What You Need to Know When Buying a House in Florida Various states have various laws and standard practices when it comes to purchasing a house. In Florida, below are the most important things you should know: Working with an Agent Before buying a house, condo, or any other home in Florida, work with a well-reputed real estate agent who can help you look for properties and manage all the complex procedures involved in the transaction. A real estate agent provides plenty of advantages, from local market knowledge to negotiating expertise and more. Best of all, they won’t charge you anything. The seller often pays the entire real estate commission (5% to 6% of the house sale price, divided between your agent and the seller’s).
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Seller Disclosure
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Based on state law in Florida, sellers must disclose any facts or conditions true to their property that have a considerable impact on its value and which others cannot easily notice. 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. Additionally, sellers of houses constructed before 1978 should comply with federal Title X disclosures pertaining to lead-based paint and hazards. Home Inspections 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. Most buyers’ offers are based on a satisfactory inspection report to make sure that there are no material defects and other such issues as erosion; plumbing, HVAC electrical and electrical irregularities; termites and other pets; and so on. Real Estate Purchase Agreements A purchase agreement is a legal document containing all the material terms and conditions of the real estate transaction. 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. Title Issues A party must first secure a title search from a title company before buying a home. The title company reviews public records and other sources that may indicate any liens, easements or any other encumbrances or title restrictions affecting the property. Also consider getting a title insurance policy to protect the title against adverse claims by any third party, or any issues on the title that the title search may have missed. Working With a Lawyer Finally, as opposed to other states, Florida does not require home buyers to involve a lawyer in the transaction. However, even if it’s not required, you may just decide to get one at a certain point in the process–for instance, if you are buying property in a planned unit development with confusing CC&Rs, or if you are jointly buying a house and need help creating your co-buyer agreement.

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