We’ve all heard the saying ” let the buyer beware” as it applies to someone buying an item at a garage sale or flea market. But often times the “as-is contract” as it applies to Orlando real estate gets misinterpreted by the seller.
It’s important for sellers to know that “as-is” doesn’t mean that they’re allowed to withhold any adverse information about the property from the buyers. As a matter of fact, homeowners failing to disclose any know defects or issues that can affect the value and safety of a house are in violation of Florida law. Sellers can be held liable for withholding important information even if it’s an “as-is” contract.
“Let the buyer beware” doesn’t apply to real estate sales. Sellers who are caught trying to cover up known defects or issues with their house will absolutely be prosecuted and the buyer doesn’t even need to prove it was fraud…It’s called strict liability and it’s taken very seriously in the state of Florida.
If a buyer of residential real estate isn’t informed of negative issues about the home by the homeowner, then the has the right to not only rescind the deal, but they can also sue the seller for money damages that resulted from failure to disclose. This holds true whether it was done intentionally or not!
Florida law stat 689.261 was passed to make sure that buyers are made aware of important regarding the purchase of a home.
What Sellers Don’t Have To Disclose Is Sometimes Even Worse
Over the years there’s been much controversy about certain things that don’t need to be disclosed to a buyer regarding a property. For instance, did you know that it’s not required to disclose a murder, death, suicide or even if the prior occupants had the AIDS infection? This is something I’ve never agreed with.
Personally, I would absolutely want to know if someone was murdered or committed suicide in a home that I planned on moving my wife and children into. Which is why as an Orlando realtor, I disclose every single detail that I know about a home whether it’s required or not.
Think about it…Would you move your family into a home if you knew that a triple homicide and suicide was committed? I didn’t think so. What if your kids found out that someone was beheaded in their bedroom? They would probably never go into that room again and you’d be sharing your bedroom with them until you either move out or they go off to college.
Concerned buyers should always do some extra research before submitting an offer on a home. Deadly crimes can be easily researched online through police websites, newspaper sites and other resources.