A good real estate agent understands the local housing market, is up-to-date on the most current real estate trends, has great local connections, and loves what he or she does. A great real estate agent listens to clients' needs and is deeply committed to being the best possible guide in helping them find that perfect new home, neighborhood, and lifestyle.
For the LGBT homebuyer, finding the right real estate agent is critical. Even in here in Sarasota, where there is a large LGBT community and a progressive and accepting mindset in the general population, LGBT home buyers need a real estate agent who listens to their clients and understands their needs.
Buying a home is different than other major purchases: It includes the attitudes and perspectives of all those who live close by. If these things are not clear to the agent giving you advice, not only could you find yourself living in a neighborhood that you don't connect with, but worse still, you may have missed an opportunity to live in that ideal neighborhood where deep friendships could have been formed with those living around you, bringing you a sense of community and joy. It's not just about being accepted by your neighbors, it's about being welcomed by them.
On the other hand, some people are looking for discretion and privacy, and an agent who makes you feel comfortable and whom you trust is imperative in that respect as well. You need to be able to express all your needs, fears, hopes, and dreams, and have them appreciated and acted upon. An agent who is in touch with the LGBT community will not only understand but often be perceptive enough to pick up on client needs with minimal discussion.
There is another very important consideration for the LGBT homebuyer: law. It is an ever-changing (and thankfully improving) landscape these days for laws affecting property rights, inheritance, taxation, definitions of marriage, discrimination, and a host of other real estate concerns for same sex couples. Because gay and lesbian rights are a forefront federal issue, sorting through the already convoluted state laws affecting LGBT home ownership can be quite a challenge. A change in federal policy may affect one aspect of a state law, but not another. Having a real estate agent who knows the current best approach for LGBT couples seeking to purchase a home together is essential. Even with the strides made in gay rights over the last few years, navigating the laws affecting a home purchase for a heterosexual couple is far simpler. Make sure your agent understands this and can give you the best guidance possible. Bear in mind that your realtor cannot offer legal advice and may recommend you seek legal counsel in some situations.
Fortunately, Sarasota and the surrounding areas have so much to offer the LGBT homebuyer. Beyond having a strong LGBT community, Sarasota has a strong human community, where people of all walks of life mix and mingle happily and freely. It is a rare gem among Florida beach towns, having both a strong cultural/artistic undercurrent and an open-mindedness to progressive ideas not commonly encountered in the Sunshine State.
If you are looking to purchase a home here, please give me a call.
Sarasota Area Real Estate Specialist