Legal Issues for Buyers and Sellers In Cocoa Beach
Individuals who have visited the wonderful city of Cocoa Beach, Florida, can attest to the urge of longing to be a property owner in the home of over six miles of ocean beaches. Cocoa Beach is a dynamic city with lots of community amenities and a wide range of shopping destinations, entertainment and dining.
Real Estate Law You Should Be Aware Of
In the event you are looking at real estate statistics in Cocoa Beach, with the intent of purchasing a home or condo, it is important to understand the law governing the purchase of such. You may ask your Realtor to take you through all the do’s and don’ts. While this shouldn’t be considered legal advice or a substitute for attorney advice, here is some general info on laws affecting the sale and purchase of property in Cocoa Beach.
The law on seller’s disclosure
The seller disclosure law is a general law affecting the whole of Florida, including Cocoa Beach real estate. Sometime back in Florida, sellers were able to sell property with major construction defects that would bring the value of a property down for unsuspecting buyers. For this reason, the law requires that home or property sellers must disclose to someone planning to buy a home all possible facts and conditions regarding the property, particularly if it could affect the value of the home or property. This regulation is applicable even if the seller has not asked about the condition or defects of the property. Some of the issues that could potentially reduce the value of a home or property may include:
- Issues with the title deed – having a “cloud on the title”
- Disputes with the boundaries of the property – which are usually found by a survey
- Matters to do with the heating or air conditioning system
- Roof defects – Roof work can be very expensive to remedy
- Insect infestations – make sure to have a current WDIR
- Water Leaks
- Environmental hazards
- Cracks in the foundation and any other instabilities
- Electrical wiring problems
As a potential buyer, it is your duty to carry out inspections on the property you are seeking to acquire. The seller is only obligated to point out obvious or apparent issues. A good idea is to hire a professional home inspector. A good home inspector will go through the home thoroughly, inspecting and checking on just about everything. They will also provide you with a written report for your records & negotiations with the seller. Home inspections can range between $200-$500 depending on the location and the size of the house, and the inspector can point out any “red flags” that may require further investigation which can avoid many legal issues. Many times this includes going through crawl spaces, basement, attics, and roofs. All of this must be completed within the timing drawn out in the purchase agreement fully completed and documented prior to the real estate closing.
The Due process of selling or buying a property in, Florida
Depending on the state or city, the process of buying or selling a property is different. For those in Cocoa Beach, Florida, the following steps should be followed with the help of your Realtor.
- Acceptance of the offer– when the seller accepts the offer from the buyer, the agreement is sealed by both parties signing a contract. The seller may request that the earnest money is paid to an attorney or agent. The contract is then sent to a title company or attorney for the transfer of title to the new owners. All matters listed in the title deed should be confirmed at this juncture.
- Disclosure- the person intending to sell a home or property must make it known to the buyer of all matters that could potentially affect the value of the house. He or she must present the list disclosure before the closing date. The buyer is required to acknowledge this list before the finalization of the sale.
- Inspections- as earlier mentioned, it is the duty of the buyer to carry out inspections on the property before the time indicated on the contract elapses.
- Negotiations- after the initial negotiation & acceptance, sellers could again be asked to lower the sales price, finish repair work if indicated in the home inspection, or provide a home warranty to deal with any future or unknown problems with the property or home.
- Secure a mortgage- having agreed to the price, the buyer is required to apply for a mortgage to facilitate payment. All necessary steps during application should be adhered to. Work closely with a mortgage lender to guide you through all the steps and paperwork.
- Pre-closing- here, a closing date is set and all paperwork such as title insurance, deed, lender forms and any other document collections. The buyer is given the final payment amount they’ll need for the closing.
- Closing- this is done in the office of the title company office, attorney or real estate office. The buyer and seller have signed all required documents, the lender has funded the loan, the deed is transferred and recorded. All in accordance with Florida real estate law. Once “confirmation” of recording is received, the deal is done and the buyer takes the keys! Welcome to your new home!