Following a checklist for selling property in Florida can help guide you through the often chaotic and error-prone process. Making mistakes during the sales process can leave you liable, resulting in damages and potentially a failed deal.
Our Florida real estate attorneys welcome you to call us if you need support during your sale. For now, please make use of our legal checklist for selling property in Florida:
Florida Real Estate Sale Checklist
Review Your Need to Sell
Before selling your home, consider the pros and cons of doing it now.
What are your goals for the next 5-10 years? And do they align with the current local housing market? It may be worth remodeling instead or renting out your home for a while. But if everything’s in order, you can give yourself the green light to move on.
Calculate Your Expenses
Selling a property in Florida comes with various expenses, even if you’re listing it yourself without the use of a realtor. In your budget, you need to cover for:
- Capital gains tax
- Mortgage payoff penalties
- Marketing expenses
- Staging expenses
- Moving and removal expenses
- Mortgage-related costs
- Realtor or real estate attorney expenses
- Remodeling or green upgrade costs
- Often around 7-10% of the home’s sale price will go towards closing costs, commissions and taxes depending on the agreement negotiated with the buyer, whether you use a real estate agent and the time of month and year that closing occurs
Make a Sale Strategy
Your sales strategy will allow you to optimize your sale and minimize your expenses based on your goals. Consider:
- How fast do you need to sell your home?
- How much money do you need to make to achieve your goals?
- Do you want to sell the home yourself (For Sale By Owner – FSBO)?
- Do you need a real estate attorney’s assistance? (Yes, if you go FSBO)
- When is the optimal time to sell your property?
Determine the Property Value
Next, discover the property’s fair market value (FMV) and decide upon a listing price that meets your goals.
- Research public records.
- Collect information on local competition and the local property market.
- Ask your real estate agent for a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) report.
- Research any comparables or foreclosures in your area.
- Research market trends.
- Once you have the FMV, consider if you want to be higher or lower. A lower price for example can encourage a bidding war, whereas a higher price may require more patience but a greater reward.
List and Market the Property
Next on our checklist for selling property in Florida, It’s time to get people interested! This is all about spreading the word as much as possible.
- Multiple Listing Services
- ‘For Sale’ signs on and around the property.
- Classified sections in local newspapers
- Real estate publications
- Ads on sites such as craigslist, Facebook and local groups
- Online real estate directories such as Zillow and Trulia
- Consider creating your own website to promote your property if going FSBO.
- Print and share flyers and email notices to those in your circles.
- Hire a professional real estate photographer, or quickly learn how to take some great shots alone.
Showings are the chance to give potential buyers a physical walk around the property.
Before this, ensure the property is:
- Relieved of any necessary repairs.
- Looking attractive inside and out.
- Declutter and depersonalize the home.
- Repainted in neutral colors.
- You can also record a virtual video tour of the property, sharing its best features and appealing anecdotes.
- Include food and refreshments for potential buyers, so they will linger longer and feel at home
- Hold an open house and private viewings for potential buyers.
Review Purchase Offers
Once the offers come in, stay organized by noting the offer, pre-approval letters, earnest money sums, contingencies, closing date and offer expiration dates.
You should also avoid making any quick, emotional decisions.
Counter and Negotiate
When offers come in, that’s your chance to negotiate.
- If you’re uncomfortable with negotiating or don’t have the skill set, you can use your Realtor® or Florida real estate lawyer’s assistance.
- Consider financial incentives, such as making repairs.
- Consider the inclusions of furniture, applicants and fixtures.
- Consider a ‘rent back’ clause, if you are concerned you won’t be able to find a home immediately after your sale.
Any problems you’re aware of with the property must be disclosed to the buyer. It is a legal obligation. These include title issues, faulty foundations, broken windows, faulty electrics or plumbing, mold, sinkholes, pests and much more.
You can find the form online or ask your Florida real estate attorney.
Draft a Sales Contract
Once you accept an offer, you must make a real estate contract. Although there are many online creators, it is highly advised that you work with a Florida real estate attorney as they will have the legal expertise to ensure you are not left liable and that contingencies protect you and your interests.
In Florida, ‘dual agents’ are not allowed. This means the buyer’s attorney or Realtor cannot act on your behalf also when drafting a contract.
Read Related: Who Draws Up The Contract in an FSBO Sale in Florida?
A real estate contract in Florida should include:
- Contract title
- Details of the seller and buyer
- Contract date
- Property details
- Payment terms including closing cost payments
- Financing contingencies
- Inspection contingencies
- Real estate tax details
- Other Contingencies
- Closing Dates
- Property disclosures
Perform a Title Report
A title report should be completed by either side depending on the agreement, which will reveal the history and current status of the property’s title.
It ensures that a potential buyer does not purchase a property where people have rights to the property or liens on the property.
Prepare for Closing Day
Locate and Prepare the Deed
A deed is a physical document detailing the property. It must be obtained and used to sign-off ownership to the buyer.
Title and deed are terms that are often confused. Where title is your right or ownership of property, a deed is a physical document outlining the property. It describes the property and its boundaries in detail, and it’s used to sign-off ownership to the buyer.
Prepare Your Latest Tax and Bill Documents
Buyers may request your latest electricity, water and gas bills. They may also want to see your tax statements. Providing this can help potential buyers know what to expect.
Present Homeowners Association (HOA) Rules
If your property is part of a homeowners association (HOA), the buyer will need to know all rules, agreements and covenants. They should also be notified of any HOA fees. There will likely be forms and fee associated with transferring the HOA account from the seller to the buyer as well as confirming that all payments are current.
Include Plans and Permits
Any renovations or work that has been completed on the property while under your ownership, that required plans and permits, should be shared with the buyer.
Share Receipts and Warranties
If the buyer is receiving appliances or furniture with the property, ensure you provide them with the relevant receipts and warranties.
Contact a Real Estate Sales Lawyer in Florida
If you’re selling a property in Florida and need assistance with any part of the process, our Florida real estate attorneys can help.
We’ll guide you through the process, reviewing legal documents and protecting your rights and interests. We’ll coordinate, prepare and complete documents related to the title, deed, transfer and closing process.
If you’re purchasing property or land in St Petersburg, Florida or Riverview, Florida, contact us today.
Our St Petersburg & Riverview real estate attorneys have extensive experience that can help you through these tricky moments, reviewing your contract, advising you on the next steps to secure your transaction, and successfully finalizing the purchase of your new home or commercial property.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.