The Florida Association of Realtors has published a new version of the Florida real estate contract effective September 3, 2013. Here are the highlights of the changes:
1. Does your refrigerator stay? According to the Florida Association of Realtors, it does. If you don’t want to leave it, you have to write that in. My opinion? Since the refrigerator is an item commonly removed or used as a negotiating factor, I don’t think it should be pre-printed in the new contract. This item has been bounced back and forth in the last several changes of the FAR purchase and sale agreements.
2. What is the effective date of the contract? It used to be when the last party signed or initialed. Now the effective date is when the contract is “delivered”, and that could be to the agent, not the client. For example, if you signed a counter offer and agreed to a purchase on October 3, but you did not deliver the contract to the agent of the seller until October 5, then October 5 is the contract effective date.
3. What if the property you are selling has a tenant, either long or short term? You must provide a copy of your lease within five days after Effective date. The buyer has five days after receipt to cancel the contract should he not approve of the lease. Don’t forget, even if you have a short-term rental, you must provide the lease agreement.
4. What if there is a tenant Part 2? 10 days prior to closing the seller must furnish estoppel letters with the nature and duration of occupancy, rental rates, advance rent and security deposit written by the tenant. If the tenant will not provide the estoppel letters, the seller must issue an affidavit as to the same. The buyer may contact the tenants directly to ascertain whether the seller affidavit is accurate. If this information does not match the lease provided to the buyer, the buyer may terminate the contract within 5 days of receipt of the estoppel letter or affadavit, but no later than five days before closing.
4. What about mortgage approval? If you are a buyer, you now have to provide a copy of the loan commitment to the seller. In the previous version of the contract, this was not necessary.
5. If you are a “foreign” person, you must notify the seller in writing. Of course, you must also comply with FIRPTA “Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act”.
6. All dates specified in contract, except time for acceptance and effective date – fall on the next business day.
7. You must now deliver a copy of the short sale approval to the buyers within 30 days of approval deadline (not 120 days).
8. They changed a lot of “wills” to “shalls”!
The information provided here is from the Florida Association of Realtors website. For further details, here is a page-by-page Florida real estate contract audio review. If you have any questions, always consult your attorney before signing any real estate contract.
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: [email protected]
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, sells real estate on the Emerald Coast of Florida, in Destin, Miramar Beach, Sandestin, Seaside, Crestview, Rosemary Beach, Mary Esther, Shalimar, Panama City Beach, Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field.