Transamerican Realty Group Holdings
Donald Hughes, Transamerican Realty Group HoldingsPhone: (954) 649-0654
Email: [email protected]

Seller Disclosure Obligations are Put Into Law in Florida

by Donald Hughes 06/28/2021

 Photo by Arek Socha via Pixabay

There’s an old phrase that says “buyer beware.” While, to some extent, this holds true in real estate, the good news for buyers is there are a number of protections in place which are regulated by federal law. States can opt to add their own requirements.

Florida has exercised its right to enact several seller disclosure obligations into law. These protections are put into place to shield home buyers from fraud, property defects or other problems. In the Sunshine State, here are the primary disclosures home sellers are legally required to share with potential buyers.

Material facts

All sellers are required to disclose what the State of Florida defines as “material facts.” This means they must inform a buyer about any facts not readily observable details about the property that might impact property value, health or safety. Examples include:

  • Faulty wiring
  • Cracked foundation
  • History of termites, carpenter ants or other wood-destroying organisms
  • Past or present instances of water damage
  • Leaky plumbing
  • Problems with the HVAC system
  • A leaky roof or related defects
  • Environmental hazards, including mold, asbestos, lead or Chinese drywall
  • Some types of home insulation
  • Boundary disputes
  • Problems associated with the title of the home or property
  • To summarize, a “material fact” is an existing condition that may have impacted a buyer’s decision to purchase, particularly those associated with major components of the home. This disclosure also applies to sellers listing their homes as “AS IS.”

    It should be noted if any deaths, including homicide or suicide, occurred on the property, these are not considered to be material facts.

    Code enforcement action

    In the event a home has a pending code enforcement action against it, sellers are required to disclose this situation to potential buyers in writing. They must also provide the buyer with copies of all pleadings, notices and any other documents relating to the situation. This includes verbiage outlining the buyer assumes responsibility for any compliance remedies associated with the outcome if they purchase the property.

    Radon gas

    Sellers are required to provide a buyer before or during the execution of a purchase contract (or rental agreement lasting more than 45 days) information relating to the presence of radon gas. This requirement excludes unimproved properties, such as vacant land.

    Other disclosures sellers must make include:

  • Summary of property tax
  • Any condominium or condominium association rules connected to the property
  • History of or current presence of a sinkhole
  • Presence of endangered species
  • It’s also important to understand sellers only are required to disclose any defects they’re aware of. Florida State Law stipulates sellers aren’t held responsible for any defects they didn’t know or “should have known” about. If a dispute arises, the buyer is responsible for proving a seller did know about the defect.

    About the Author

    Donald Hughes

    With 10+ years in residential and investment real estate, I've seen the good and the bad of the business. In that time, I've built relationships with professionals to help ensure each and every one of my clients walks away knowing they got the best possible result in their sale or purchase. Some of what I will handle for you include:  

    • Listing details
    • Marketing strategies
    • Prequalifying buyers
    • Escrow
    • Inspections
    • Negotiations
    • Monitoring crucial contract details and deadlines

    Rest assured I will make you and your next transaction my top priority. Take a look at my reviews on my About page and you will get a better understanding of who I am and how I work for my clients. Then give me a call and let's discuss your real estate goals.