Posted on Sunday, September 10th, 2023

sign the seller disclosure statement in a real estate transactionWhen it comes to selling residential property, both the buyer and the seller must navigate complex laws and requirements. One of the most vital aspects of this process is understanding the seller disclosure requirement in Florida.

In the state of Florida, a seller’s disclosure is a legal requirement aimed at promoting transparency between the buyer and the seller. This obligation is limited to residential properties only, and ensures that all latent defects and essential facts about the property that materially affect the value of the property are communicated to the buyer, thus allowing the buyer to make an informed decision as to whether he or she would feel comfortable with moving forward and closing on the property. Failure to comply with these requirements can lead to legal ramifications.

What Must Be Disclosed?

Seller disclosures require the seller to disclose any latent defects to the buyer, that are not known by the buyer and that would essentially reduce the value of the property. Latent defects include defects that are hidden and are not readily observable, such as leaks, mold, or termite damage to the home. A seller’s disclosure is designed to inform the buyer of everything he or she needs to know before deciding to purchase the home. Below are some of the things that must be disclosed.

Structural Issues and Repairs

Sellers must disclose any known structural problems, including those that have been repaired. This includes issues with the foundation, roof, walls, and any other significant structural components that affect the value of the property.

Environmental Concerns

If there are known environmental hazards such as lead paint or asbestos, these must also be included in the seller’s disclosure. These issues can affect both the health of the inhabitants and the value of the property.

Other Required Disclosures

Other obligatory disclosures include information about flooding, termites, or other pest infestations on the property.

The seller disclosure obligation in Florida is a multifaceted process that necessitates an in-depth understanding of the property and relevant legal regulations. By ensuring full and accurate disclosure, sellers can foster trust with buyers, avoid legal challenges, and contribute to a smoother transaction process. Engaging with a real estate lawyer in Florida to guide this process can provide essential professional insight and support.

Is Disclosure Required When Selling a Property “As-Is?”

A common question that many sellers and real estate lawyers in Orlando encounter is whether seller disclosure in Florida is required when a property is sold “as-is.” Selling a property “as-is” means that the seller is selling the property in its current condition, without any warranties or representations, express or implied, as to its physical condition or its history. However, this does not exempt the seller from disclosure requirements.

In the state of Florida, even when a property is listed and sold “as-is,” the seller must still provide a seller’s disclosure outlining any latent or hidden defects related to the property. This is in line with Florida’s legal commitment to ensure transparency and honesty in real estate transactions.

Information Sellers Are Not Required to Disclose

While seller disclosure in Florida requires a comprehensive account of various structural, environmental, and legal aspects, there are specific instances where disclosure is not mandated. These exceptions are just as crucial for both buyers and sellers to navigate the transaction process properly.

  • Florida law specifically exempts the disclosure of any known or obvious defects in the property that are readily observable by the buyer, such as torn screens or peeling paint.
  • Florida law does not necessitate the disclosure of defects that a seller does not know of. Meaning, the seller is not obligated to investigate the home to confirm whether any hidden or latent issues exist. Instead, the seller is only required to disclose any hidden or latent issues that the seller has actual knowledge of, so if the seller is unaware of the hidden defect, the seller is not in violation of the seller disclosure laws.

These nuances in seller disclosure in Florida further emphasize the need for professional legal guidance. By understanding the requirements and seeking the counsel of experienced real estate lawyers in Orlando, such as Nishad Khan P.L., you can avoid potential pitfalls and ensure a successful transaction.

Contact us today for a consultation and let us guide you through the complexities of seller disclosure in Florida.