Basics of Buying a Home in Florida
Different states have their own laws and practices when it comes to purchasing a house. In Florida, here are the most important things you have to know:
Using 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 thing is, they won’t cost you a thing. The seller generally covers the entire real estate commission (around 5% to 6% of the house sale price, to be divided between your agent and the seller’s).
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The Essential Laws of Properties Explained
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 extremely important for you as a buyer, because simply just looking at a property will not be enough to reveal what issues its owner has encountered with it. Moreover, sellers of structures built prior to 1978 must follow federal Title X disclosures on 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. A lot of buyers base their offers on a satisfactory inspection report to ensure the absence of material defects and to identify the presence of such issues as termites and other pests, erosion, electrical, plumbing and HVAC irregularities, and so on.
Real Estate Purchase Agreements
A legal document which contains all material terms and conditions of a real estate transaction, is called a purchase agreement. Signed by both parties (buyer and seller), it must include an offer to buy or sell, an acceptance of the offer, the price of the property, and a correct and sufficient property description.
A buyer needs to get a title search from a title company before they purchase 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. As well, it’s worth considering getting a title insurance policy to protect the title from adverse third-party claims, or any problems the title search might have missed.
Working With a Lawyer
Finally, in contrast other states, Florida does not require home buyers to use a lawyer. But even if it’s not required, you may decide you need one at some point in the process–for instance, if you are purchasing property in a planned unit development with complex CC&Rs, or if you are buying a house jointly with other people and need help in drafting your co-buyer agreement.