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Selling a Home As Is in Florida (A-to-Z Guide)

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Even though the information on this web page is provided by a qualified industry expert, it should not be considered as legal, tax, financial or investment advice. Since every individual’s situation is unique, a qualified professional should be consulted before making financial decisions.

Selling a Florida house in ‘as is’ condition has real advantages, but it’s a decision that requires answering some important questions.

Here you’ll find the details of what happens when you sell your house ‘as is’ in Florida.

This includes the requirements for Florida disclosures, risks and benefits of going it alone versus being assisted by a realtor, and the types of buyers who might be interested in your house.

Let’s start breaking down the details.

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What Does It Mean to Sell a House As Is in Florida?

What Does It Mean to Sell a House As Is in Texas

Before we get to the specifics, we first need to define ‘as is.’

An ‘as-is’ house sale means the homeowner doesn’t want to do any work to prepare their property for a sale. The seller wants to simply sign the legal paperwork and turn the keys over to the buyer.

This seller won’t repair or restore the house. What the buyer sees is what they receive. Nothing else is implied or promised.

Both For-Sale-by-Owner sales, known in the industry as a “FSBO,” and agent-assisted sales can have a provision for selling a house with an ‘as is’ condition clause.

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Can You Sell a House As Is in Florida?

Can You Sell a House As Is in Texas

Yes! You can sell a home ‘as is’ in Florida.

While Florida law allows you to sell ‘as is,’ it also requires you to allow buyers to do an inspection before finalizing the sale.

If that detailed inspection finds something the buyer can’t live with, they have the legal right to back out of the sale without any penalty.

There is a catch for the buyer — all inspections must take place within 15 days from the date on the signed sales contract.

Selling a Florida house in ‘as is’ condition also means you’ll use a special contract written by real estate and legal professionals specifically for that type of sale.

The “FR/BAR ‘As-Is’ Contract” has the special ‘as is’ condition clause. The other sales contract in Florida is called a “standard” form.

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What Do Florida Real Estate Disclosure Laws Require?

What Do Texas Real Estate Disclosure Laws Require

So how do I go about selling my house ‘as is’ in Florida? The first detail is an important legal requirement involved in Florida home sales — making the disclosure.

Any condition that can materially impact the value of the house needs to be disclosed to potential buyers.

Florida laws require certain known facts to be shared with buyers. The seller of an ‘as is’ house, however, doesn’t need to hire home inspectors in order to make a disclosure.

What you know from owning the house is enough information to fill out the form.

If you’ve never occupied the house, you’ll still need to share any known conditions that might decrease the home’s value.

While a legal disclosure is required — and there’s a state-recommended form to use — filling out the written form isn’t legally required. You decide if you want to write things down.

Professional ‘as is’ buyers typically aren’t concerned with disclosures. It’s advisable to consult a legal expert with experience in ‘as-is’ home sales if you have a list of major issues to disclose.

Florida disclosure laws limit the sellers’ liability for information shared on a form to five years.

What known facts legally need to be shared to potential buyers? Let’s start with some that you might guess would be required.

If your house is haunted, buyer beware! No, Florida haunted houses don’t require a disclosure.

The same is true with a bedbug infestation. Bugs are probably something you should tip the buyer to, but it’s not legally required.

Ghosts and bugs can escape disclosure, but that’s not the case with the following home issues.
Florida law requires these conditions to be disclosed to buyers.

  • If you’re aware that fracking (underground hydraulic fracturing to extract natural resources) has negatively impacted the property, that must also be disclosed.
  • Selling a house with asbestos requires a disclosure.
  • The details of any flooding, location of the house in a federally designated flood zone and any structural water damage need to be shared with potential buyers under Florida law.
  • Selling a house for a higher price than the tax appraisal might mean extra taxes for the new owner. Florida tax disclosure regulations require you to let the new buyer know that their property taxes could increase with the sale.

If your house is filled with stuff you don’t want, you might ask, “Can you leave stuff behind when you sell your Florida house ‘as is’?” If the buyer agrees to accept the stuff, leave it.

Be sure to disclose exactly what you’re leaving for the buyer to handle.

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Should I Sell My House As Is in Florida?

Should I Sell My House As Is in Texas

Should you sell your Florida house as is or fix it up? Compiling a list of the costs of repairs will help you make that decision.

Any extra mortgage payments, utility bills or property taxes you need to make while waiting for repairs to be done in a slow sales transaction might also motivate you to sell your house ‘as is’ and to a cash property buyer.

Why sell a Florida house ‘as is’? Making a list of pros and cons can help you answer that question.

 

Pros of Selling Your House As Is

  1. The biggest advantage of selling ‘as is’ involves the time savings, particularly when you sell to a Florida cash home buyer.
  2. Selling ‘as is’ means you don’t need to search for contractors or supervise the repair work.
  3. If you are selling ‘as-is’ to a real estate investor, you can do it privately. No nosy neighbors will be examining the up-close-and-personal details of your property by coming to an open house.
  4. You can also usually avoid inspections with ‘as-is’ sales. Any inspections done by a licensed Florida professional inspector need to be disclosed to all buyers. You’ll avoid this hassle.
  5. You can leave stuff behind when you sell your Florida home ‘as is’ with many cash buyers in the Sunshine State.

 

Cons of Selling Your House As Is

  1. The biggest disadvantage of selling a house ‘as is’ involves the price. It’s typically a lower price compared to a turnkey house that has repairs done before marketing.
  2. Another negative is the problem of locating buyers unless you are selling your house to a cash property buyer in Florida. If you don’t have the network to find buyers, this might be difficult. Florida has a robust real estate market and without specific knowledge in selling ‘as-is’ property, you’ll be at a marketing disadvantage.
  3. Florida requires detailed contracts and disclosures, and you are the point person for all the legal paperwork. Mistakes here could mean failing to close the sale. Educating yourself on the typical closing costs for sellers takes time.

Once you’ve answered the question, “Why sell a Florida house ‘as is?’ it’s time to make another key decision — to sell by owner (FSBO) or to hire a professional agent.

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CHAPTER

How to Sell a House As Is By Owner Without an Agent in Florida

How to Sell a House As Is By Owner Without an Agent in Texas

How to Sell a House As Is, Fast and For Cash Directly to an Investor

Should you sell your house to an investor? A brief overview of how investing works should help you answer that question.

 

Who Are Cash House Buyers?

Cash house buyers are just that — individual investors or groups of professional investors with cash to buy investment properties in Florida.

Real estate investors in Florida look for real property investment opportunities, particularly buying property for rental income.

Cash house buyers work with sellers in a number of situations, including:

  • Investors buy from homeowners selling a house with a tax lien. Owing federal, state or local taxes or owning a house with an unpaid property tax bill offer investment opportunities for cash buyers.

Investor-friendly title companies in Florida work with sellers and cash house buyers to transfer legal title to the property during the sales process.

Title searches and certifications protect both buyer and seller so the property is transferred without any “clouds” on the legal title.

 

Pros of Selling Your House As Is Directly to an Investor

  1. Sell your house fast with an investor.
  2. You won’t have to wait until the buyer gets approved for a mortgage.
  3. No mortgages or loans mean no formal appraisals.
  4. Investor sales eliminate the seller’s commission fees when both sides skip realtor services.
  5. Investors offer a purchase price that typically includes all closing costs. The costs are still there, but the buyer pays them.

 

Cons of Selling Your House As Is Directly to an Investor

  1. Investors want to make a profit so they’ll typically offer less than your ideal selling price.
  2. The investor is focused on the buying end, and not getting the best deal for you. You’ll have no fiduciary protections like you have with an agent.

 

Finding the Best Cash House Buying Company

How does selling a house ‘as is’ work in Florida with cash house buyers? The first step is locating a company, and that’s fairly easy. Start with an internet search by using these terms:

Substitute your town or the largest metro center near you for your search terms.

Once you locate several firms, take time to research each company by using the “About Us” page on the website.

Look for bios of company leaders and any memberships in professional or industry associations. Reputable firms identify the principals by name.

 

How to Choose an Ethical Investor?

Unethical investors target people in financial need and those under stress to take advantage of the situation.

There are some ways to protect yourself when requesting a cash offer on your home and help you choose an ethical investor. These include:

  1. Ask for personal and business contacts and confirm them.
  2. Check any licenses or certifications held by the investor and make sure they’re valid.
  3. Ask for a list of other completed real estate investments done by the person or investment company and contact those sellers.
  4. Ask for recommendations. Contact the impartial third party used in prior transactions. This might be an escrow and title company or an attorney. Make sure those people are licensed and bonded and they give positive feedback for your potential investor.
  5. Check social media for feedback about the person or company. One complaint might be OK, but lots of negative feedback is a red flag.
  6. Look for prior legal problems. The Office of the Florida Attorney General posts public legal actions taken against unethical investors. Check that list. Also talk with the office about your potential investor.

 

How to Sell a House As Is by Listing It by Owner

Where Can You List a House For Sale by Owner?

It might seem easy to sell a house by owner (FSBO). You just make a sign and put it on the lawn.

That sign might attract attention, but typically signs yield few qualified buyers — and even fewer buyers for ‘as-is’ houses.

Fortunately, signs aren’t the only way to promote your listing. There are a number of resources for marketing your home, including:

  • Flat-listing-fee brokers post your listing on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The MLS is available to licensed Realtors and gives you a multitude of buyers’ eyes for your for-sale-by-owner property.
  • Media websites offer places to advertise your property. Online services like YouTube are an excellent place to host your property videos.

 

Pros of Selling Your House by Listing It by Owner

The advantages of selling your house by listing it by owner are pretty basic.

You have immediate control over everything involved in the sale. You control the listing and what information you provide to buyers.

The biggest advantage of going it alone is saving realtor costs when selling a house without a broker.

 

Cons of Selling Your House by Listing It by Owner

The disadvantage of selling your house by listing it by owner is the time commitment involved. You’ll need to be available for showings and to do all the legwork yourself.

Selling houses involves lots of behind-the-scenes work, including legal paperwork and meeting with related professionals required for the closing.

Mistakes mean delays, and errors can mean lawsuits. You’ll need to know all the details about closing costs when selling a home by owner.

You’re also responsible for out-of-pocket expenses for advertising and signage, and FSBO closing costs when listing yourself.

6
CHAPTER

How to Sell a House As Is in Florida with an Agent

How to Sell a House As Is in Texas with an Agent

Who Are Real Estate Agents?

A licensed real estate agent in Florida is a professional who helps both buyers and sellers navigate the complex process of buying and selling property.

Agents have basic training in marketing and the legal requirements for Florida real estate transactions. Some have specialized certifications — like working with ‘as is’ properties.

Realtors work under the supervision of a broker and agents must hold state-issued licenses.

Some Florida real estate professionals, such as contract attorneys, aren’t required to hold agent licenses.

Someone using the title “Florida Realtor” is a licensed professional with membership in the state professional trade organization.

Membership means meeting additional requirements and standards, and not everyone in the Florida real estate field is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

“Agent” and “Realtor” are not necessarily interchangeable terms.

A “single agent” real estate professional gives undivided loyalty to either a buyer or a seller in a Florida transaction.

A “transactional broker” represents both Florida parties in a real estate transaction, but doesn’t give undivided loyalty to either one.

 

Pros of Selling Your House As Is with a Real Estate Agent

A licensed real estate professional has a fiduciary responsibility for your best interests. That means you receive the best possible price and sales contract for your house sale.

The agent also makes sure everyone involved in the sale follows the Florida real estate legal requirements for buying and selling even when the house is sold ‘as is’.

 

Cons of Selling Your House As Is with a Real Estate Agent

A major downside of using a Florida agent is the cost of selling a house with a Realtor.

Agent commissions in Florida are negotiable during the contract signing, but the typical agent commission in Florida is between 5-6% of the sales price.

The commission is in addition to other Florida closing costs required for the house sale to finalize.

 

How to Choose an Ethical Real Estate Agent?

Even though Florida law requires real estate agents to hold a license and work under a licensed broker, a few unethical brokers and agents might attempt to cheat unsuspecting sellers.

Some easy steps to ensure your agent is reputable include:

  • Check the agent’s and broker’s licenses with the local real estate board and state licensing agency for any licensure restrictions, holds, or suspensions.
  • Ask for recommendations from prior sellers, and make calls to confirm those endorsements.
  • Check the agent’s resume for training, special certifications and experience in selling ‘as-is’ homes.

You now have all the basics. There are lots of choices to make when selling a house ‘as is’ in Florida, but after reading this article, you have the knowledge and resources to make solid, informed decisions.

About the Author
Brian Robbins | Real Estate Investor

With over 20+ years of experience in real estate investment and renovation, Brian Robbins brings extensive knowledge and innovative solutions to the HouseCashin team. Over the years Brian has been involved in over 300 transactions of income producing properties across the US. Along with his passion for real estate, Brian brings with him a deep understanding of real estate risks and financing.

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