Selling a house is a big deal with so many legalities involved. The laws, charges, and documents required in Florida vary with other states. From the contract form to the closing, this blog post concisely explains the legal requirements you need to sell a house in Florida.
Contract form used to sell a house in Florida
Most sellers and realtors use either the Florida Realtors’ form FR or the Florida Bar form. These forms spell out whether you are selling As Is or not.
The rights and obligations of both parties in an As Is contract differ from those of a Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase. In the former, you do not have to pay a commission for repairs. In the latter, you would have to negotiate cost of repairs if you have not made them.
Things to note in your home sale contract
- Personal property: In the contract, you may agree to include some personal property in the sale such as furniture, etc.
- Amount: This is how much the buyer is supposed to pay, be it installmentally or wholly. Ensure that the amount on paper corresponds with your calculations.
- Financing contingency: It may be that the contract requires the buyer to be approved for financing before they can purchase the house. If this is so, ensure that they get the approval before selling. If there is no financing contingency, then it’s legal for the buyer to proceed to closing whenever they desire.
- Repairs: If you are not selling as is, then you may have to make repairs. Your contract must specify a time limit for the buyer to point out issues which need fixing. And you should make negotiation on how long you would need for such repairs. If you can’t make such repairs, ensure you cancel the transaction before the timeline as provided in the contract. If you do not cancel on time, you would have to complete the repairs.
If you want to sell a house in Florida, it’s your legal duty to disclose any defect the building has to your knowledge.
Title insurance is what protects home buyers and lenders from financial loss due to a defective title or past lawsuit against the property. As the seller, it’s your obligation to purchase an Owner’s Title Insurance to protect the buyer. This will give them assurance that even though the house you sold for them has problems with the law prior to their ownership, they would not be held liable.
Costs you will incur when selling your house in Florida
Real estate is just like most other businesses. You have to spend money before you can have a product or service to sell.
Some things you may have to pay for include:
- Title insurance
- Cost of repairs
- Government costs. You must pay municipal costs for recording fees, etc.
- Title company charges
- Attorney fees
- Realtor commission (up to 6% of the total home sale)
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