Buying a home is an exciting time. However, it also comes with a lot of legally binding paperwork. While it can seem overwhelming to the uninitiated, it's a process real estate agents and attorneys go through every day. Being as they are familiar with the contracts, they know when something doesn't look right and can help to protect your interests. Here are the types of legal contracts used when buying a home in the Sunshine State, and advice on how to make sure you're protected throughout the sale process.
Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase
The purchase and sale agreement is the primary contract you'll need when buying or selling a home in Florida. Known as the FloridaRealtors/FloridaBar-5x, it's a legally binding agreement between the two parties that explains the terms and conditions of the purchase. The provisions typically include the identification of both parties, the real property, and any personal property. Additionally, it will state the purchase price and closing date and will require signatures from both parties.
Some of the important details to check within the contract include:
The property address and description.
The land and buildings included in the offer.
What is included/excluded in the offer (appliances, furnishings, etc.).
The payments that will be due under the contract.
The date you will take possession of the property.
Is the title good and "marketable"?
What type of deed is the seller giving (warranty or quitclaim)?
Who will pay for the title insurance?
Who will select the escrow agent?
Are utilities ready to transfer?
Is a surveyor needed to inspect the property? What will happen if improvements are necessary?
Who will pay the closing costs?
Who will pay the real estate broker?
Who will pay the property taxes?
Are boundary lines specified?
Are the zoning regulations and other restrictions stated?
Does the seller know of any defects?
A real estate attorney can help to ensure that the purchase and sale agreement protects your interests and meets all of your needs and requirements.
Sale and Purchase Contract Addenda
Florida has a variety of contracts and forms for different situations. You may need one of the following, depending on your circumstances.
“AS IS” Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase: A purchase agreement when the seller doesn't want to make any repairs or improvements, and the buyer can opt-out if they aren't satisfied after an inspection.
Comprehensive Rider: This enables buyers and sellers in Florida to add on additional clauses to a regular or as-is purchase agreement.
Contract for Residential Sale and Purchase (CRSP-15): This is a purchase agreement that provides for the arbitration of disputes. You can also opt for the version with 29 additional addendums that can be added to the contract.
Auction Addendum: This contract is used when a home is bought at an auction, and it removes the rights for repairs, inspections, and walk-through provisions of the contract.
Counter Offer: This contract denies a previous offer and enables buyers or sellers to specify the terms and conditions of their counter offer.
Extension Addendum: If you run out of time as per one of your contracts (for inspections, closing, financing, short sale, etc.), this extension form can give you more time.
There are a variety of options if you need to alter sale and purchase contracts.
Power of Attorney
Florida also allows for buyers or sellers to appoint a power of attorney (POA) to act on their behalf in the purchase or sale of a home. This would require the individual to create and sign a document that outlines what the POA has the rights to do.
Many disclosures can also come into play when buying a house. For example, the buyer will receive a home inspection disclosure. This will recommend that the buyer obtains an appraisal, home inspection, and survey and details the scope of the inspection. If the buyer decides to skip these steps, the form also contains a release of liability.
Another disclosure exists to disclose flood rate insurance rate increases and recommends the buyer obtain more information about the cost of coverage. These documents certify that information related to the property was communicated.
When buying a home, you'll probably complete more paperwork than you ever have at one time. However, with a trusted Florida real estate professional by your side, you can sign the dotted line with confidence. Thinking of making the jump to real estate professional yourself? Take our online Florida real estate course to get started on your new career path.