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Jackie Colson-Miller

Jackie Colson-Miller, CIPS
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Homeward Real Estate
3401 Henderson Blvd
Tampa, FL 33609
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10 Changes to the Florida Real Estate Contract and How They Will Affect You! (Part 1)

The Latest Version of the Florida Association of Realtors Real Estate Contract (FAR-9) went into effect on May 1, 2007. There are some sweeping changes that every Buyer and Seller in the State of Florida should be aware of before entering into a contract. For a copy of the contract, to follow along with the changes as I discuss them, click here.

The most significant changes to the contract deal with improvements to the property (additions, fences, pools, etc.) and whether, or not, those improvements were properly permitted and the final inspections for the permits completed. It is very important to note that these improvements may have been done PRIOR to this sellers ownership of the property, but the current owner is held responsible for insuring that all improvements to the property were properly permitted. The time to start the investigative process regarding the improvements and permits associated with your property is NOW. It may be unlikely that a complication involving an improvement done without a permit, or an unclosed permit, could be resolved before closing. A contract may fall-through simply because an owner failed to start the investigative process in a timely manner. The changes and the Paragraph() in the contract that the changes are applied to are outlined below.

1. Seller to Provide Buyer with Written documentation that all open permits have been closed out and that Seller has obtained required permits for improvements to the property. (8) You can check on any permits issued for any property in the City of Tampa at this site . This clause pre-dates the current ownership of the property.

2. A 1.5% of the purchase price allowance has been added for the costs incurred by the Seller to close out open permits and remedy any violation of governmental entity, including obtaining permits, up to 5 days before closing. Final inspections to be done no later than 5 days before closing. If the cost exceeds the Permit Limit, either party can pay the excess, failing which, either party can cancel the contract.(5a)

3. If final inspections cannot be be performed, due to delays by a governmental entity, the Closing Date shall be extended for up to 10 days to complete such inspections,failing which, either party may cancel the contract and Buyers deposit shall be refunded.(8)(a)(4) Pay significant attention to this clause. The contract could be cancelled because a government entity cannot schedule your inspection within a certain time period. Sellers should start the investigative process regarding permits LONG before they have a contract on their property. I am going to add an addendum to my listing paperwork, which will require Sellers to initiate the process within 3 days of signing the listing agreement. Real Estate agents will need to impress upon their clients how important this is.

This will have a significant impact on any transaction in which any party to the contract has another property closing on the same closing date! If one closing does not take place on the required closing date, it may put a Buyers escrow deposit at risk in a separate transaction. A domino effect .

For more information about what requires a permit, see the City of Tampa Residential Review Guide.

The information contained herein is my opinion of the implications of the changes in the FAR-9 contract. For legal advice concerning the FAR-9 contract, please consult an attorney.

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Watch for Part 2 10 Changes to the FAR contract

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3 Responses to “10 Changes to the Florida Real Estate Contract and How They Will Affect You! (Part 1)”

  1. Hello!!!

    Nice and well posted that you made!! Its very informative and Knowledgeable for
    every one who visited to your site/blog. Keep up the good work..Cheers

    Best Regards,
    Freddie Aguilar
    Real Estate Investments

  2. Sean Carmody says:

    Thanks for the heads up!

  3. Nora Bernhardt says:

    Thanks for this information. We followed up and made sure that permits issued for work have been finalized. It sure is easier to have this information on hand and not have to scramble around for it during a sale.

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