Homeowner Tax Exemption Florida

What Does a Home Seller Have to Disclose in Florida?

Jan 12 2024

While Florida is one of the most desirable places in the United States to buy and sell real estate, the State has many laws and regulations that govern real estate transactions which must be adhered to. Because sellers are in the best position to know the existing issues with their properties, the Sunshine State imposes on seller a duty to disclose certain “material facts” relating to a home’s condition and history.

This article will sift through the legalese and help sellers understand their disclosure obligation in Florida—and how Marina Title can help.

What Does a Home Seller Have to Disclose under Florida Law?

Florida Statutes sets forth several requirements to be met by sellers when disclosing property-related information, such as the existence of dangers associated with radon gas (Fla. Sta. §404.056(5)). If a property is built before 1978, sellers must provide a lead-based paint disclosure. Sellers of coastal properties must disclose whether the property is subject to rules regarding coastal protection structures, construction, beach nourishment, and the protection of sea life (Fla. Sta. §161.57).

If the property is in a community governed by a homeowners’ association (HOA), Florida Statute §720.401 requires sellers to disclose information regarding:

  • The existence of a mandatory membership;
  • The requirement to pay fees and assessments; and
  • The documentation detailing the association and its rules.

Likewise, Florida Statute §718.503 provides similar requirements for properties in a condominium.

Aside from explicit statutory requirements, caselaw—notably the Florida Supreme Court decision in Johnson v. Davis, 480 So.2d 625 (Fla. 1985)—holds that sellers must disclose whatever facts or conditions relate to a property that may have a “substantial impact” on its value or desirability and are not easily identifiable by others (e.g., hidden leaks).

Per Florida Statute §689.261, “a prospective purchaser of residential property must be presented a disclosure summary at or before execution of the contract for sale” relating to the fact that property taxes will be reassessed after the sale and the reassessment may result in a higher tax bill.

What to Disclose to Buyers When Selling Real Estate in Florida – An Overview

To determine whether an issue is a material fact that should be disclosed to a prospective buyer, sellers should check the standard Seller Disclosure form provided by the Florida Association of Realtors®, which includes (but is not limited to) matters such as:

  • Structural issues or problems affecting a property’s essential components (e.g., roofing, plumbing, HVAC, electric wiring, etc.);
  • Legal claims, complaints, or court proceedings involving the property (either actual or potential issues);
  • Disputes regarding the property’s boundaries;
  • Infestations or damage incurred by wood-destroying pests (e.g., fungi, termites, etc.);
  • Whether the property may be affected by environmental hazards (e.g., mold, defective drywall, lead, asbestos, etc.);
  • Issues relating to the roof; and
  • Whether the property is or was affected by sinkholes (particularly common in Florida).

Certain disclosures are provided for in the purchase contract, such as the property tax disclosure. Other disclosures are set forth in separate riders or addenda to the contract, such as the Condominium Rider or the Lead Based Paint Disclosure.

Unsure What to Disclose to Prospective Buyers in Florida? – Work with Marina Title

The duty to disclose is a complex legal subject that requires an expert approach. Laws and regulations change all the time, and every transaction has its unique requirements and circumstances. Failing to disclose may not only derail the transaction, but it can also lead to costly legal liabilities or litigation.

Marina Title is an attorney-owned and operated company that offers title, escrow, and closing services for individuals and companies who are buying and selling throughout the State of Florida. Our team of real estate attorneys has experience handling almost every facet of a transaction, including disclosure requirements. To learn more about our services for sellers and buyers, call 1-800-604-1871 or email us at info@marinatitle.com. We provide real estate, closing, and title services throughout the State of Florida.

    Contact Us


      Contact Us


      Featured oN