Buying / Selling A Home

What Is A Time Is Of The Essence Clause

A Time is of the Essence Clause in a contract means that the time periods are important in the contract. Any contract that has a Time is of the Essence Clause, a judge or court is going to enforce the time periods strictly whereas if that clause is absent, if someone misses a deadline or a closing by a few days, a court may say that that’s de minimis or not a big deal.

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What Is A Transfer Tax

In Florida when you transfer real estate there’s typically a documentary stamp tax on the deed. Since we don’t have an income tax in the state of Florida the state’s got to make their money somewhere. So in Florida the transfer tax is 70 cents per hundred dollars of consideration paid.

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What Is A Variance And How Is It Related To Residential Real Estate

A variance is something that you apply for when on your property you may have a building or some other situation that doesn’t comply with the zoning laws. Essentially, the variance review board will meet and decide whether or not you can continue to have the structure on your property. It may not have the proper setbacks from the front or side yards. It may have been built previous to the zoning rules. But a variance allows you to continue using that property in the manner you have been using it, even though it may go against current zoning.

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In Florida What Are The Real Estate Agents Obligations With Respect To Disclosure

If the real estate agent is aware of a defect on a property, it’s their duty to disclose that to their client. Similar to a seller’s duty to disclose facts that materially affect the value of the property, the realtor is also held to that standard.

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What Happens At Closing In A Residential Real Estate Transaction

Closing is where everything comes together. The seller will sign and deliver a deed which transfers the property to the buyer. The buyer will sign their loan documents, including a mortgage if they’re getting financing on the property. A closing statement will be drawn up and gone over by the closing attorney or title company with the parties.

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Is The Seller Responsible For Any Closing Costs

Typically, in the state of Florida, the seller is responsible for the documentary stamp tax on the deed. In most counties in Florida, they’re responsible for title insurance and the real estate brokerage fee; however, none of those are actual laws, but rather, customs that have been followed over a long period of time. All of these items can be negotiated at the time of contract.

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What Happens At The Closing

At the closing, the buyer and the seller will each sign their documents. The seller will sign a deed, which actually transfers the property to the buyer. Typically, the buyer will sign a mortgage if they’re borrowing money to buy the property. Then the closing agent will distribute the funds to the people that are due. The parties will exchange keys. Most of the time it’s a pleasant process, but sometimes it’s not so pleasant.

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Is There Recourse In Florida If I Suspect The Seller Lied On The Disclosure By Answering Dont Know About The Property

In Florida a seller has an absolutely duty to disclose all known facts and materially effective value to property that are not retally observable by the buyer. A seller cannot stick their head in the sand and answer, “Don’t know,” when they know for a fact that there is a problem with their property. Even if the house is sold as is, the seller still that obligation to disclose any defects to you. I would recommend consulting with an experienced Florida real estate attorney if you think that the seller has lied or omitted an answer on a defect in the property.

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What Happens To A Buyers Deposit Where The Sale Does Not Close

Depending on how the contract was drafted, the seller may seek to retain the deposit as liquidated damages. Or the buyer may receive a return of the deposit if there was a contingency in the contract that allowed the buyer not to close. You need to consult a professional real estate attorney in Florida to know what your rights are under the contract.

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My Realtor Suggested That I Close My Transaction With His In House Title Insurance Company Rather Than An Attorney Who Does The Title Insurance Company Represent

It’s important that if you’re using an in-house title insurance company, which essentially means that the real estate brokerage or the agent has an ownership interest in the title agency, it’s important to get a second opinion. A real estate attorney has a fiduciary duty to act in your best interests. In those situations, the other parties may or may not have a duty to act in your best interest, so it’s always a good idea to get a separate quote if your agent is encouraging you to use their in-house title company.

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