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Accurate disclosures protect real estate sellers from liability

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2021 | Real Estate Litigation |

Selling a home could be a time when you earn a profit or simply move on to new adventures. Whatever your motivation for selling a property in Florida, you are about to be a party to a high-value transaction. This means that you have legal obligations to meet once you enter a contract with a buyer. Seller disclosures take the spotlight when putting your home on the market. These documents reveal important details about the property so that prospective buyers can make an informed decision about whether to complete the purchase. Incomplete or missing disclosures could expose you to liability should the buyer feel misled about the condition of the property.

Many property issues call for disclosure

The current condition of a property along with documentation about major repairs presents fairly obvious information that you should disclose. However, buyers may need to know more than the basic facts about the structure. Even if a disclosure is not technically required, the absence of meaningful information could support a buyer’s position should that person choose to seek damages for a defective property.

Common issues to disclose:

  • Neighborhood nuisances like agricultural or industrial operations
  • Violent death at the property
  • Environmental hazards
  • Homeowner association fees
  • Water damage

Necessary Florida home disclosures

At a minimum in Florida, a seller must prepare a federal disclosure form about lead paint, property condition and a condominium disclosure statement if applicable. Your specific property, however, may need to prepare other disclosures to account for specific circumstances. Local jurisdictions may have special disclosure requirements that pertain to regional issues.

Plan for a smooth sale

No one wants to revisit a real estate sale because of a lawsuit. A good offense in the form of thorough seller disclosures outweighs a good defense should you be accused of hiding information about a property. Your disclosure documentation could protect you should a buyer later confront you with litigation.