6 Things Sellers in Florida Need to Know

1. DUTY TO DISCLOSE

In the State of Florida, sellers have a duty to disclose defects that they know about.  If there is something wrong with the house that is not readily apparent, then sellers are obligated to let the buyer know about it.  Sellers should make any disclosures writing to protect themselves avoid miscommunication.  

An example would be if a Seller has cracked floor tiles and puts a rug over them.  If the Buyer does not see the cracked tiles, and even if the Buyer has a home inspection and the inspector misses it too —  the Seller may be on the hook for failing to disclose the cracked tiles.

2. INSPECTIONS

Buyers generally have the right to inspect the property and may use a home inspector or contractors to find issues and evaluate costs.  Often buyers can request a discount rather than a repair, depending on the issue. Offering a credit may better for a Seller than making a repair, because a credit avoids the potential for any disagreement over whether a repair was completed properly.  

Sometimes, Buyers may choose to cancel a purchase, rather than request repairs because they are too worried about issue.  Some issues that often frighten buyers into canceling include: termite or other infestation, mold problems and structural issues.  If your house has any of these issues, it may be a good to consider addressing it beforehand. 

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3. COSTS

Some costs are usually paid by the Seller and others are sometimes paid by the Seller.  Norms can vary from one County to the next.  In any case, what the sales contract says will dictate the Sellers obligations.  In addition to the price, a Realtor should point out any hidden costs based on the terms of the contract. 

Some potential costs include: (a) Repairs requested by the Buyer; (b) Government taxes and fees, including county, town or city costs, such as documentary stamp taxes and recording fees; (c) Survey (d) Title search and title insurance; (e) Costs to cure any title defects; (f) Attorney fees; (g) Realtor commission.

In Miami-Dade and Broward Counties it is customary for the buyer to choose the title company and pay for the title insurance.

4. FIXTURES GO WITH THE HOUSE

Anything that is permanently affixed to the property, is generally considered part of the sale.  A  flower in a flower pot, it’s probably personal property, however, if planted in the garden, its a fixture.  A freestanding cabinet is probably Furnature, however a cabinet attached to the wall, such as kitchen cabinets are usually fixtures.  Based on that traditional definition. 

For the most part, whether it’s attached will rule, however an exception are paintings and flat-screen televisions, which generally are not fixtures, even though they’re attached to the wall.  In any event, it is safer for the contract to clarify what is included or excluded from a sale, so there are no disagreements later.

5. CLOSING AGENT VS ATTORNEY

Usually in Florida a closing agent will prepare the forms, which include standard documents to transfer title, such as the deed.  Many of which need to be both signed and notarized.  It is important to remember, however, that a closing agent is not the same as an attorney.  The big difference is that an attorney can give you legal advise, and a closing agent cannot.

6. DIGITAL MARKETING

Effective digital marketing has become essential to maximizing the exposure and sale price of residential properties.  Many Realtors believe that placing a house on the Multiple Listing Service is sufficient and many do not even optimize those listings by open settling for low-quality photos.

To get the best price, you are well advised to choose a Realtor that can combine, high-quality photography, utilize virtual staging, online presentations, property specific digital advertising and virtual open houses to maximize exposure. 

Martha Obregon, Realtor
Martha Obregon, Realtor

Martha Obregon

Providing timely, professional service.

Whether you are searching for your dream home, a winter residence or a residential investment property, count on Martha to facilitate a smooth and successful transaction.

An experienced Realtor and South Florida resident of over 20 years, Martha will provide the insight, professionalism, experience and attentive service you deserve.

Member Miami, Broward-Miami Realtors Association and National Realtors Association.