One of the most important documents in your home purchase the real estate contract. This document outlines your rights and responsibilities, provides timelines and deadlines by which certain conditions in the contract must be met, and outlines your rights should you want to terminate the contract or in the event of default. There are two different Florida Realtors/Florida Bar Residential Contracts (FAR/BAR contracts) and one set of riders, according to Florida Realtors. They are:
- Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase (FAR/BAR). This is the standard contract used for residential sales and purchases in Florida.
- AS IS Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase. This is another commonly-used contract for the sale and purchase of real estate in Florida. With an AS IS contract, the buyer has the right to make a home inspection before purchasing the property, and the buyer has the right to cancel the contract if the home inspection is not satisfactory. The seller is not obligated to make any repairs if the seller doesn’t find the inspection satisfactory. In an AS IS residential contract, there will often be time-limits by which the buyer needs to have an inspection performed, and by which the buyer must cancel the contract if the inspection is not satisfactory.
- Comprehensive Rider to the Florida Realtors/Florida Bar Contract. This includes any additional clauses or contingencies that a buyer or seller may want to add to a sale or purchase contract. These additional clauses will depend largely on the situation.
While these are standard contracts used in Florida, if you are buying a home, it is important to review your contract carefully before signing. If you breach the contract, you run the risk of losing your deposit or earnest money, so it is always wise to take the time to understand your rights and options under the law. Legal Counsel, P.A. is an Orlando, Florida real estate law firm that can review your real estate sale and purchase contract, advise you about your rights and responsibilities, and guide you during the sale and purchase of your home to help the transaction go as smoothly as possible. Have questions? We have answers. Contact Legal Counsel, P.A. today at 407-982-4321.
Things to Look For in a FAR/BAR Contract
There are several key key provisions you’ll want to look for before signing a FAR/BAR contract. For example, if you need to obtain financing to purchase the home, you’ll want to check to see that there is a financing clause in your real estate purchasing contract. If you unexpectedly fail to get a loan, or if your bank offers you a loan but at a much higher interest rate than expected, a financing clause could allow you to pull out of the purchase contract and get your earnest money back. Even if you have been conditionally approved for a loan, many things can happen during the course of your loan approval process that could cause the loan to fall through. A financing clause in your FAR/BAR contract could protect you.
Another thing you’ll want to look for is an inspection clause. The inspection contingency gives you time as a buyer to hire an inspector to inspect the home. If something in the inspection raises red flags, you’ll have the right to cancel the sale and get your earnest money back. When looking at the inspection clause, you’ll want to look closely at the timelines provided. The timelines tell you exactly how long you have to perform the inspection and make a decision about moving forward with the sale. If the inspection period passes and you don’t pull out of the sale, you could lose your earnest money if you pull out of the sale. Different contracts might calculate weekends or only business days when determining how long you have to inspect the home, so it is important to ask questions and be very clear on how long you have before the inspection period ends.
There might be other additional clauses that buyers or sellers might add to a sale or purchase contract for real estate, but these additional clauses are often subject to negotiation or may depend on the type of sale. A real estate sale or purchase contract may also include clauses and contingencies in addition to the ones listed above. Before signing any contract, it may be a good idea to seek the advice of a real estate attorney like the lawyer at Legal Counsel, P.A. in Orlando, Florida. Legal Counsel, P.A. can review your sale or purchase contract, help you understand your rights and responsibilities, and assist you with navigating the sale and purchase of your home or property. Have questions? We have answers. Contact Legal Counsel, P.A. today at 407-982-4321.
Legal Counsel, P.A.: A Real Estate Law Firm in Orlando, Florida
Legal Counsel, P.A. is a real estate law firm in Orlando, Florida that can help you draft a real estate sale contract that can protect your rights. Our real estate lawyer can review your contract and help you understand your rights and your obligations under the contract before you sign on the dotted line. Buying a home in Florida, especially if this is your first home purchase, can be a big step. Your real estate sale contract is the foundation of your sale. Legal Counsel, P.A. may be able to help you. Have questions? We have answers. Contact Legal Counsel, P.A. today at 407-982-4321.