The Ins and Outs of Florida Real Estate Contracts

Standardized Legal Documents The Ins and Outs of Florida Real Estate Contracts

Home Is Where Your Florida Real Estate Contract Is

Although real estate purchase agreements are similar across all states, you should note the specifics that apply in the state you live in when entering into a real estate contract.

Florida has two main types of real estate agreements—the so-called “as-is” contract and the standard residential contract for sale and purchase. Both are referred to as the Florida Realtors/Florida Bar contracts. Let’s take a closer look at the FR/Bar contracts to help you negotiate the terms you are most comfortable with.

What Is the Florida Real Estate Purchase Agreement?

The Florida residential sale and purchase contract is a legal document negotiated and signed by two parties—the buyer and the seller. As its name suggests, the agreement applies to residential property and excludes commercial assets.

Like any other sales contract, the Florida real estate purchase agreement outlines the terms of the transaction between the buyer and the seller. Any party can write the contract alone or with the help of a lawyer.

When the contract template is drawn up, the parties should confirm the terms of the transaction and the property price before signing the agreement.

Check out the main elements of the real estate contract in the table below:

The Contract ClauseWhat It Includes

Identification of the parties

Names of the property buyer, seller, and any co-owners

Real property description

The street address and legal description of the property

Personal property description

Personal items that may or may not be included in the transaction, such as stoves, refrigerators, or window treatments

Purchase price

Either a set price of the property or a realistically estimated figure

Closing details

Dates when the property will be exchanged and paid for and the closing costs incurred by the signing parties

Property condition

Information provided by the seller about the condition of the property, which is delivered after the inspection

Financing is an important element of real estate residential contracts. A third party usually covers the cost, like a bank or another lending institution. A buyer can only secure the financing upon signing the agreement.

If the buyer is paying the property from their own funds, no financing clause is needed. This is usually referred to as a cash closing.

What Is The Florida “As-Is” Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase?

The so-called “as-is” real estate contracts are gaining more and more popularity in Florida. The “as-is”  agreements don’t legally obligate the seller to inspect the property and repair all damage before the transaction. The buyer takes the property as it is.

If a buyer is negotiating an “as-is” residential contract for sale and purchase, they usually have 10–15 days to inspect the property. If they find that any damage needs to be repaired, they can ask the seller to either decrease the purchase price or provide credit for repairs before the contract is signed.

Note that the seller is still obliged to disclose any information about the property under the “as-is” contract, such as information about:

  • Legal proceedings related to the property
  • Issues with the condition of the property
  • Boundary disputes
  • Environmental hazards
  • Termites or pests infestations

Tips for Filling Out the Florida Real Estate Contract Form

When filling out the FR/Bar “as-is” contract, you should note that:

  1. The name of the seller must be the same as it is on the title of the property
  2. Names of the co-owners, if there are any, must be included as well
  3. Any items of the personal property excluded from the transaction have to be listed in the contract
  4. Deposit given to the seller before the inspection period can be nonrefundable, which increases the likelihood of closing the purchase after the inspection
  5. Both refundable and non-refundable deposit to the seller gives the buyer the right to walk away from the deal after inspection
  6. Representatives of trusts or entities, if any such co-own the property, must sign the agreement along with the seller

What Else Should You Know About the Florida Law on Real Estate Contracts?

Whether you are selling or buying property in Florida, you should know the following rules for real estate contracts:

  • The three-day right to cancel the buyer’s offer after it’s been made is not exercised in Florida
  • Time periods exclude weekends and end at 5 p.m. local time
  • A power of attorney allows sellers to assign another person to sign the agreement
  • Contracts aren’t automatically terminated if the closing date isn’t met

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