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The MLS system and the real estate agent in Florida and his tasks

The question keeps coming up as to how many real estate agents in Florida it makes sense to work with in order to get a good overview of the available offers. The answer is simple: WITH ONE!

This one is completely sufficient as it has access to ALL properties. Here the broker and real estate system differs drastically from that in Germany or other countries. Each agent has their own sales orders that they market and try to sell - should they acquire a buyer, the entire commission belongs to them; so far no difference.

Real Estate Agent Florida Licensed Realtor - Image of Realtor Logo

In the USA it is generally the case that a broker can join a broker association by paying an additional annual fee. Part of it is following a very strict professional code. By joining and swearing in, the broker then calls himself a REALTOR®. This sets him apart from the “real estate agent”, i.e. the normal broker. By joining, he automatically receives access to the so-called MLS – the “Multiple Listing Service”, i.e. the offering platform.

The MLS (Multiple Listing Service)  System - The Real Estate Database

Real Estate Database MLS Florida - Image of the search engine ad

This offer platform is a complex system that manages all offers in a region in a database and provides the information to search engines and other websites. Every Florida real estate agent who now receives a sales order from a customer naturally wants to bring it to a close quickly in the interests of the customer and also out of his own interest. And here's the difference: He puts the offer in the database and uses thousands of other agents to bring a buyer. Since an agent would rather sell a property in a short period of time than have it in his portfolio for an indefinite period, almost all agents decide to enter their offers into the database.

This means that every broker who has access to the MLS system can view the entire inventory at any time, carry out automated evaluations for their customers and maintain a complete overview of the market. It is therefore advisable to use the automated evaluations of the brokerage system and not to rely on the information from dozens of websites, some of which are incorrect or outdated and, above all, are not updated in a timely manner. As a result, the user is usually not up to date with the current market situation; an offer that seems interesting and is being looked into may already be under contract; Price reductions can be applied too late and you end up falling behind.

In today's market and with the mass of interested parties, this is the first important step in getting your dream property. Minutes can determine the advantage, mean an accepted or rejected offer. That's why it's important to use the "mother of all systems and websites", the MLS system.


Real Estate MLS Florida - Image of the output of results when searching in the MLSYou set the criteria for the evaluations at the beginning and can change them later at any time. Everything is done conveniently via email on your website, which has been set up specifically for you. Once the evaluation has been stored, the system will send you an email up to twice a day with new offers that have just been published and meet your desired criteria.

You can then simply save or discard them. Saved objects will then continue to be updated in your storage compartment, for example in the event of price reductions or if the house is taken off the market or sold.

This makes it easier for you to discuss a property with your real estate agent because both have access to the same data source. Above all, you receive ALL the information and details that the selling broker has stored in the system, while other websites largely only show an extract of the data. So all agents work together to bring sellers and buyers together and are therefore able to find or sell a property much more quickly. The Lee County network includes approximately 3,500 active agents who, in turn, have potential buyers on their search list. This means that hundreds of thousands of prospective buyers and sellers are virtually cavorting in the MLS system.

So choose your agent and take into account that they all work exclusively on a commission basis. So please stay fair and only work with one person. Otherwise, the two- or three-pronged approach could cause confusion, resentment and legal differences between the brokers, since only one can complete the purchase. If you don't get along with a broker or have doubts about his or her competence, look for another one.

The buyer's real estate agent

The buyer's agent - Florida Cape Coral - picture shaking hands

The primary goal is to find the best property and negotiate at the best possible price. He uses specialist knowledge of the local market and experience in negotiation strategies to your advantage.


My tasks as a buyer's agent

  • I will accompany you through the purchasing process from start to finish and will remain at your disposal and support you beyond that.
  • I will contact you in your home country; an informative initial conversation will give you an overview of our market and detailed information.
  • In case of financing, I will give you the necessary information and support you in finding a bank.
  • I will set up the free MLS information portal for you, which will conveniently and reliably inform you daily by email about offers on your personalized website.
  • If you are planning a new building, I will accompany you from start to finish with the planning, implementation and monitoring.
  • After your arrival, I will accompany you on viewings, introduce you to the selected properties and explain the local conditions.
  • Customer advice broker buying property - picture broker discusses with customersAfter you have chosen your favorites, I will determine the market price and find out further details such as tax amounts, remaining burdens, etc. for you.
  • After choosing your desired property, I will prepare the offer in consultation with you.
  • Before signing the offer, I will explain the contract, your rights and obligations and all necessary details to you.
  • After submitting the offer, I will use my many years of experience to negotiate the purchase price for you.
  • After accepting your offer, I will advise you on choosing an independent home inspector or recommend surveying companies.
  • During the purchase process I will constantly inform you what to do, when to do it and what documents to fill out.
  • Before transferring the property, I will carry out a final acceptance inspection together with you or on your behalf.
  • Before taking over the property, I would be happy to help you obtain insurance quotes, insurance-reducing inspections or renovation measures, etc.
  • I would also be happy to support you in taking over the house into a management and rental program or help you with registering or re-registering electricity and water as well as opening a bank account.

The seller's real estate agent

Selling your home is one of the most significant financial decisions you will make. The entire process can be nerve-wracking and raise many questions that need to be answered. Having a good agent to market and sell your home while providing you with professional information and support puts a whole new spin on things.

Broker Customer Contact Appointment Advice Support Sales Listing - Image Broker clarifies questions with customersThis otherwise difficult and stressful process can also be a pleasant experience. I will represent your interests throughout the entire sale, as well as advise you, answer all your questions and keep you informed every step of the way. It is my duty to ensure that the sale of your property is as pleasant and hassle-free as possible! For many agents, the marketing of the offer ends in the Multiple Listing System (MLS). I, on the other hand, will show you other ways in which I can market your property nationally and internationally in order to bring you to the largest possible base of interested parties.

Thanks to my network contacts and cross-country relationships as well as my technological background in electronic marketing, I can present your property wherever qualified buyers get information. The strongest foreign buyers are currently Canada, Germany and England, which make up around 47% of the international base.


My tasks as a seller's agent

  • Initial contact with important information about the sales process
  • Recommendation of the sales price based on an objective market analysis
  • Detailed inclusion of your property in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service)
  • Creation of high-quality images and possibly a virtual 360 degree tour of your property
  • Advertising your property on your own websites and those of cooperation partners
  • Advertising in specific electronic portals and printed local and international real estate magazines
  • Creation of a marketing brochure with all important data and electronic dispatch
  • Publication via brokerage offices in Europe that make your offer available to other interested parties
  • Putting up a for sale sign of our office
  • Reviewing incoming purchase offers and coordinating with you
  • Processing the sale until the property is transferred to the buyer
  • Support in the context of selling or shipping furniture or other items
  • Arranging a German-speaking tax advisor for matters such as the FIRPTA law
  • Mediation of a German-speaking specialist for the dissolution of a company

Buying a short sale property in Florida

In the MLS system you can also occasionally find so-called "SHORT SALE" properties. These properties usually have a fairly low price. However, it should be noted that this is not the requested sales price, but rather just a starting amount represents the basis for an auction-like negotiation between the parties (seller, bank/lender and various prospective buyers. Due to the initially low price, many customers believe that this type of sale must be a bargain, which is not the case and only encourages those interested to submit offers.

Buying a Short Sale Property in Florida - Image Short Sale Sales SignWith this type of property sale, the current owner can no longer pay the loan installments and asks the bank whether debt reduction is possible. Example: The loan amount is $200,000, but the house only has a market value of $130,000. The bank will now examine to what extent the outstanding debt can be reduced. Of course, the primary deciding factor here is the debtor's financial situation and the market situation.

This negotiation, which often involves the buyer's lawyer, can take a long time (9-18 months is not uncommon), unless there are notes in the listing that say "Bank approved short sale" or something similar. Most people interested in real estate often understand the term "short sale" to mean a short processing time, which is unfortunately not true and actually means the opposite. In some cases, no agreement can be reached and the house is then foreclosed by the bank. However, the lender usually tries to find a solution because this allows them to minimize the loss on the loan. The original problem in 2004-2006 was the careless granting of excessive bank loans due to the increased value of the property.

The still high installment payments today, but the massive collapse in prices, have created a situation in recent years that many owners can no longer withstand.

Due to the extremely long waiting times and extremely poor communication from the bank, these short sale offers hardly make any sense for foreigners. It may happen that after waiting for months you receive a simple rejection and have wasted valuable time. The market can run away from you during this time, but there are plenty of other offers that you can ultimately have for a good price, whether they are traditional sales or foreclosures - but if we find ourselves in a period of slump, you can If there is no way around these types of sales, since a large proportion of sellers are in a comparable situation, then these properties can be very worthwhile.

Buying a foreclosure property in Florida

If an owner's short sale doesn't work out, the property will in most cases go back to the bank via foreclosure, as the outstanding loan balance means they are usually the highest bidder. The bank then takes ownership of the property and can then sell it freely.

The bank will take care of zeroing out tax liens, will foreclose on the home if necessary, and will prepare to issue title insurance to the buyer at the time of resale.

Buy foreclosure property REO Cape Coral Florida - picture sale sign foreclosure

Purchasing a foreclosure is usually problem-free and can be completed quite quickly (within a maximum of 4 weeks). However, the houses are usually in poorer condition as they are often left empty for a long time due to the lengthy court hearings involved in transferring them to the bank. While some money usually has to be invested in these properties (gardens are unkempt, damp or mold in the house, missing facilities, etc.), you can achieve quite decent purchase prices for them.

The process of a foreclosure purchase is essentially similar to a traditional one. The only difference is that after you submit your offer, you will automatically receive a counter offer (should the bank accept the contract). This includes the bank's own terms and conditions, which you must accept in order to move forward. These include, for example, a penalty rate per day if you have to delay the transfer of ownership through your own fault and the disclosure that the bank will not make any repairs to the house or accept a reduction in the purchase price, even if the home inspector finds major defects.

In this case, you can still get out of the contract. Of course, the bank may also negotiate the purchase price or down payment in this counteroffer. The bottom line is that these counteroffers (also called addendum) are not dramatic, you just need to monitor them carefully - and that's why you have your broker!

Correctly, a “foreclosure” is actually only called that during the transfer process to the bank. Once the bank takes over the property, it actually becomes an “REO” (Real Estate Owned). However, the term foreclosure has become commonplace for all offers.

In Florida, real estate transactions are always carried out with brokers, so both the buyer and the seller have their own chosen representative.


Whether you are buying for the first time or are already an experienced real estate agent - I would be happy to prove to you that for me it is not the commission that comes first, but your satisfaction - test me!