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DISCLOSURES REQUIRED UNDER THE LAW


 

Florida, like many other states, requires sellers of homes and other residential properties to make certain disclosures to buyers about the property’s condition and history. Florida law provides that, with some exceptions, you (as a home seller) must disclose any facts or conditions about your property that have a substantial impact on its value or desirability, that others cannot easily see for themselves. Florida statutory law also requires that you present the buyer with a property tax disclosure summary.

Florida home sellers need only disclose what they know about.

Don’t worry that you will be expected to know or learn about and disclose every minute detail of your home’s condition. As the seller of a home in Florida, you have the benefit of laws declaring that you will not be held responsible for property defects of which you have no actual knowledge. If you sell a Florida property, and the buyer later claims in court to have discovered a defect that you did not properly disclose, that buyer must be able to demonstrate that:

♦ you knew about the property defect

♦ the defect has a substantial impact on the value of the property

♦ the buyer did not, upon purchase, know about the defect

♦ the defect would not have been easy for the buyer do detect

♦ you did not tell the buyer about the defect

disclosure

Florida home sellers are not responsible for defects they “should have known” about.

Florida home sellers are not expected to guarantee to buyers that their properties are defect-free, which would be an impossible promise to make in most cases.

If selling your house “As-Is”, you still need to disclose.

A so-called “As-Is” clause does not relieve you from your disclosure duties under Florida law. You will still need to advise buyers of all material defects that you know about concerning the property.

When In Doubt, Consult a Professional.

Real estate transactions can be complex, and provide ample room for disagreement between the parties. To successfully navigate these murky waters, it is best to consult with a Florida attorney with solid real estate experience.

QUESTIONS?