Buying or selling a property is a complex and expensive process. Having a basic understanding of how the process will unfold can help ease some of the stress that comes along with a real estate transaction.
The following will provide a basic timeline of the legal issues often navigated during the sale of property in Florida.
Step 1: The contract
In this first step, the buyer and seller will negotiate a real estate purchase agreement. This contract may begin as a prepared document. Both parties to the transaction can make changes to the proposed purchase agreement. It is wise for both parties to take the time to review the document and negotiate provisions that better ensure their interests are protected. This will reduce the risk of surprises after the deal is complete.
Step 2: The inspection
Real estate transactions are often contingent on the results of a home inspection. After the home inspection is complete, the buyer and seller may have additional negotiations and could alter the purchase agreement.
Step 3: Title and appraisal
If the process continues after the inspection, the seller’s attorney or agent will generally order a title commitment. This allows the buyer to purchase title insurance. After this is complete, the lender or purchaser will generally order an appraisal to confirm the value of the property.
Step 4: The closing
At closing, the parties exchange and execute the real estate transaction documents. Any outstanding bills and tax obligations are settled. After complete, the buyer will record the deed and other applicable documents with the local recorder’s office.