’s value is rising, selling it may be a good idea. If your home’s value has decreased, you may need to adjust certain factors before you sell. 



Determining Your Home’s Value

There are a few different ways to determine your home’s value. You’ll want to incorporate a few different methods to gain an accurate estimate of your home’s fair market value (FMV).


  • Use an online home value estimator tool. Input your address or other requested information to gain an initial number. 
  • Work with a local real estate agent to obtain a comparative market analysis for your home.
  • Hire a professional appraiser to perform a home appraisal. This will give you an appraised value rather than FMV, but it can still factor into your pricing.
  • View your county’s appraisal website. It should list your home’s assessed value that you can use to determine the overall value.


Work With a South Florida Realtor to Sell Your Home

If you are looking to sell your South Florida home, work with a knowledgeable local realtor. Bryan Gold has over eight years of experience in the South Florida real estate market. Bryan can help you get an accurate estimate of your home’s value with a CMA so you can maximize profits from the sale of your property. 


Contact Bryan today at (954) 464-3459 or to discuss your goals for selling your home and determine the market value of your home. 

Posted in Selling Your Home
Feb. 5, 2022

Should I Renovate My Existing House or Buy New? Everything You Need to Know



If you’re thinking about a change of scenery when it comes to your living space, you may consider renovating your existing property or buying a new house. Both options allow you to live in a fresh, exciting space, but they also come with certain considerations and costs. 


When deciding between renovating your existing house or buying a new one in South Florida, it is important to explore each option thoroughly. Consider how renovating versus buying may impact your finances and future plans. Learn everything you need to know about buying versus renovating so that you can make the best choice for your situation. 


Consider the Costs

Renovating and buying a new home requires a significant financial investment. While the average home renovation project costs around $13,000, a full-scale renovation can cost closer to $15,000 to $200,000, depending on your home and the project’s scope. 


Buying a home in South Florida is no less expensive. The median sale price in the tri-county area is around $435,000 for a single-family home and $235,000 for a condominium unit. 


Although renovating may seem like the less expensive option, it is not always the case. Renovations often run into unforeseen complications that drive up the cost. The long-term value of a renovation also hinges on the quality of the renovation work. If your contractor does shoddy work, you may end up spending more money to fix the problem than you would have after buying a new property. 


You likely need to have the money upfront to fund the work to renovate your home. This is not the case with purchasing a property. While you need enough money upfront to cover downpayment and closing costs, you can buy a home with a mortgage loan and make smaller monthly payments over several years. 


Finally, despite the higher median cost of buying a new home, you can work with an experienced local realtor to help you find the right property at a lower price. If you can purchase a new home for close to the same price as your potential renovation expenses, it may be a better choice to buy rather than renovate. 



Time Commitment

When choosing between renovating your existing home versus buying a new property, it is essential to consider the time commitment each requires. This will help you decide which option fits in with your lifestyle and goals. 


Purchasing a new home takes about 50 days on average. Most sellers are eager to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. As long as your finances are in order and there are no surprises on the home inspection or at closing, the entire process is complete within one to two months. This means that you can move into your new space in just a matter of weeks. 


Renovations, on the other hand, can take much longer. A full-scale kitchen remodel can take between three to five months. Adding space, such as a garage or features like a fireplace, can take up to six months, and major renovation projects can take between six months to one year.  


Consider also that you may experience interruption to your daily life for much of the renovation time. You’ll likely deal with loud construction machinery, constant questions regarding design and materials, and contractors coming in and out of your house. You may have to live in another location until bigger projects are complete. 


Future Plans

Your future plans play a large part in helping you decide whether to renovate or buy. If your current home is where you plan to stay for the long term, renovation may be the best option. For instance, if your home is in an ideal location or part of your family legacy, renovating it to add updated features or repairing deteriorating elements is a good investment. 


If you don’t plan to stay in your current home for decades to come, purchasing a new property is likely the better option. By buying new, you avoid the hassle of planning and designing a renovation project, finding and hiring contractors, and living with the chaos that a renovation can bring to your life. Purchasing a new home is a good option if your future plans include:


  • Moving to a modern, luxury home

  • Downsizing your family

  • Growing your family

  • Moving to a new city or county

  • Growing equity on a newer property 


Long-Term Benefits

The long-term benefits you gain from renovating versus buying new should factor into your final decision. When choosing which financial investment is the better option, you’ll want to look at the return on investment (ROI) you can gain from the venture. 


A nationwide survey from 2019 reports a wide range of renovation projects and their average ROI. According to this list, your expected ROI on various renovations are as follow: 


  • Mid-range kitchen renovation - 80.5% 

  • Bathroom addition - 58.1%

  • Mid-range bathroom renovation - 67.2%

  • Upscale kitchen remodel - 59.7%


These numbers show that you can only expect to recoup between 58% and 81% of the costs you put into these renovations. So, while renovating your home may be worthwhile in situations where you want to stay in the property for the long haul, renovating to earn a higher ROI is not the best choice. 


Alternatively, buying a new home in the current market can result in a significant payoff down the road. Home values in Florida skyrocketed 19.5% in 2021 and are expected to see continued growth of 11% in 2022


Investing in a new property is a sound financial decision if you plan to sell your home. You gain equity over time, and when you go to sell, you will likely receive much more than you paid for the property. 


Consider Your Finances and Long-Term Plans to Make the Right Decision

Choosing to renovate your current home or buy a new one is a major decision. Both options give you a sense of newness in your living space, but they also require a significant investment. In many cases, buying a new home is preferable to renovating because it yields better long-term benefits. 

If you are ready to find your new home, work with South Florida realtor Bryan Gold. Bryan has over seven years of experience in the South Florida real estate market. He enjoys helping people find their ideal home in the area. Contact Bryan at (954) 464-3459 or to start searching for your perfect home today.

Posted in Buying a Home
Jan. 7, 2022

Which Contingencies Should You Always Do When Buying a Home?




Many homebuyers are waiving contingencies to ensure they win their ideal property in the current seller’s market. Removing contingencies as requested by the seller makes you more likely to succeed in a bidding war and obtain the home, which can be challenging to achieve in such a tight market. 


Although this technique can give you the edge when buying the house of your dreams, waiving contingencies can also lead to multiple problems down the road. Find out which contingencies you should always do when buying a home and why you should never waive them during the process. 


What is a Contingency?

A contingency is also referred to as a contingency clause in real estate. Contingency clauses are placed in the real estate sales contract and layout actions or conditions that the buyer and seller must fulfill for the purchase agreement to become legally binding.


Contingencies exist to protect both parties during the sales transaction. They allow the buyer and seller options to back out the contract if certain conditions are not met. They also ensure the homebuyers have time to secure financing and are entitled to a home inspection before purchasing the property.


The sales agreement becomes a legal contract if both parties agree to fulfill the contingencies. Neither party can back out of the sale at this point. However, if one party does not satisfy the contingencies in the contract, it becomes null and void. 


Common Contingencies

Contingency clauses can cover almost any aspect of selling a home. However, there are a few types of contingencies that most sales contracts include. 


  • Financing contingency

A financing contingency allows the buyer a set amount of time to secure financing to purchase the property. This contingency lets the buyer back out of the contract if they cannot obtain a mortgage or other funds to buy the home. If the buyer cannot buy the house but fails to notify the seller or ask for an extension, the seller can sue the buyer for breach of contract. 


  • Appraisal contingency

Appraisal contingencies exist to protect buyers from paying too high above the home’s value. Part of the home buying process includes performing a home appraisal on the property. An appraisal places a monetary value on the home based on market analysis data and determines mortgage approval amounts. 


Generally, an appraisal contingency says that the buyer can terminate the contract if the home is appraised below a minimum value. 


  • Home sale contingency

A home sale contingency protects buyers trying to sell an existing property before securing financing for the new purchase. Under this type of contingency, you can terminate the contract if you cannot sell your other home. 


Sellers are also protected under this contingency. Typically they can back out of the sale if the buyer cannot sell their other property within a specified amount of time. However, a home sale contingency can also create a risk for sellers. They must wait the specified amount of time for the buyer to sell their other property, which means if the sale falls through, they have lost out on other potential buyers.  


  • Home inspection contingency

A home inspection contingency ensures the buyer’s right to have the home inspected by a professional agency within a set time frame. The contingency also allows for negotiation between the buyer and seller as to what potential inspection findings are grounds for contract cancellation and who is responsible for making repairs. 


Sometimes a sub-contingency called a cost-of-repair contingency is added to this clause. It specifies that the buyer may terminate the contract if the total amount of necessary repairs exceeds a set amount. 



Which Contingencies Should You Never Waive When Buying a Home?

Waiving contingencies during the homebuying process is a way for buyers to compete in a seller’s market. It is especially tempting to find the perfect South Florida home and want to move fast to buy it. 


For your protection, however, it is essential never to waive contingencies that inhibit your rights when buying a home. 


  • Home inspection contingency

As a homebuyer, you should never waive your right to a home inspection. The home inspection contingency allows you to discover potential problems in the home, from minor repairable concerns such as paint or flooring to structural or electrical issues that can make your home uninhabitable if not addressed. 


To avoid buying a home with costly, potentially unfixable issues, insist on a home inspection contingency in your sales contract. Pay special attention to sub-contingencies such as mold remediation and well water or septic tank inspections. If the inspector finds mold or problems with your septic tank, it could cost you thousands to properly address the issue. Ensure these contingencies are included in your contract so you don’t end up with a substantial financial and safety burden on your hands.


  • Financing contingency

Even if you have pre-approval from your mortgage lender, it is not wise to waive your financing contingency. Without the financing clause, you risk breaching the contract if an unforeseen obstacle arises during the financing process. This can have devastating consequences on our financial security. It can also adversely affect your future ability to secure financing. 


Insist on including a financing contingency in your contract to protect yourself if your financing plans fall through. 


  • Appraisal contingency

Avoid waiving your appraisal contingency when buying a home. Without an appraisal clause, you may be on the hook for the entire offer amount even if the home’s appraisal comes back significantly lower than expected. This can put you in an adverse financial position and interfere with your financing if the lender no longer feels comfortable with the mortgage risk. 


Always insist on an appraisal contingency to protect yourself from ending up in an upside-down loan situation. 



Work with a Knowledgeable Realtor 

When buying a home, it is helpful to work with a knowledgeable realtor who can navigate the ins and outs of sales contract contingencies. Partner with South Florida realtor Bryan Gold to ensure you get the property you want while maintaining legal protection during the process. Contact Bryan today at (954) 464-3459 or

Nov. 22, 2021

Tips for Purchasing a Home in a Different State



If you are looking to purchase a home or condo in South Florida, you must act fast. The housing market is booming, and properties go from “for sale” to “sold” within days of being listed. This leaves little time for typical house-hunting tactics, especially if you want to buy a South Florida property when you live out-of-state. 


When purchasing a South Florida home from another location, there are several actions you can take to boost your chances of making the winning bid on your dream property. 


These include using virtual technology, preparing your finances, and working with a trustworthy South Florida realtor who knows the market. Consider these six tips for purchasing a home in a different state as you search for your perfect Florida home.


1. Make Use of Virtual Technology

With the rise of virtual communication technologies like Facetime, Zoom, and GoogleMeet, buying a home from out-of-state is much easier than in the past. Rather than relying on the minimal number of pictures featured in the property listing, you can utilize virtual technologies to tour the property. 


3D virtual tours allow you to view the property before making a decision. In addition to 3D mapping tools, you can also use digital communication platforms to take a virtual walk-through of the property. 


In May of 2020, 35% of sellers relied on virtual tours to sell their properties, proving that viewing a home or condo through a digital platform is a viable way to search for a property if you cannot see it in person.


2. Get Pre-Approved

When looking for a home from out-of-state, getting pre-approval from your preferred financial institution helps you prepare to act quickly if you find a property you like. The typical mortgage application process takes anywhere from 30 to 60 days, so if you wait to apply until you find a property you like, it will likely sell before you are approved. 


By going through the pre-approval process before you start looking for your out-of-state home, you have the opportunity to act quickly to get the home you want. Getting pre-approved also helps you establish a budget so you don’t waste time looking at homes out of your price range.  


3. Know Your Deal-Breakers

When buying a property in your hometown, you can take your time to view properties and get a feel for what you want. However, when looking for a property out-of-state, it is a good idea to know your deal-breakers before you start house shopping. 


Due to the fast pace of the current housing market, your best chance of obtaining the home of your dreams is to narrow down the features you cannot live without and be ready to compromise on elements that aren't on that list. This allows you to find a home that meets your needs but doesn't disqualify potential properties that are viable options.


4. Pay for a Quality Home Inspection

When buying a home from out-of-state, paying for a quality home inspection saves you money and prevents disappointment. If you cannot see the property yourself, you can rely on the home inspection company to complete a thorough inspection to discover potential problems. 


A professional home inspection company checks all the major elements in the home, such as the roof, foundation, HVAC system, and structure, to ensure that the buyers disclose all issues and you know what you are purchasing. A home inspection also gives you time to decide on the purchase and lets you negotiate with the sellers if an issue is found. 


5. Work With a Trustworthy Realtor

Buying a property from another state requires the help of a trustworthy, experienced realtor. Your real estate agent serves as the link between you and the property. They can provide you with information about several aspects of the home you’re interested in, such as:


  • The property itself 
  • The neighborhood
  • The school district
  • The job market
  • The overall housing market


These details are important when buying a home to ensure it is compatible with your lifestyle and goals. Working with a realtor who goes above and beyond to share these aspects of potential properties with you is vital to finding the right home. 


Additionally, a trustworthy realtor can meet with you through virtual means. Speaking with them through Zoom, FaceTime, or even Tik Tok allows you to see the entirety of the property just like you would if you were in the house. They can also take pictures of specific concerns you may have and investigate potential issues before you move forward with buying the home. 


6. Perform a Preliminary Visit

If you are uncomfortable with using all-virtual tools and meetings to buy a property from out-of-state, consider making a preliminary visit to the area. Make contact with a local real estate agent and let them know when you’ll be visiting. Tell them what type of property you are looking for and ask them to recommend areas that may be of interest. 


When you arrive, view the locations your realtor suggests to get a feel for the area and local properties. Let your realtor know if you liked any of the locations and have them keep tabs on property listings in those areas. With this method, you can familiarize yourself with properties in the area so that if one opens up, you can move fast since you’ve seen the area in person. 



Work With an Agent Who Goes Above and Beyond

If you are looking to buy a South Florida property from outside the Sunshine State, your best option is to work with a local realtor who goes above and beyond for their clients. 


Bryan Gold is a South Florida realtor who has been helping buyers find their dream home for seven years. Bryan uses technology-based tools and insights to find the right properties for his clients, making him the perfect resource for anyone looking to buy a home from out-of-state. 

If you are ready to find your Florida dream home from anywhere in the U.S., contact Brayn Gold at or (954) 464-3459 to get started.

Posted in Buying a Home
Sept. 8, 2021

5 Tips For Finding The Right South Florida Property

Whether you are looking for property to rent or live in, it’s important to find good deals in the often competitive real estate market. Finding the best deals requires you to get in contact with a reputable Fort Lauderdale realtor who will help you find your way through South Florida’s real estate industry.  If you are unfamiliar with South Florida, having someone to hold your hand throughout your search for your dream property is even more crucial. The soaring real estate market in South Florida might give you nightmares, but by keeping a few things in mind, you will be way ready to jump headfirst in your pursuit of that incredible property you have been waiting all your life for.


This article will give you tips on finding the right property in South Florida.


Find The Right Agent

Before you start your property search, you should consider seeking professional help from a certified real estate agent. Agents are familiar with the city’s ins and outs and have deep knowledge of which areas are best suited for you based on your needs or preference.


An agent will also provide you access to up-to-date listings and even those that have not been listed as well, giving you a plethora of options to choose from. A good agent will act as your adviser, providing you with insights into what to look for and how to bid for the property of your dreams.


1. Agents Know Much About the Market

Having an agent will secure you from ignorance of the real estate market you are trying to enter. Since they handle many transactions (buying and selling), they are in a better position to understand the dos and don’ts of different areas and advise accordingly.


2. Agents Can Spot Problems Easily

When purchasing a property for the first time, you might not know what to look for in the properties you intend to purchase. Having an agent will help you identify potential problems that the property might contain as they are trained to see these problems. An agent will also provide you with a detailed report of the property’s inspection, detailing all the nitty-gritty of the property.


3. Agents Can Negotiate

When buying a house, it is important to get it at the most favorable price possible. Having an agent do the negotiations will enable you to save a lot on your purchase.


Set A Realistic Budget

After finding your preferred realtor, it is important to set up a budget you would want to spend on your new home. This amount usually depends on several factors. As a rule, you must analyze your interest, hobbies or your future goals for the home. For instance, if you are fond of entertaining guests, you will need a spacious property to allow for gatherings. You might also look into a property with a clear view of the ocean.


This rule does not only apply to a property you want to live in but also to the one you would want to rent out and hold as an investment.  For better returns on your property investment, you might want to look at areas that receive a huge number of visitors, such as tourists or near a busy business center.  These prerequisites will help you set a realistic budget that will encompass all your needs and help you achieve your goal of owning a property.


Evaluate Your Financial Capability

Having a budget will provide insights into the type of property you can research and bid for. Having a clear goal of how you will finance your property is paramount as well.  If you are paying in cash, you are good to go, whereas if you seek financing from a third party, you will need to consider several things beforehand.


  • Credit Score - A good credit score allows you to be trusted by lenders and thus will enable you to get your desired home. Having a credit score of above 620 is ideal for getting financing.  
  • Debt-to-Income Ratio - This rate is calculated to determine if you are fit for financing. Most companies will need you to spend less than 36% of your monthly income on debt, while future mortgages should not exceed 28% of your income.  
  • Deposit - The down payment for your property may vary, but in most cases, you can put as little as 3-5% down in order to purchase. 
  • Closing Costs - It is important to consider the closing costs after you have successfully transacted for your property. As a buyer, you will pay most of the fee, which usually ranges from 2-5% of the loan amount paid out of pocket. This fee covers the appraisal, inspection, property taxes, among other costs.
  • Homeownership Costs - This is the cost of repairs of the property being purchased. It is important to ensure you can cover this, which is technically 1% of the total property value.

Find A Suitable Neighborhood

Before going ahead with your buying process, you need to find the right neighborhood that suits your taste and needs. If you are looking to raise a family, you would be interested in finding areas close to good schools, playgrounds, hospitals, and other necessary amenities.


You should also consider your commute to your workplace and your favorite spots before settling in a specific area. In case everything is right with you, you will need to observe the lifestyle of the neighborhood you seek to live in. This includes how quiet or noisy the place is both during the day and at night, the ambiance, and other factors that might affect your daily life.

Find Your Dream Property

With all that is discussed in this article, you should feel comfortable enough to go out and find your dream property. It is important to understand what the property will mean to you and how having it will influence your life, income, and everything you hold dear to your heart.


The process of finding your dream property may seem daunting at first, but having a clear plan and armed with the right help can make this process hassle-free. 

Visit if you are looking for a property in South Florida.

Fort Lauderdale Realtor Bryan Gold, 

4325 N Ocean Dr. Lauderdale by the Sea FL 33308, 



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Posted in Buying a Home
Sept. 8, 2021

A Step-By-Step Guide to Selling Your Home



Selling a home is an exciting time since it generally coincides with setting off for new adventures. Regardless of the reason, the process can also be overwhelming. If you are in South Florida, an experienced realtor like Bryan Gold can help guide you through the home selling process.


Step 1: Explore your financial situation.

Selling your house will probably involve some spending upfront, whether it’s for repairs or professional photos. Before you go any further, you need to determine how you will pay for these costs. 


Step 2: Determine why you are selling and set nonnegotiables.

Your motivation for selling may determine how you proceed through the rest of the process, especially if that motivation includes a timeline. Identify your nonnegotiables. Do you need to be out by a certain date? Do you need to get a certain amount of money from the sale? Knowing this information can help you negotiate deals with potential buyers.


Step 3: Research the market.

Explore the best time to sell in your market, which varies based on location but is generally thought to be the first two weeks in May. Research can also help you plan how long it will take to sell your home and the average selling price of homes in your neighborhood.



Step 4: Hire a realtor.

Selling a home is complicated since it involves both the legal and financial industries, and a realtor is the best way to make sure everything is done right.


  • Ask for referrals and do research online. Look at how long they’ve been selling, the number of completed sales, any awards they’ve received, the quality of the images on their listings, and their online presence.

  • Interview potential candidates to find the one that best works for your goals.

  • Negotiate your contract.

  • Trust their advice. 


Step 5: Get a pre-sale inspection.

This step isn’t required, but it will save you from issues that may derail a sale later. Hire an inspector to check your home for potential problems. It’s also best to get the HVAC system serviced and test all your smoke alarms—little things like that show you have paid attention to detail.


Step 6: Make repairs and upgrades carefully.

With the inspection report and your realtor’s understanding of what buyers in the area are looking for, make repairs and upgrades. Make sure what you do has a high return on investment. Repainting, replacing an old carpet, and sprucing up the landscaping are cheap ways to improve the appearance of your house. 


Step 7: Clean, declutter, depersonalize, and stage the house.

Clean your house from top to bottom, and declutter as best you can. If you have pets or kids, try to minimize evidence of their belongings so that potential buyers can envision their family in the home rather than yours. 


Consider renting a storage pod to declutter. Don’t try to shove it all in the basement or closets since you want potential buyers to think you have plenty of storage. 


Remember that once you’ve done your deep clean, you need to keep the house clean because showings can happen at a moment’s notice. 


Step 8: Have professional photos taken of your home.

Grab buyers’ attention with high-quality photos. Most realtors either know how to take professional photos of a home or bring in a photographer. 


Step 9: Set a realistic price for your home.

If you have a realtor, ask for their advice on how to price your home competitively. You want it to be high enough that you get the money out of it you deserve, but if you price it too high, people may not even look at it, especially if they set limits on their online search results.


If you aren’t sure about their list price, check out comparative homes in the area, usually referred to as comps. Look at what houses similar to yours have sold for in recent months. You should price your home competitively with those.


Step 10: List your home on multiple platforms and start showing it.

Your house needs to be ready to show each day because you never know when someone will want to look at it. If you leave the house in a rush in the morning before work, don’t make the bed, and leave your dirty dishes in the sink, that won’t be attractive to a potential buyer.



Step 11: Review and negotiate offers on your home.

When people make offers on your home, you have three choices: 


  • Accept the offer

  • Counteroffer in writing with a 48-hour deadline

  • Decline the offer


When looking at offers, it’s tempting to just look at the overall price, but you should also consider some other elements of the offer:


  • Whether they are paying cash or financing

  • What type of financing they are using

  • The amount of down payment

  • Any contingencies they may have (such as whether their house sells)

  • Credits or personal requests they may have 

  • Proposed closing date


Step 12: Once you’ve accepted an offer, the buyer will have an inspection and an appraisal done.

Based on this inspection, the buyer’s realtor will give you a list of repairs the buyer would like done. Don’t argue with any safety issues, but everything else is negotiable. If you can’t get the repair done yourself, you can offer a credit for the buyer to take care of after they move in.


The buyer’s lender will also conduct an appraisal to ensure the home is in line with what they are paying for it. Again, make sure your home is clean and staged for this, and have your neighborhood comps on hand to justify your price.


Step 13: Move out and sign the paperwork.

At this point, you just have to wait for the closing date to make everything official. Pack up your belongings, and hand the keys over at the closing or afterward if you agree to a possession date after the closing date. 


Let Bryan Gold Help You Sell Your Home


As a full-time agent in South Florida, Bryan knows how to price your home right and has the connections to make sure it sells fast. Contact Bryan today to start the process.


Posted in Selling Your Home
Aug. 13, 2021

How to Find the Value of My Home

How to Find the Value of My Home



If you are buying or selling a house, it is important to get a clear assessment of the property’s market value. Determining the value allows you to put the right sale price on your home, avoid overpaying for a new house, and gain an accurate overview of your financial assets. 


There are many tools and resources you can use to assess the value of your home. Utilize an online valuation tool to estimate your home’s market value, or for a deeper analysis, work with a real estate agent who knows the value of homes in your specific market. Discover how to determine your home’s market value and why it can give you an advantage when buying or selling. 



What Determines the Market Value of a Property



What is “Market Value” in Real Estate?


In real estate terms, market value refers to the amount that a home is expected to sell in a normal housing market. The market value determines how much you pay in annual property taxes and affects your home’s equity, your refinancing options, how much you pay for a new home, and how much to list a property for when selling. 



What Determines the Market Value of a Property?

The market value of a property is not determined by one easy method. The final determination is arrived at by considering real estate appraisal reports and recent comparable sales in the area.


  •  Home Appraisal

A licensed appraiser performs a home appraisal who conducts an inspection of a property and offers a professional opinion of what the home is worth. A buyer typically requests an appraisal before purchasing a home to secure a mortgage loan. A home appraisal takes into account a home’s overall appeal, structural conditions, comparable sales, and location in its valuation of the property. Your home’s appraisal value is an important tool in determining your home’s value, but it may differ from what people are willing to pay for it.  



  • Market Data


Market data is also referred to as comparable sales analysis. Typically, this is done by an experienced real estate agent familiar with property values in the same market that you are looking to buy or sell in. The agent will review recent comparable sales of homes in the same market and with similar features to determine your home’s value.



How to Find the Value of Your Home



How to Find the Value of Your Home

There are several ways to go about finding the value of your home. Each method can give you insight into what your home is worth and paint a bigger picture of your financial health. To find the value of your home, seek the following resources. 


  1. Online Tools

    Online valuation tools provide an easy way to get an estimate of your home’s value. Although you’ll want a more specific valuation at some point during the buying or selling of your property, using an online tool is a great first step in gaining insight into your home’s market value. You can opt for a government tool like FHFA’s Housing Price Index Calculator for a general estimate or use a tool specific to the South Florida market to obtain an accurate valuation. 

  2. Work With an Agent

    For a more thorough evaluation of your home’s value, work with a real estate agent in the local market. Bryan Gold is an excellent resource in determining your home’s value through comparative market analysis in South Florida. He can provide you with his opinion on the value of your property based on years of experience in the local market and analytical tools that provide insights into what similar homes are selling for at the moment. 

  3. Get a Professional Appraisal

    You can also opt for a professional appraisal to obtain the monetary value of your home. If you are buying, this is usually part of the purchasing process, but you can choose to get an appraisal to price your home for sale accurately if you are selling. A home appraisal usually costs several hundred dollars; however, you may save yourself from losing out on money by pricing your home too low by having one done. 

  4. Do Your Own Research

    Another approach you can take to determining your home’s value is to do your own research. You can pull up list prices of homes in the same area and have the same characteristics as your home. Use MLS listing sites to find recent sale prices and aim to find at least three comparable sales to get the most accurate valuation. If you decide to research yourself, it is a good idea to contact a real estate agent who can verify the information you find. 



Advantages to an Accurate Valuation of Your Home

When you take the time to find the value of your home, you give yourself several advantages in the housing market. Knowing the value of your property helps you to:


  • Refinance, buy, or sell with an accurate value in mind
  • Tap into the equity in your home
  • Negotiate what you owe in property taxes and insurance
  • Give you a clear picture of your financial assets


If you own a property or are looking to buy a home, it is important to get an accurate assessment of the home’s value, both by a professional appraiser and by obtaining comparable market analysis insights. Knowing your home’s value can save you money as you negotiate based on what the home is worth, and it can help you list your property at a fair price that fits in with current market conditions. 


Get an Accurate Assessment 

To gain a thorough assessment of what your home is worth, work with South Florida real estate agent Bryan Gold. Bryan has over ten years of experience in the South Florida market. He has the knowledge and resources available to give you the accurate market value of your home through comparative market analysis. If you are ready to buy or sell a property in South Florida, Bryan Gold is happy to help you through the entire real estate transaction. 


Contact Bryan at or (954) 464-3459 to discuss your real estate goals and find out how he can aid you in buying or selling your home.


Posted in Buying a Home
July 29, 2021

7 Things to Know Before Buying an Ocean Access Home

7 Things to Know Before Buying an Ocean Access Home

Owning a home with direct access to the ocean is a dream for many people. The idea of waking up to the sound of waves crashing on the beach and the smell of fresh ocean water conjures images of a perfect, carefree life full of relaxation and beauty. 


Owning a beachfront home may seem like a dream, but there are a few things to consider when searching for that perfect ocean view property. Check out these seven things to know before buying an ocean access home, so you are prepared for the realities of living in a house by the sea.


7 Things to Know Before Buying an Ocean Access Home


What You Need to Know 


When considering a beachfront property with ocean access, there are several elements to think about. While there are several benefits to owning a home next to the water, there are also a few challenges you need to be aware of. Here are seven points of consideration when thinking about buying or owning a home on the beach.



  1. Beautiful View

    Whether you live in a luxurious oceanfront condo or a quaint beach house, you have a beautiful view of the water. This is one of the best aspects of owning a property with ocean access and is usually one of the main reasons people buy a home near the water. The ability to spend time on your porch, deck, or balcony staring out at the peaceful waves at your leisure provides a tranquil escape in your own backyard. This setting positively affects your life and is a great reason to look into owning a home on the water. 

  2. Great Investment
    Beach access property is generally a smart investment. Whether you plan to live in the home year-round, sell it in a few years, or use it as a rental for vacationers, ocean access homes can offer you a real estate investment that brings in a good ROI. As long as you do your research and choose a property in an established or budding location, you can bring in quite a profit from renting your property in the high-tourist seasons. A gorgeous waterfront home in Fort Lauderdale is a fantastic investment option due to its popularity among tourists and desirability as a living destination for young people and retirees.

  3. Water Accessibility

    Another benefit of owning a beach home is direct access to the water. This means you can partake in all types of water sports without having to make plans weeks ahead of time or haul your equipment from another location. If you want to take a swim in the ocean, you can simply walk down to the water and hop in. If you’re going to take out your boat, water skis, or water jet, you can take it out of your storage area and get to the beach in minutes. Nothing beats the ease of access to the ocean when you live in close proximity. 

  4. Privacy

    Privacy is a complicated subject for beach house owners, and there are pros and cons you need to be aware of. Some oceanfront homes are located on isolated beaches that don’t get much public visitation. If you prefer privacy, a house situated near a less busy beach is a great idea. These homes are often located away from big cities and popular tourist destinations, which means you get the benefit of living in a small-town environment and enjoying untouched natural scenery.

    It is important to note that in Florida, there is an ongoing legal debate about beach rights. This can be a con for owning an oceanfront home, especially if you want to live in a big city like Miami or Fort Lauderdale. If you plan on owning a house with ocean access, it is essential to learn about beach rights and how they might affect you. 

    Florida designates that private owners’ rights to the beach extend to the Mean High Tide Line, but everything beyond is public access. This creates complications when people visiting the beach cross your property to get to the public area. Several complex legal doctrines affect this issue. If you decide to buy an ocean access property, it is something to keep in mind and ask your real estate agent about.  

  5. Extra Costs

    There are additional costs that come into play when you own an oceanfront home. Home insurance covering flooding and other ocean-specific issues is necessary, as are potential Homeowners’ Association Fees or property management fees if you plan to rent out the property. There may be costs associated with access to boating docks and water equipment storage as well. The average costs of owning a home still generally apply to buying an oceanfront property, but you should prepare for monthly expenses to be higher than owning an inland house. 

  6. Environmental Factors

    Homes on the beach are subject to environmental factors affecting the property. Wind, rain, moving water lines, shifting sand, and heat and humidity all play a part in the amount of work that goes into maintaining your beachfront home. You’ll want to make sure your house has a sturdy foundation and is made of suitable materials for the location and specific environmental challenges so it stays in good shape and appreciates in value. 

  7. Natural Disasters

    Of course, one factor to consider when owning a home near the ocean is natural disasters. Florida is in the direct path of powerful tropical storms and hurricanes. Therefore your home may be hit at some point, though there’s no telling what degree of damage may occur. Be realistic about this threat, and follow recommendations on protecting your home during a natural disaster, so you don’t lose everything if one hits. 

    Find Your Perfect Ocean Front Property


Find Your Perfect Ocean Front Property

If your dream is to own an ocean-adjacent home, Bryan Gold can help you make it a reality. With over ten years of experience buying and selling homes in  South Florida, Bryan knows how to find the perfect ocean-front property for you. Let Bryan know exactly what you are looking for, and he’ll work on finding a beachfront property that fits into your plans. 

Contact Bryan at (954) 464-3459 or to start your journey toward the perfect ocean access home today.





Posted in Buying a Home
July 16, 2021

What To Expect When Buying a Home in South Florida

Buying a home requires a lot of planning. If you are contemplating purchasing one of South Florida homes, you will need a lot more than just planning. You need to know about the current price and market conditions, insurance, HOA communities, home inspection, closing costs, and other steps in the process. Learning about all of these can help you to avoid shady deals. It'll also save you from common mistakes that many first-time homebuyers make. This article takes you through the essential things you need to know as you plan to become a homeowner in South Florida.


Market Conditions
South Florida has witnessed a significant rise in the cost of homes over the last couple of years. However, there is a consistent fluctuation in the average price of homes in the area. Buying during the peak period will cost you a lot more than during the off-peak periods. An excellent way to play the market trends to your advantage is to work with an experienced realtor who understands the trends.



Homeowner’s Insurance

While South Florida offers a nice ambiance and welcoming weather, the state also experiences a fair share of bad weather. Bad weather conditions are one of the biggest reasons you would need to get a homeowner's insurance. Depending on the location you have your eyes set on, you may need to ensure your home against floods, hurricanes, hail or wind damage, and others.


As you plan for the monthly mortgage payment, it is also advisable to consider the homeowner's insurance cost. If you are unsure about the insurance budget, you can always call your insurance provider to find out. The cost of your homeowner's insurance will be affected by factors like the age of your roof and whether or not your roof meets the current wind mitigation standards. Other factors include the age of plumbing installations and materials, the presence of outdated electrical wiring, and more.




Home Inspections

Many first-time homebuyers get so excited about the prospects of owning a house that they tend to forget about home inspection. Skipping home inspection is a sure way of landing yourself in debt. A typical home inspection will cover the house's general structure, plumbing, electrical wiring, pest inspection, flooring, bathroom and kitchen inspection, HVAC inspection, mold inspection, and drainage inspection. The home inspection exercise reports can help you negotiate a lower price for the house or avoid it.



Deed Protected Communities or Not

Several communities in South Florida are deed protected. These communities are governed by a homeowner's association that addresses the welfare of residents. Each homeowner in the community is levied a certain amount monthly or annually. There are also specific rules and regulations that each property owner must follow. It will help if you read the fine print of the agreements before purchasing the house. You may need to see a lawyer to explain the details of the deed to you.



Closing Costs and Related Fees

As you are planning your home purchase cost, you should keep the closing costs in mind. This cost is usually about 2 to 5 percent of the mortgage principal. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to negotiate with the seller to handle this cost.



Find a Reputable Real Estate Agent

To navigate South Florida real estate, you should seek out a reputable and experienced real estate agent. Your real estate agent will help you to identify the properties that fall within your price range. They will also leverage their connection and network to deliver various homes in top communities and neighborhoods.



Steps To Buying a South Florida Home

Examine Your Current Financial Situation

Your financial situation at present is what will determine what mortgage lenders feel about your ability to sustain and repay a mortgage loan. If you are dealing with debt, it is best to service those debts first before applying for a mortgage loan. As you evaluate your finances in readiness for a mortgage loan, you should pay attention to the following;




Credit Score 

- The higher your credit score, the better the discounts you enjoy on mortgage rates.



Debt-to-Income Ratio 

- It is advisable to spend 36% or below of your income to debt ratio.



Down Payment 

- If you are planning on securing a conventional loan, you need to have at least 5% of the home's cost as a down payment.



Closing Costs 

- Closing costs are the add-on costs that you may not be able to shake off. Prepare to pay between 2 to 5% of your home's price in closing costs.



Homeownership Costs 

- You'll most likely need to keep your home well-maintained throughout the year. This cost is roughly $3,599, going by the average maintenance cost in Florida.


Select the Right Neighborhood
When selecting your South Florida, the right neighborhood and the amenities offered matters a lot. When considering the right neighborhood, you should factor in the neighborhood's average value and the past home value trends. This will help you to understand the future value of your purchase. The local lifestyle is also a factor to consider. Check out the availability of top schools, amenities, restaurants, and transportation options.



Get Pre-Approved

One of the most common mistakes first-time homebuyers make is that they begin a property search prior to being pre-approved for a mortgage loan. It is important to halt any search until after you have been pre-approved. This helps you to set a better budget and target your home purchase needs. 



Search and Close the Deal

Once you have been pre-approved, your search can begin. Work with a reputable realtor to narrow down your options. A reputable realtor will guide you through the property-purchase process. The realtor can also recommend home inspection agencies, lawyers, notary offices, and others to speed up the process. If you aren't a local, your realtor can also link you with local contractors to handle minor repairs.

The process of owning a home in South Florida can be complex. However, with the right information and experienced realtor, you'll be able to avoid the common mistakes associated with the process. Learn more about home buying in South Florida at



Fort Lauderdale Realtor

Bryan Gold, 4325 N Ocean Dr 

Lauderdale by the Sea FL 33308




Posted in Buying a Home