The laws regarding property transactions vary from state to state. While some states leave it up to the buyer to do their due diligence, either on their own or with help from inspectors and other professionals, Florida sellers must disclose any known defects. Based on a case from 1985, this law is not a new one, but many may not be aware of it.
Separate from the standard contract used for real estate transactions, realtors have a standard form that covers many of the property’s potential issues or characteristics that the buyer would generally want to know about before closing the deal. Typical areas that it covers include:
- Are there any claims, complaints, or court proceedings involving the property?
- Is the property subject to any homeowner association rules?
- Are there issues with the roof, plumbing, HVAC, appliances, or electrical wiring?
- Does the property have asbestos, lead paint, mold, or other environmental hazards?
- Have there been any disputes involving the property’s boundary?
- Does the property have an infestation or damage from a previous infestation?
- Does the property have sinkholes or a history of sinkholes?
Addresses circumstances unique to the specific transaction
Considering the amount of money involved in most real estate transactions, it is wise to work with an attorney who has experience handling property sales here in Florida. Not only can these legal professionals help ensure that the disclosure is appropriately addressed, but they can also recognize and address areas of potential legal dispute, draft contracts and help to ensure that the closing goes as smooth as possible.