Posted on Friday, November 17th, 2023

female bank employee asking a customer to read the contract before signing to agree to buy a houseFlorida’s real estate market is intricate and follows specific regulations. When dealing with Florida real estate contracts, an addendum is often a vital component. This article explores what an addendum to a contract is, what is needed to ensure enforceability, and how an Orlando FL real estate lawyer can guide you through the process.

What Is an Addendum to a Real Estate Contract?

An addendum to a contract is a legal document that adds, clarifies, or alters specific terms and conditions within an existing agreement. In the context of Florida real estate contracts, addendums often encompass additional clauses that were not covered or that changes existing clauses within the contract. Consulting with a Florida real estate lawyer can provide clear guidance on when to include an addendum to the contract.

The enforceability of an addendum to a contract in Florida real estate depends on various factors, including without limitation, whether it complies with relevant laws, whether all parties to the transaction have agreed to the addendum and whether all parties to the transaction have signed the addendum, Any addendum entered into must be properly drafted and must be signed by all of the parties to the contract to ensure it is enforceable.
Seeking assistance from an Orlando FL real estate lawyer at Nishad Khan PL ensures that any addendums are properly drafted and executed. Contact us today to schedule a consultation, and to ensure that your real estate transaction is compliant and is tailored to meet your specific needs.

Common Clauses in Florida Real Estate Contracts

Florida real estate contracts often include various clauses to address specific situations and requirements. These clauses are vital in ensuring that all parties understand their respective rights, conditions, and obligations within the agreement.

  1. Closing Date: The closing date clause stipulates the date by when the parties to the contract agree that the closing date shall occur. At times, this closing date can be extended by an addendum when additional time is needed by one of the parties to complete any pre-closing obligations under the contract. If extended, both parties must agree to the new closing date, and an addendum should be drafted and executed in line with Florida real estate contract laws.
  2. Repairs: Some Florida contracts may include repair clauses, which require the Seller to pay up to a certain amount for general repair items, such as, torn screens, fogged windows and missing roof tiles or shingles, or for wood destroying organism treatment and repairs. This helps ensure that the property meets the buyer’s expectations concerning the condition of certain items in the property.
  3. Inspections: This clause outlines the terms for home inspections, including the timeline, and who is responsible for the cost as well as the repairs to the property for any damage to the property that results from such inspections. This type of clause ensures that the buyer has a right to inspect the property and to negotiate the terms further if any property issues are discovered during such inspections.
  4. Financing: A financing clause details the type of financing that will be utilized by the buyer in connection with the closing. Sometimes, the financing clause will provide that the buyer intends to pay for the property with cash, and therefore, there is no financing contingency. Other times, the financing clause will provide that the buyer’s purchase of the property is contingent on the buyer obtaining approval of a mortgage loan within a specific amount of time. If there is a financing contingency within the contract, the buyer may have the right to terminate the contract and receive back his or her deposit, if the buyer is unable to obtain loan approval within the agreed upon amount of time. As you can see, a financing contingency provides protection to the buyer, outlining conditions under which he or she can terminate the contract without penalty if financing is not obtained.
  5. Homeowners Association (HOA) Matters: Some Florida contracts contain a Homeowners’ or Condominium Association Rider to the contract addressing specific association related concerns, this rider outlines the terms related to association assessments or special assessments that a buyer will be responsible for paying, as well as whether the association’s approval of the buyer is required. It helps ensure that the buyer understands his or her rights and obligations regarding the association in the community where the property is located.
  6. Lead-Based Paint Disclosure: For properties built before 1978, a lead-based paint disclosure is required. This federal requirement informs the buyer about the potential presence of lead-based paint, the risks of lead paint and the buyer’s right to have the property inspected for same.
  7. As-is Sale: An as-is sale clause stipulates that the property is being sold in its current state without any warranties regarding its condition. It informs the buyer that he or she is accepting the property with all its existing flaws and protects the seller from future claims related to property condition. However, please note, even if the property is being sold as-is, the seller still has a responsibility, under Florida law, to alert the buyer of any facts materially affecting the value of the property which are not readily observable.

Seeking assistance from an Orlando FL real estate lawyer at Nishad Khan PL ensures that any material clauses are included in the contract before the contract is executed. Contact us today to schedule a consultation, and to ensure that all material terms are addressed in your contract.