What You Need to Know When Buying a House in Florida
Various states have various laws and standard practices when it comes to purchasing a house. In Florida, you need to know the following essentials:
Working with an Agent
When buying a house, condo, or any other home in Florida, find a highly regarded real estate agent who can help you find properties and tackle all the convoluted procedures involved in the transaction. A real estate agent gives you a range of advantages, from neighborhood market knowledge to negotiating ability and more. Best of all, they won’t charge you anything. The seller often pays the entire real estate commission (5% to 6% of the house sale price, divided between your agent and the seller’s).
A 10-Point Plan for Options (Without Being Overwhelmed)
Homes – Getting Started & Next Steps
According to state law in Florida, sellers have to disclose anything about their property that has a significant impact on its value and that others cannot normally observe. Seller disclosures are crucial for you as a buyer, since sometimes, just looking at a property will not tell you certain problems its owner may have encountered while living there. Additionally, sellers of houses constructed before 1978 should comply with federal Title X disclosures pertaining to lead-based paint and hazards.
Buyers should not exclusively depend on the seller’s disclosures, however, but instead must hire an independent home inspector who can verify the information indicated in the seller’s disclosure. Most buyers’ offers are based on a satisfactory inspection report to make sure that there are no material defects and other such issues as erosion; plumbing, HVAC electrical and electrical irregularities; termites and other pets; and so on.
Real Estate Purchase Agreements
A purchase agreement is a legal document containing all the material terms and conditions of the real estate transaction. It should be signed by both parties, the buyer and the seller, and include an offer to purchase or sell, an acceptance of the offer, the price of the property involved, and a reasonable and accurate property description.
A buyer has to obtain a title search from a title company prior to purchasing a home. The title company scans public records and other sources for liens, easements or other encumbrances or title restrictions that have a bearing on the property. Also consider buying a title insurance policy to shield the title from adverse third-party claims or any issues on the title that may have been skipped by the title search.
Working With a Lawyer
Finally, as opposed to other states, Florida does not require home buyers to involve a lawyer in the transaction. However, even if it’s not required, you may just decide to get one at a certain point in the process–for instance, if you are buying property in a planned unit development with confusing CC&Rs, or if you are jointly buying a house and need help creating your co-buyer agreement.