Tampa Residential Real Estate Attorney
As a Real Estate Attorney, my most common meetings are with people wanting to buy a home. Many of them are first time buyers, brand new to the process and want to be sure they are protected. Some are selling their home and want to make sure they are filling the forms out correctly. Others are working with realtors but want an attorney to oversee the process. As a Real Estate Attorney, I pride myself on helping both sides of a real estate purchase. A residential real estate attorney should be well versed on both sides of the negotiation. To that end, understanding how form contracts work – and are litigated – can make all the difference in the world. If you are about to sign a real estate contract and have questions, feel free to contact my office!
Types of Contracts
Generally, in a residential real estate sale or purchase, most people in Hillsborough County are using one type of contract. This is the FR/BAR contract (FAR/BAR). This contract is a joint effort by the Florida Realtors and the Florida Bar and is approved by both. I differentiate myself from other attorneys by participating on the Florida Bar portion of the committee (REIL). There can be other contracts – some self-written – and offer different protections. Understanding how each contract helps you – either as buyer or seller – is vital! Generally, there are two types of these contracts. Most of the time, the “AS-IS” residential contract sells the property in the same condition it is when you see it initially. The standard residential contract provides certain protections for issues that may be detected, such as an amount set apart for repairing the property. A common misconception is that you have to use every provision. This isn’t true, as long as the parties agree, you can modify it.
A duty to disclose
The biggest thing to remember in a residential real estate contract is that the seller has an important duty to disclose. In a residential real estate transaction where the seller of a home knows of facts materially affecting the value of the property which are not readily observable and are not known to the buyer, the seller is under a duty to disclose them to the buyer. See Johnson v. Davis.