Preparing in advance to have the right Real Estate closing documents in Florida will prevent deal-breaking mistakes and ensure your dream purchase or sale goes through smoothly.
Various real estate closing documents in Florida are required to finalize the process. Without these, the other party may back out or see the sale delayed until further notice (depending on what was written in the contract).
We recommend you consult a Florida real estate attorney to ensure you don’t overlook any document that may be relevant to your contact that isn’t listed in this blog.
Key Real Estate Closing Documents in Florida:
A deed is a document that records the transfer of ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer. You’ll often hear the word ‘Deed’ during your real estate purchase or sale.
For real estate to have been legally transferred, the deed must be signed by the seller and recorded in the local county’s public records.
In Florida, the deed is usually a ‘warranty deed’. Warranty deeds confirm that the seller is promising stated warranties. For example, the seller may guarantee that the property is clear of all liens and creditor claims.
Another common type of Deed is a ‘Quit Claim Deed’. These see the seller transfer the property without warranty and are often used in ‘As Is’ real estate sales.
Required by federal law, a closing disclosure details all the terms of your law. Buyers must have a copy of their Closing Disclosure at least 3 business days before closing day.
If you’re a buyer, you should review your closing disclosure document carefully to understand what you’re agreeing to. Now is not the time to overlook a condition or payment agreement that could surprise you later.
Bill of Sale for Personal Property
Real estate sold in Florida often comes with personal property, such as furniture, appliances, electronics, decorations and security equipment.
In most real estate sales, these items will be transferred via a ‘Bill of Sale’. This formal real estate closing document will detail the personal property and acts as proof of the transfer.
Property Taxes Agreements
Usually, a seller is relieved of their requirement to pay property taxes on the property. But in some cases, they may have to pay taxes from the gross tax amount of the previous year.
To prevent the seller from paying an incorrect amount at closing, a ‘property tax agreement’ may be signed to assign how the taxes will be paid when the final tax bill arrives. In Florida, tax bills are sent by the county taxing authority in November, and must be paid before April 1 of the next tax year.
Affidavits are sworn statements that record the signer’s belief that the information in a document is true and correct. It’s like an oath.
Used as a real estate closing document in Florida, an affidavit can be used to reassure the buyer that there are no outstanding contracts, liens, governmental law violations, mortgages, claims or other disputes against the property. This includes promising that there have been no improvements in the past 90 days with outstanding bills.
If the seller lies while signing an affidavit, the buyer could later choose to sue the seller for their false information.
Handling these documents is best done with the assistance of a Florida real estate lawyer.
Power of Attorney Documents
Power of Attorney documents grant a selected individual the legal authority to act on behalf of the document signer.
Power of Attorney documents are required at closing if someone represents the buyer or seller. This often happens if the seller or buyer is out of the state during the closing process, or is in bad health. The use of a Power of Attorney is recorded in the public records along with the Deed as part of closing.
Power of Attorneys are commonly appointed as part of an individual’s estate plan, but can be quickly set up if required specifically for a real estate transaction.
In some cases, you may be asked to provide your initial loan estimate. This loan document states the terms, interest rate and costs associated with obtaining the mortgage.
Certificate of Occupancy
Newly constructed property may require the buyer to obtain a certificate of occupancy before you can move in. This document should be provided to the buyer by the builder.
It acts as proof that the building is safe and ready to live in.
Title documents will display to the buyer who owns the property and if there are any known liens on the property.
The buyer’s Florida real estate attorney should review the title document to ensure it’s good to go. If it’s not, the closing process may be delayed until the seller has resolved them.
Promissory notes state the key information of a loan, such as a loan amount, term length, payment failure penalties and payment schedules.
You may be required to use a Deed of Trust (although they’re not statutorily forms recognized by the State of Florida). If you’re buying a real property in Florida with a loan you should use a mortgage.
Notice of Right to Cancel
This type of real estate closing document in Florida allows the borrower three business days to cancel their new mortgage loan.
Hire a Real Estate Closing Attorney in Florida
If you’re buying or selling a property in Florida, our real estate closing attorneys can assist you.
From start to finish, we’ll guide you through the process, reviewing legally binding documents and protecting your rights and liability. We’ll ensure you won’t face sudden surprises after you’ve moved in or out of the property.
If you’re purchasing property or land in St Petersburg, Florida or Riverview, Florida, contact us today for legal advice.
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.