The rules governing real estate sales vary from state to state. A seller’s disclosure is a document required by many states, but not all. Florida has a property disclosure-resident property form (SPDR) and a condominium disclosure form. Historically Florida has not required sellers to complete the forms, though the Florida Supreme Court ruled that sellers are required to make known any factors affecting the value of a home to a buyer. The 1985 Johnson vs. Davis case became the basis for the current disclosure rule in Florida. The disclosure can be made verbally or in writing, though it is often advisable to be made in writing and many opt to use the official forms.
In addition to a seller’s disclosure, buyers are entitled to a condominium governance form when they request it. The condominium governance form became effective on January 1, 2009. The governance form is meant to inform the buyer of the rights and responsibilities of the unit owners and the condominium board. The Florida Condominium Act was adopted in 1963 and new rules are introduced annually.
When selling your condominium it is always best to work with a professional real estate agent who is familiar with the current rules and regulations. Phaidra McDermott is a lifelong resident of Sanibel Island. Partnering with Phaidra is an excellent decision. She has extensive knowledge of both Sanibel Island and Captiva Island and will help you sort out all the important particulars in selling your condominium unit. Here are some important things you may need to disclose and can be discussed further in person with Phaidra when selling your condo.
- Legal Claims Affecting The Property: In Florida, a seller must include any potential legal claims or court proceedings that affect the property.
- Sinkholes: Sinkholes are a common hazard in Florida. If sinkholes are present in the condominium complex a seller will need to include this in their disclosure.
- Defective Drywall: Defective drywall is problematic in Florida. You will need to disclose any problems you have encountered with your drywall.
- Major Systems: If there are issues with your heating, ventilation, or air-conditioning (HVAC) you will need to include this in your disclosure. You will also need to disclose any problems with electricity or plumbing.
- Wood Destroying Organisms: If there has been damage from wood destroying organisms, past or present, such as termites or fungi you will need to include this in your disclosure.
- Appliances: If there are problems with the appliances in your condominium unit you will need to include this in your disclosure.
- Structural Problems: If there are any structural problems (roof, foundation, grading, drainage, incomplete work, etc.) you will need to include this in your disclosure.
This is a partial list to help you get started assembling a disclosure statement when preparing to sell your condo on Sanibel or Captiva Island. Understand that Florida does not expect sellers to guarantee their properties are defect free. The laws in Florida are meant to protect both buyer and seller. The disclosure provides the buyer with knowledge of defects not easily detected by the buyer that affect the value significantly, but the buyer must request the disclosure. By preparing an honest and complete disclosure a seller can build trust and avoid future lawsuits. It is always a good decision to work with a real estate professional who is aware of the evolving rules and regulations of the local market. Phaidra McDermott is your exceptional and trusted real estate professional on Sanibel Island and Captiva Island. Contact Phaidra today!