Questions and Answers for Jacksonville Area Real Estate

Do you have Questions and Answers for Jacksonville area real estate? Below is a list of questions and answers that many Jacksonville FL home buyers and sellers have throughout the buying and selling process. We have noticed that as Realtors who work this process daily, we sometimes forget that not everyone is familiar with the process. Even customers who have bought and sold multiple times in their life. If you have any questions at all please feel free to contact us!

Questions and Answers for Jacksonville Area Real Estate

I’m a first time home buyer, where do I start?

The first step is to find a Jacksonville area Realtor you can trust. Once you find a Realtor, they will guide you to a local loan specialist to speak with about getting pre-approved. We have several banks and lenders we have worked with in the Jacksonville area that we trust. We can guide you towards a loan specialist that you can just talk to at first. Explain your situation and your goal and they will help!

It’s so important to get pre-approved so you know what your price range is and how that translates into a monthly payment. Additionally, in our area HOA and CDD fees can add a large amount to your monthly costs, so it’s imperative to know what you will feel comfortable paying monthly.

Who normally pays the real estate commission in the Jacksonville area of Florida?

The seller typically pays the commission. This includes a percentage to their listing brokerage and a percentage to the selling broker. Normally 6% total, so 3% to each side. If it’s free to buyers to have their own Realtor, go for it! Find someone who will walk closely with you throughout the entire process rather than simply going with whoever the home is listed with.

Are the monthly payment calculators you see online by each house accurate? 

For the most part, no. Your monthly mortgage payment will be made up of principal, interest, taxes and insurance: PITI. The estimates you see online are only made up of principal and interest, leaving out taxes and insurance. Not to mention HOA and CDD fees. Also, these estimates have no way of knowing what type of loan you are getting, what your interest rate will be, what your down payment will be, etc. These all greatly affect what your monthly mortgage payment will look like.

What do I have to pay out of pocket during the buying process? 

This varies greatly, but you should expect to pay for the home inspection ($300-$600), termite inspection ($100-$200), survey ($300-$800 and up) and appraisal ($300-$500) out of pocket before we get to closing. Many people think the cost of all of these items is paid at closing and wrapped into the loan, but that’s not the case. Unfortunately, some contracts do not make it to closing and these vendors know their odds of getting paid on something that didn’t close are not good. There are many additional inspections buyers can choose to have that would add to this: water test (if on a well), septic inspection (if there is a septic tank), lead based paint inspection, mold inspection, and so on.

What is the typical commission amount in the Jacksonville area? 

The norm and what our brokerage charges is 6% commission. This is split between the listing brokerage and the selling brokerage. In the Jacksonville area, it is more common for two different brokerages to work a deal together rather than the listing agent also selling the property.

How much does a Jacksonville or St. Augustine seller have to pay up front to list a property? 

Nothing if you list with us. You don’t pay a dime until closing. We pay for professional photography and marketing out of our pocket. We have something invested in your property! Therefore, we will do everything possible to get it sold.


 What is an escrow deposit? 

When a buyer initially makes an offer the amount that will go in escrow is included on the purchase contract. Buyers are technically not required to put anything in escrow, but most sellers will not agree to this. This check is deposited into an escrow account with a title company and it is help there until closing. The escrow deposit is shown as a credit back to the buyer at closing.

If I want to back out of the contract will I lose my escrow deposit?

This depends on the contract and any contingencies. In most contracts there is an inspection period. Our NEFAR contract is an AS IS contract. If a buyer chooses to back out while still in the inspection period, the buyer will receive their escrow deposit back. Once a buyer has inspections done and presents any requested repairs in writing to the seller and the seller says they will not make the requested repairs, the buyer can back out within a certain time period (all laid out in the contract). When a buyer is purchasing a property contingent on obtaining financing through a bank and it is determined the financing cannot go through, as long as the buyer did their part, they will receive their deposit back.

This point here is to become as familiar with the contract as possible so you know your rights. We become extremely familiar with our customers’ contracts but we want you to do the same!

How long does the buying process take? The lenders we use can close most deals within 30 days. If problems arise it can take longer. For instance, a purchase with a VA loan can take longer at times. If repairs are needed this can also add to the time frame. If it’s a cash purchase then under 30 days is realistic.

Where does the closing take place? It is pretty common for the seller to pay for the title services and choose the title company that will handle the closing. Closing takes place at this title company. However, if you are in a different state, you can close by mail. There are many different options.