Updated August 14th, 2019
Buyers and sellers in Florida must use a specific contract for any homes that are bought or sold “as is”. Although this form is fairly simple, there are a number of nuances that buyers and sellers should be aware of.
If you are buying or selling a house “as is” in Florida, it’s crucial you work with an experienced real estate agent to ensure you fill out all necessary paperwork correctly.
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In this article, we’ll explain what an “as is” sale is and what specific regulations Florida has in place.
What does “as is” mean in real estate?
The term “as is” means slightly different things depending on whether you’re talking about real estate as a whole or in Florida specifically:
What does it mean to sell a property “as is”?
When a property is sold “as is,” it means that the buyer will get the property in its current condition. More specifically, this means that the seller will not entertain requests for repairs, no matter how serious an issue is — if something disastrous turns up during the inspection, the seller won’t do a thing about it.
What does “as is” mean in Florida real estate?
In Florida, “as is” means basically the same thing as it does anywhere else: the property will be sold in its current state and without any repairs. However, things are a little different in Florida because there is a specific form that needs to be filled out. This form states that the buyer will be responsible for paying for any required repairs on the home.
What is an “as is” residential contract for sale and purchase?
An “as-is” residential contract for sale and purchase is a contract a buyer and seller sign that stipulates that the seller will not pay for any repairs. With a conventional sale, there is usually room for negotiations regarding payment for repairs. However, when a buyer signs an “as is” contract, they waive that opportunity and agree to purchase the property in its current condition, flaws and all.
How does a Florida “as is” specific contract work?
Usually, purchase contracts in Florida have three lines that buyers and sellers will use to detail the amount the seller has agreed to pay for repairs. However, in an “as is” sale, these lines would be superfluous since payment for repairs is not up for debate.
Because of this, Florida uses a specific form for “as is” sales. In this form, the three lines for repairs are absent. The form states that the agreement is subject to a satisfactory inspection, but after that, the buyer is on their own if they want to go ahead with the purchase.
The form also stipulates that if the buyer’s lender requires any repairs, the buyer will need to pay for those themselves. This is different from a conventional sale, in which the buyer and sell would typically enter negotiations upon the discovery of a significant issue.
Should I use a Florida “as is” contract?
If you are selling a home in Florida and you wish to put it up for sale in its current condition and don’t want to pay for any repairs then you should use an “as is” contract. This will make it clear to the buyer that there is no room for negotiation as far as repairs go.
If you are buying a home in Florida, conventional real estate contracts offer more protections, so those are the preferred option.
How can I get out of a real estate contract in Florida?
As a seller, there is usually no easy way out of a real estate contract in Florida. If you can no longer go through with the home sale, your best bet is to refund the buyer’s earnest money, pay for their expenses, and try to appeal to them on a personal level. Let them know what changed and try to get them to empathize with your situation.
As a buyer, you have even fewer options. Unless you have contingencies in place that cover your current situation, you’ll lose your earnest money deposit if you back out of a real estate contract.
Who is the best person to help with an “as is” real estate contract in Florida?
If you need help with an “as is” real estate contract in Florida, you should get in contact with a real estate agent. An experienced realtor will have firsthand experience buying and selling “as is” properties. They’ll be well-versed in the intricacies of Florida’s “as is” contracts and will be able to answer any questions you may have.
Clever connects buyers and sellers with top-rated local real estate agents who have the experience necessary to successfully navigate “as is” contracts. Clever partners with top agents from major brands like Keller Williams, Century 21, and RE/MAX who offer full-service quality at a discount price. Sellers can sell their home for a flat-fee of just $3,000 and buyers can benefit from a $1,000 Home Buyer Rebate.
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Top FAQs About Florida Real Estate Contracts
Can you write your own real estate contract?
Yes, it’s possible to write your own real estate contract, but it is not advised. Each state and county has its own real estate regulations and without professional real estate or legal experience you stand a slim chance of being able to properly interpret the law. When entering a purchase agreement, always work with an attorney and real estate agent to make sure all your bases are covered legally.
What should be included in a real estate contract?
The most important things to include in a real estate contract are the agreed upon sales price and any contingencies that will allow either the buyer or the seller to back out of the deal. Additionally, the contract should include a list of all items included in the property, the amount of earnest money deposited, an itemized list of closing costs and who will pay them, the condition of the property, and of course, the signatures of all relevant parties.
Who signs the purchase and sale agreement first?
Generally, the buyer will be the first to sign the purchase and sale agreement. Once signed, they will deposit their earnest money and hand off the contract to the seller. The seller will then sign the contract.
Why sell a house “as is?”
Sellers often list a house “as is” when they need to get it off their hands quickly. Usually, this means they are in financial straits or a major life event is forcing them to move. An “as is” sale allows a seller to bypass much of the work usually associated with a home sale such as fixing it up, doing renovations, and performing pre-sale repairs. As a trade off, the seller will profit less from the sale and may have trouble attracting buyers.
What is a FAR/BAR “as is” contract?
A FAR/BAR “as is” contract is a real estate contract for an “as is” home sale that has been approved by the FAR or the BAR — the Florida Association of Realtors and the Florida Bar Association, respectively. The FAR/BAR have specific forms that Florida buyers and sellers use for “as is” real estate transactions.