Law

Guide to Sellers Disclosure Florida when selling a house in 2022

House owners are now required to disclose information about any potential physical faults or deficiencies in their house that they are aware of and that could deter potential buyers. The Sellers disclosure Florida form is designed to alleviate some of the problems that arise when property owners fail to acknowledge the true state of the property. 

This paperwork is separate from the two parties’ sales agreement. Sellers’ disclosure will be available online, in-office supply stores, or with a real estate agent. Real estate disclosure papers are required in most states. In some states, the vendor must also disclose any potential external risks.

What is a Seller Disclosure Form?

In a Seller Disclosure Form, a seller must disclose any facts or conditions that significantly impact the property’s value. The form should include the following details:

  • Foundation cracks or other instability of the structure
  • Water leaks in the past or current
  • Roof damage
  • Infestations of termites and other insects
  • Environmental risks
  • Problems with the heating or cooling system
  • Issues with the electrical system

What must a seller disclose in Florida?

Information on the property

You have to list all of the components in the house that are installed and functional. Property information will cover appliances such as a refrigerator, dishwasher, bathroom mirror, solar panels, and in-ground pool. This part also includes information on your utilities, such as if you utilize an electric or gas supply.

Land Use/Roads

In this part, you must specify if the property’s access roads are public or private and whether the land is zoned for its current use.

Claims and Assessments 

The seller must note any assessments, legal actions, or other matters impacting the property. If the local government has informed you that your property requires particular repairs, note it here.

Restrictions of the Condominium Association

You have to inform the buyer about any HOA costs and where they should be paid. This section also covers any limits by HOA-type organizations, including resale or leasing restrictions.

Environment

This section covers hazardous substances on your property (such as asbestos, radon gas, and propane). A lead paint declaration is required for any property built before 1978. 

Insurance Claims

House owners should cover structural damage to the house (such as floods) and any changes (such as adding rooms). 

Roofing Materials

You have to write down the approximate age of your roof if it’s ever leaked and any repairs or replacements that have been made in this part. If your roof has a warranty, you’ll need to give a copy of it and the disclosure report.

Wood destroying Organisms  

When it comes to house pest problems, Florida is at the top of the list. If you’ve ever experienced termite or ant problems, even if you could solve them, you have to record them here. It’s also important to note any difficulties with wood-rotting fungi.

Sinkholes, soil movement, and settling

As the amount of limestone in Florida dissolves when exposed to acidic water, sinkholes are common. You have to keep track of any instances of soil movement and any insurance claims for sinkhole repairs, etc.

Plumbing

This section covers both plumbing and drinking water supply difficulties and your sewage system. Here’s where you have to jot down any pertinent information (such as the age of your septic tank if you have one).

Electricity System  

If your electrical system has been damaged or has had any malfunctioning switches, note it here. You should also check to see if your house has aluminum wiring.

Air Conditioning and Heating

You must keep track of the systems in your house and their age, and any previous concerns.

Intrusion of Water

If you’ve ever experienced problems with water seeping into your basement, you should mention it here. Any issues with dampness or water intrusion, including crawlspaces, should be reported.

What happens if a seller refuses to provide information?

No single law in Florida outlines all sellers disclosure duties. Rather, it is governed by several laws, each severely imposing penalties on a residential real estate seller who fails to disclose all major and latent defects in the property before closing. 

Failure to meet the seller’s disclosure duties may give the buyer legal grounds to terminate the real estate purchase agreement and seek damages. Even if the buyer agrees to purchase the property “as is,” with all problems, you must still report the house’s current state and any issues you are aware of.

In Florida, what does a seller not have to disclose? 

A seller should not be concerned about being compelled to know or disclose every detail of the house’s condition. Usually, house sellers in Florida are shielded from being sued when they sell their property through the courts.

Sellers in Florida are not obligated to guarantee that their houses are free of problems, which would be difficult to achieve in most cases. In addition, Florida courts have found that house sellers cannot be held accountable for flaws in the property that they were unaware of.

Certain things are exempt from the definition of material facts’ under Florida laws. As a result, failing to divulge the below data has no legal ramifications. 

  • Data about whether any prior occupant has HIV AIDS.
  • Whether there has ever been a suicide, homicide, or death on the property.

One disadvantage of a seller’s disclosure form from the buyer’s perspective is identifying whether or not the seller is reporting everything. When it comes to their understanding of existing flaws, sellers benefit from the doubt. 

They cannot be held liable or legally sanctioned for problems they were unaware of. Whether the vendor is honest or not, proving disclosure fraud in a court of law is frequently difficult.

Conclusion

Buying a property is a large investment with numerous hazards. Florida state law protects buyers’ interests by allowing sellers to disclose particular property issues in Sellers disclosure which develops credibility. 

Florida’s seller disclosure laws are a little tricky. Selling your home FSBO is usually a good idea, but you’ll have to handle all the disclosures yourself. So you can take the guidance of Flat fee MLS service companies such as Houzeo for a quick & easy selling process.

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