Home Buying in Miami>Question Details

Matias, Home Buyer in Outside U.S.

I'm not in the US and I want to buy a property in Miami: How do I know if the Realtor is serious and will not defraud me???

Asked by Matias, Outside U.S. Fri Sep 14, 2012

Is there a public register where I can check if the Realtor really exists? How do I know if the escrow account where I will eventually transfer the money is actually an escrow account? Where can I check if the property was actually transfered to me after I transfered the money? They told me that I can sign all the paperwork from where I am (abroad), scan it and send it to them. Is this possible??
Thank you in advance for all the information you can provide me!

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Answers

24
BEST ANSWER
Real Estate Licenses can be verified at http://www.myfloridalicense.com. As for the other issues: it may be a good practice to hire a Real Estate Attorney to assist in the related matters. I wish you every success!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
Thank you very much David for your kind reply! The information was very useful! Regards, Matías
Flag Fri Sep 14, 2012
Ask for references, that works.

Jose Guzman
http://www.MiamiApartmentsAndHomes.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 28, 2012
Very interesting,
Yes, you can check the Licence number, status, etc, Now, You can verifie the escrow account with the bank. Perhaps I am wrong, but I think that you do not have a Real Estate Agent.
First that all, you need to have a Real Estate Agent with international experience, (You do not have to pay any fees, the commissions are paid by the seller). Yes, it is right, you can sign the documents and paperwork outside of USA, but is very important that you know that these document must be signed and notarized. Usually, you need to go to the USA Consulate and ask them for notarization.
and any other aspects and guide lines for that, you real estate agent can help you.
Carlos M. Lollett
Interinvestments Realty,Inc.
International Real Estate Agent
Short Sale - New Condos Specialist
730 NW 107 Av Suite 107
Miami Florida 33172
Office: (305) 220-1101 Fax: (305) 220-1195
Cell: (786) 226-4227 email: carlone53@yahoo.com
Weston Office
2806 Weston Rd. Weston, Fl. 33331
Tel: (954) 846-7341 - Fax: (954) 846-7344
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 28, 2012
Hi Matias,

As you already know, there are many ways you can check someone's credibility.

Please visit our website http://www.www.evusa.com

You will be able to learn about our company and myself.

Our company is located in 36 different countries and we deal with many international buyers

Also, in Florida, the buyer does not pay the agent a commission, only the seller does.

It would be a good idea to come to Miami when you are ready to buy to meet with the agent and look at properties you were interested in seeing.

I could email you listings which fit your search criteria.

Feel free to call me o email me directly if you have any question.

I wish you all the best.

Sophie Bamps
Engel & Voelkers
305 206 8876
sophie.bamps@evusa.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 22, 2012
Dear Matias,

Yes it is possible, and yes you can wire the funds and buy a property.
How to find out if it is a legal person? how to find out if the agent is a real agent? how to find if the title company is a real title company?
I think that is harder than find a property.
i could help you in the process if you need a property manager for your properties.
Please call.
Carlos Escamilla
305-300-8814
I can help you to verify some of the information or at least a company that can be liable for this transaction.
I work with realty world executive homes and my company is responsible for me and all my transaction.
If you are dealing with a good company realty you can be breath.
But if you are working with john doe and Jane doe Realty? you may be busted.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 18, 2012
Matias,

These days everyone has a website that you can look into. Connect with Realtors on Trulia, read their responses on sites like this, google them. As Realtors we have to follow a code of Ethics. Look for a reputed Company, or get a referral from someone you trust.
As Realtors we deal with buyers & sellers from all over the world, and use Escrow accounts or all deposits.
You have go a lot of good information below. Hope that helps.
Call or email if you have you need a referral to a good agent as I network with great people all over.

Good Luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 18, 2012
Hi Matias,
I work for a very good company Prudential Florida Realty for about 15 years.
You can have a lawyer here that will represent you in all the transacion.
You can check me and the company in Google.

Regards,

Amparo
ampi409@gmail.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 16, 2012
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FLORIDA MORTGAGE BROKER: Finding the “RIGHT REALTOR”

As a Florida Mortgage Broker who has been in the business since the 90’s, through the highs and lows of this rollercoaster called the Florida Real Estate Market, who has extensive experience dealing with realtors all over Florida, I can't stress to you how important it is to shop realtors in advance. But as you’ll soon see, there are a lot of realtors in Florida who want your business, so shopping for that “Right One” can be overwhelming! There are literally thousands of realtors to choose from in FL, and most are good realtors who will do a decent job and get you a decent deal, but as a 2012 buyer you want an Extraordinarily Good Deal!

They say that approx. 68% of consumers end up working with the first or second buyer's agent they contact. Unfortunately, soon after many buyers feel they commitment to working with the wrong realtor, but feel obligated to work with that realtor throughout the buying process, all the while wishing they had shopped more realtors in advance to find that “RIGHT ONE.”

So here’s a quick 5 item test to help identify that “Right One.”

Find one who:
1. treats you as if you are buying a $5,000,000 property
2. is willing to disclose good credit and scores over 700 with no Foreclosures, BKs or Short Sales
3. has a smart phone so they can answer all your calls and emails quickly throughout
4. is a broker or buyer's agent who does not have to split the 3% commission points
5. is willing to offer Realtor Rebate to buyers willing to get Pre Approved in advance

Then, here’s a simple 2 step way to get your Best Overall Deal…

STEP ONE:
contact the realtors you think you like and listen to what they say they’ll do for you. Then ask them to refer you to their very best “Preferred” or “In-House” Lender. Listen to their best purchase strategy and ask for their best written quote on an estimated sales price, on a TBD (To Be Determined) property address.

STEP TWO:
contact me, I’ll present my best purchase strategy, show you what my realtor partners can do for you. Then compare to see which team offers the best purchase strategy and your best overall deal.

You’ll be shocked at the difference you’ll find with such little effort!

WHAT MY REALTOR PARTNERS CAN DO:
http://www.trulia.com/blog/steve_31/2012/09/gfb_250_000_purchase
http://www.trulia.com/blog/steve_31/2012/08/please_shop_this…

WHAT I CAN DO:
http://www.trulia.com/blog/steve_31/2012/07/2012_loan_progra…

NOTE TO CONSUMERS: shop multiple Lenders and realtors for your Best Overall Deal!

Call me today, I actually answer and return phone calls.

Steve McRory
Pro Option Mortgage/ Florida
steve@pro-option.com
http://WWW.PRO-OPTION.COM
Ph: 888 662 4404

Prior Service U.S. Marine Corps
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 15, 2012
Hello Matias,

In addition to verifying the license number, and googling involved parties, it makes sense to check public info portals for ownership related information. Each county has their own portal. An attorney also needs to be checked out through FL Bar Association. It's good to read what realtors write here in Trulia.com - when selecting
who you want to work with.

As with anything else, use your common sense and best of luck!

Hope this helps,

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
IrinaKaran@gmail.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 15, 2012
You absolutely need to hire an attorney to review the title commitment and other paperwork.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
TO check if a the realtor is licensed in the state of Florida go to http://www.myfloridalicense.com

TO see if they are practicing google their name and or phone number. If nothing comes up you can assume that they are not to active in listing real estate.

TO do your closing in the country that you are located you could either have an attorney or a title company send you all the docs and you then take them to the United States embassy/consulate and have them notarized. Then you can send them back to your attorney or title company handling the closing.

Once you do the closing the attorney or Title company doing your closing will send you a copy of all the docs that were signed including a copy of the Warranty Deed to the property.

Approximately 30 to 60 days after you close you can go to the website of the county in which you purchased the property and check for recorded documents.

Even though their are a lot of scammers for everything their are still many good people that are willing to assist.

If you need assistance in looking for a property I could be reached either by email amongeot@bellsouth.net or by phone 305-788-0371.

Good luck in your search
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
As Annette has advised, practice due diligence and do your homework..

We realtors here in the US are practicing the same as there are prevalence of foreign buyer scammers as well.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
Hello Matias,
I have sent you properties I believe. Also I can be found on the state of florida FREC. Here is the link,https://www.myfloridalicense.com/wl11.asp?mode=0&SID=
also the title company that Keller Williams utilizes is reputable and can be googled as well, and checked out, they are owned by a real estate attorney. Keller Williams is one the top five real estate agencies in the country, and I can be googled as well. Any legitimate realtor will provide as much info as possible to make you comfortable, and I support any foreign buyer to get as much information as possible to be safe.

I look forward to hearing from you as well.

Thank you,
Tamika Moses (License# 3250522)
Keller Williams Realty Partners SW
tmrealtor@yahoo.com
Office# 954-237-0400
Cell# 954-404-4646
http://flapropertiesbytmoses.kwrealty.com/
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
You can contact the MLS here in Miami, to insure your realtor is licensed. Further, we recommend contacting their broker, such as Keller Williams or One Sothebys. Best of luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
Thank you very much for your kind reply! The information was very useful! Regards, Matías
Flag Fri Sep 14, 2012
Very good question!

In Florida all real estate agents must be licensed by the State. The State will keep a record of all professional licenses, which may be viewed on their site.

A legitimate agent would not have a problem providing you with their license number and full name as registered with the state. Once you have this information go to http://www.myflorida.com and select ‘Real Estate’ from the right hand list. At the bottom of the next page click ‘continue.’ On the next page select ‘Public License Search.’

You should be able to find the agent you are looking for and the status of his or her license.

As for the other items you mentioned, I suggest you retain a lawyer that will represent you and handle your closing. A reputable agent may be able to help you find a reputable attorney or you may contact the Florida Bar.

A lawyer and a reputable agent should be able to fully protect your interest with this process whether you are present or not.

If you have any other question you may contact me at 786.302.0351 or email me at juan@insideMIAMIrealestate.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
You are very welcome. Good luck!
Flag Sat Sep 15, 2012
Thank you very much Juan for your kind reply! The information was very useful! Regards, Matías
Flag Fri Sep 14, 2012
working with a good reputable Realtor could take care of all your concern.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
Matias,
You've received great advise on validating the agent/broker and title company. This is a good beginning.
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You need to be aware, a certain amount of trust is going to be required. Just as you have concern regarding the professionals involved, they likewise must have concern regarding the buyer with whom they are working.
-
Hardly a week goes by that an offer to purchase a high priced property is not received via email. The buyer describes a very elaborate process including attorneys and bank statements and loan approvals and how much gold bullion they have on hand.. They are overwhelmingly offers by buyers who intend to defraud the agent/broker, property owner or title company.

Please complete your due diligence, but be understanding when those on this side seek equivalent validation regarding you and your situation.

Best of success in acquiring your Miami property.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
Thank you very much Annette for your kind reply! The information was very useful! Regards, Matías
Flag Fri Sep 14, 2012
Besides making sure the agent is licensed and also a Realtor you may also want to look for an agent who is a member of CIPS, Certified International Property Specialist. As to doing everything on line, it is even possible now to sign documents electronically, no need to print, scan and return.
If you would ever consider buying on the west coast, I would love to help you in the Ft. Myers and Cape Coral area.
Marge Bennett
RE/MAX Realty Group
Marge@MargeBennett.com
http://Www.SouthFortMyersDreamHomes.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
Thank you very much Marge for your kind reply! The information was very useful! Regards, Matías
Flag Fri Sep 14, 2012
Hello Matias,
I have sent you properties I believe. Also I can be found on the state of florida FREC. Here is the link,https://www.myfloridalicense.com/wl11.asp?mode=0&SID=
also the title company that Keller Williams utilizes is reputable and can be googled as well, and checked out, they are owned by a real estate attorney. Keller Williams is one the top five real estate agencies in the country, and I can be googled as well. Any legitimate realtor will provide as much info as possible to make you comfortable, and I support any foreign buyer to get as much information as possible to be safe.

I look forward to hearing from you as well.

Thank you,
Tamika Moses (License# 3250522)
Keller Williams Realty Partners SW
tmrealtor@yahoo.com
Office# 954-237-0400
Cell# 954-404-4646
http://flapropertiesbytmoses.kwrealty.com/
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
Thank you very much Tamika for your kind reply! The information was very useful! I will check your e-mail and come back to you. Regards, Matías
Flag Fri Sep 14, 2012
It is possible to buy property while out of the country. It is always a good idea to work with a realtor that was recommended by someone you know, but that's not always an option. You can check if your realtor is really a realtor at http://www.miamire.com and click on "Find a REALTOR" on the top toolbar, type in their name and click on Submit. If nothing comes up? he/she is not a realtor. You can also go to http://www.myfloridalicense.com click on "Verify a License" and look up your realtor. Here you can see if there have been any complaints filed against them. If we can help in any way, you can reach us at info@mialiving.com

Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
Thank you very much for your kind reply! The information was very useful! Regards, Matías
Flag Fri Sep 14, 2012
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Matias,

By FAR most realtors are honest and ethical! After the rescent years, just like in the mortgage industry, most of the dishonest "bad people" are no longer in real estate.

As a Florida Mortgage Broker, I'd feel comfortable working with vast majority of Florida realtors.

===
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
Thank you very much Steve for your kind reply! The information was very useful! Regards, Matías
Flag Fri Sep 14, 2012
Get the information on the Title company ahead of time. You should be able to Google them and make sure they are a nation wide company and that they have several offices. Then contact several of the offices and confirm the info of the one you are being told to use.

Do the same with your agent, contact their main office and talk to the Broker. Keep aan open communication with them.

If you have a friend or relative in town ask them to accompany the agent to do a "final walk through" of the property before the actual closing.

It is normal for papaerwork to be send via e-mail and returned via fax when the final payment is a cash trasfer. Something else to figure out, who will hold the keys for you once the closing is completed?

Tony Vega
La Rosa Realty
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
Thank you very much Tony for your kind reply! The information was very useful! Regards, Matías
Flag Fri Sep 14, 2012
Appreciate your concerns. You could check the reators existance on http://www.reator.com , You could also make sure that the company is substantial. For example our company has 28 offices in South Florida and is established in 1926. http://WWW.KEYES.COM. 2. Escrow with a company like that is absolutely safe as it did not have escrow problems for a very long time as you could see. A lot of things are possible to be done, if that's what you like to do. If like like to discuss it, please ge in touch.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
Thank you very much Margarita for your kind reply! The information was very useful! Regards, Matías
Flag Fri Sep 14, 2012
Matias,
You can check the license of the REALTOR at https://www.myfloridalicense.com/wl11.asp?mode=0&SID=
Make sure that the brokerage is also registered and if you do not want brokerage to hold your escrow, you can also find a title company or an attorney to represent you.

When it doubt, we always recommend that an attorney gets involved. We work with foreign nationals all the time and depending on the deal, you may need to take closing documents to consulate abroad.

http://www.miamism.com/miami-real-estate-for-foreign-nationals/
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
Thank you very much Rick and Ines for your kind reply! The information was very useful! Regards, Matías
Flag Fri Sep 14, 2012
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