Is the Sellers Property Disclosure Important For Florida Real Estate?

sellers property disclosure
Home sellers must be well versed in the importance of a seller's disclosure.

The importance of a sellers property disclosure can be easily overlooked in a red hot seller’s market like what we have seen over the past few years. After all, it is quite likely that the property would have received multiple offers above listing price with several of these offers being cash offers with no contingencies. Furthermore, we have also seen an increase in the number of offers that have waived the inspection period. Nonetheless, sellers are in the best position to be aware of any material defects with the property that may not be visible to the naked eye. Therefore, it is critically important that the seller disclose these items to any prospective buyers. The consequence of not doing this could result in legal liability.

What are the Florida law requirements for sellers property disclosure?

Florida case law provides that, with some exceptions, a home seller must disclose any known facts or conditions about the property that have a substantial impact on its value or desirability and that others cannot easily see for themselves. Some requirements of the sellers property disclosure specified by Florida law are as follows:

  • Florida Statutes §404.056(5): The dangers associated with radon gas, which occurs naturally and is often found in buildings in Florida.
  • Florida Statutes §161.57: If selling a coastal property, the potential for erosion, and that the property might be subject to regulations regarding construction, rigid coastal protection structures, beach nourishment, and the protection of marine turtles.
  • Florida Statutes §720.401: If the property is governed by an association such as a homeowner’s or condo association, specific information about the membership requirements, including monthly, quarterly, or annual dues, must be disclosed. This also applies for any mandatory assessments that must be paid by the homeowners.
  • Florida Statutes §718.503: This statute specifically applies to association requirements for condos.
  • Fla. Statutes § 689.261: Since property taxes will likely change for the buyer of the property as compared to what the seller has been selling, this statute requires that a property tax summary containing statutory language describing this must be provided. In addition, this should include that making improvements to the property may trigger a reassessment as well.

Summary

Throughout the South Florida real estate market, a common purchase contract used is the “FAR BAR As-Is Residential Contract For Sale and Purchase”. In utilizing this contract, this generally means that the buyer agrees to take the property in its existing condition without requiring the seller to make any repairs or improvements. However, utilizing this contract does not relieve the seller from providing a sellers property disclosure under Florida law. Therefore, it is critically important that a seller discloses any known defects with the property to the buyer. Not doing this may ultimately result in mediation and litigation, which can prove to be quite costly and time consuming.

As always, it is imperative that you hire a local and knowledgeable real estate agent to guide you through the home selling process. Your real estate agent should also be well versed in the seller’s disclosure process so that you avoid potential pitfalls throughout the home selling process. Are you in need of a knowledgeable real estate professional in the South Florida market? Contact Natasha at Live South Florida Realty, Inc. today!

At Live South Florida Realty, Inc. we have assisted many clients with their real estate needs. Are you looking to buy or sell a property in South Florida? Now more than ever, it is critical to have a qualified real estate team and the proper search tools behind you. Live South Florida Realty, Inc., has been a leader in the South Florida market for many years. Let our team of professionals assist you with buying or selling your piece of paradise today! In addition, our trusted “Florida Home Search” app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. With real-time MLS feeds, this app lets you set your own alerts to notify you as soon as a property meeting your needs hits the market. Furthermore, it will also let you know of recent closed sales in your area so that you may be even more educated on the market. Be sure to download this app for your smartphone or tablet today!

By natasha moore

REALTOR® with Live South Florida Realty, Inc.

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