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Can you sell your older home in ‘as-is’ condition to avoid risks?

On Behalf of | Sep 20, 2022 | Real Estate Law |

The longer you have lived at your home, the more likely there are to be cosmetic issues or problems with some of the systems. Maybe some of the windows stick when the humidity is high, or perhaps there is a section of the roof that you think has early signs of leakage.

You probably balance the necessity of those repairs with the cost, and you may defer some of those big projects. If you want to list your Florida home for sale, all of those defects could have an impact on the price that a buyer offers for the property or how much a lender will finance.

Can you simply list the home for sale in as-is condition and make discovering those defects the responsibility of the buyer?

State law requires written disclosures

Typically, you have an obligation to make full disclosures of all known defects writing to prospective buyers as someone hoping to sell real property in Florida. If you do not tell a buyer about an issue and they discover it after closing, either you or your real estate agent could face legal and financial consequences.

Unhappy buyers could make an insurance claim against your agent’s professional insurance coverage, or they could try to hold you personally accountable for not telling them about the issues with the windows or the roof. After all, those issues would affect how much they view the home as being worth and how much they needed to reserve to make repairs to the property when they take possession of it.

Over-disclosing is usually better than under-disclosing

Any issue that you are aware of at your property that will cost money to fix is an issue that the buyer could complain about later. Instead of glossing over known defects in the hopes of getting a higher sale price, it is a safer practice to make thorough disclosures regarding every known issue with the property and then to present it as attractively as possible.

Proper staging and highlighting the best features of the property can easily outweigh defects openly acknowledged in your paperwork. Understanding the rules that apply to real estate transactions in Florida can help you protect yourself as a possible seller.