Real estate transactions can be one of those events where what you see is not always what you get. Sure, you can trust what you see in terms of square footage, for example, but there are many parts of the property and its history that you can’t see during a walk-through. 

You can’t see whether there is radon gas in the home or if it sits near a sinkhole. You don’t know if it’s been part of a boundary dispute or contains mold or other environmental hazards. Even with an inspection, you may not know if there are issues with the structural elements of the home. This is why in Florida, as in many states, sellers are obligated to disclose certain information about the property to potential buyers. 

Seller Disclosure Requirements

Seller disclosures are meant to protect buyers from unexpected issues and provide them with a comprehensive view of the property’s condition. If there are problems with the property that could affect the value of the home, buyers need to know about it.

Seller disclosures may be made in writing or verbally, though it is highly advisable to complete the disclosure form in writing. Case law for seller disclosure requirements stems from Johnson vs. Davis in which the Florida Supreme Court held that “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.” 

Importance of Seller Disclosures

Seller disclosures serve several purposes and benefit both buyers and sellers in real estate transactions. For one, disclosures help buyers make informed decisions. They offer buyers a better understanding of the property’s condition and any potential risks that come with it. 

Disclosures also reduce seller liability by providing full disclosure of known issues. Failure to do so can lead to legal disputes and potential lawsuits down the road.

Lastly, complete and accurate seller disclosures can lead to smoother transactions and help build trust between buyers and sellers.

Contact our Team at Sirulnik Law and ADS Title Services with Questions

If you are preparing to buy or sell a property in South Florida or have questions about disclosures, get in touch with the Law Offices of Alex D. Sirulnik, P.A. and ADS Title Services, Inc.