Looking to purchase or sell residential or commercial property in Florida in 2019? Before closing on a transaction, it is wise to take some basic steps to protect your interests. The following tips can help protect you from becoming the victim of a real estate dispute:

  • Disclose known defects. One of the top reasons for a real estate dispute is a seller’s failure to disclose. Florida state law requires sellers disclose any material fact that Is not readily observable and unknown to the buyer that impacts the value of the property.
  • Know what you are signing. Do not sign a real estate contract if you are unsure about what it says—even if the explanation by the party proposing the document makes sense. In most cases, the written contract (not the verbal agreement) is binding. Do not rely on a verbal explanation alone. Only sign a written document that covers all expected provisions. If you are not sure, have the real estate documents reviewed.
  • Keep records of real estate documents. Keep copies of all pertinent documents. The importance of written documents in the event of a dispute cannot be overstated. Examples include the real estate documents, the results of an inspection and bills for repairs associated with the property. These will be important in the event of a dispute.

Those who find themselves in a real estate dispute are wise to seek legal counsel. An attorney experienced in these matters can review the dispute, discuss your legal options and help advocate for your interests.