Time (Of The Essence) Is On My Side, Yes It Is…

Contracts are full of language that may seem unimportant, boilerplate, confusing, or just plain useless. Real estate contracts are no different. The standard FAR/Bar forms for sale and purchase of residential property, “AS IS” contracts, and even vacant land contracts all contain provisions that you see all the time, but rarely have to really address. Terms like “force majeure,” “waiver,” or even “AS IS” may appear on the surface fairly straightforward as to what they mean, but to those who have had real estate deals in the balance over definitions of those words, they understand not just the importance of those terms, but also the ramifications of how they can affect a sale. Well, the term “time is of the essence” is no different.

At first blush, “time is of the essence” seems a rather easy concept to understand. Two parties sign a contract to sell a piece of property, and it is important to perform the required tasks timely, whether it is the date of closing, a property inspection, depositing the earnest money deposit, or providing a loan commitment. But not so fast, my friend, depending upon where in the contract the term “time is of the essence” is placed can make all the difference as to what provision or provisions, it applies to. For example, you can typically find the time is of the essence clause in paragraph F of the Standards in a FAR/Bar real estate contract. Standard F usually begins this way: “Calendar days shall be used in computing time periods. Time is of the essence in this Contract.” It would appear by reading this that this term applies to every deadline, every time frame included in the Contract. However, Florida courts have not been so generous in applying “time is of the essence” to a real estate contract. In fact, Florida courts have held that “time is of the essence” clauses in real estate contracts are not always boilerplate, or “stock” language. Rather, the courts look to the expressed intent of the parties in applying the term. In fact, courts are reluctant to apply a general provision that “time is of the essence” to every obligation to perform in a real estate contract as each obligation carries a different level weight and importance. Because of this, while “time is of the essence” may clearly apply to the “Closing Date” or the earnest money deposit as essential and material terms to perform under the contract, it is not as clear as to whether it would be applicable to an inspection period or a loan commitment time. The reason being is that a contract can still close without either party strictly adhering to the time frames agreed to under the contract for a loan approval or a property inspection. In fact, there are usually remedies available if those deadlines are not met, such as the contract will close as if there were no loan approval contingency or the buyer accepts the physical condition of the property if the buyer fails to timely complete the property inspection during the inspection period.

So, what does this mean to you? Obviously, to avoid any potential problems at closing, you should always try to meet all deadlines in the contract. Deadlines such the closing date or when deposits are due, must be strictly adhered to; missing those deadlines by even a few minutes can result in a deal being cancelled, or worse yet, a breach of contract. For other contractual deadlines, if you cannot perform within the time agreed to, try to get an extension to perform BEFORE the deadline expires, rather than after. “Better to ask for forgiveness rather than for permission” DOES NOT apply to real estate contracts. However, even if you miss one of the deadlines, do not automatically assume the deal is over or that your client is in trouble. An experienced real estate attorney can work with your client to resolve an issue that that may appear, on its face, to be a problem.”

Sincerely,

Mark C. Mann, Esq., mcmann@berlinpatten.com
Berlin Patten Ebling, PLLC

This communication is not intended to establish an attorney client relationship, and to the extent anything contained herein could be construed as legal advice or guidance, you are strongly encouraged to consult with your own attorney before relying upon any information contained herein.

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

www.berlinpatten.com

SARASOTA
3700 South Tamiami Trail, Suite 200, Sarasota, FL 34239
P (941) 954-9991 F (941) 954-9992

VENICE
247 Tamiami Trail South, Suite 201, Venice, FL 34285
P (941) 955-9991 F (941) 484-9992

LAKEWOOD RANCH
8433 Enterprise Circle, Suite 100, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
P (941) 907-9022 F (941) 907-9024

TAMPA
442 West Kennedy Boulevard, Suite 312, Tampa, FL 33606
P (813) 467-7500 F (813) 251-1662

Did you find this real estate law content useful, but need actual legal counsel?

Speak to a real estate attorney!

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Fill in the Blank

One of the most important parts of any real estate contract where your buyer is relying on financing to purchase the property is the financing contingency. Since most buyers will need to borrow money to purchase that dream home, a financing contingency protects those buyers by allowing them to back out of the contract and…

The Perfect Date

Although you may not have signed up for a dating website, the key to a perfect end to a real estate transaction involves selecting the perfect date! Whether you are putting an offer together for your buyer, or reviewing an offer with your seller, it is important to consider the practical implications of the selected…

The Eviction Moratorium Impact On Your Next Residential Contract

  As a new investor, Stephen is purchasing his first investment property. He reviews the contract and notes Provision 6(b) is checked, indicating the property is currently occupied by tenants. Great! He thinks I can collect instant rental income. Stephen does not realize, however, that the Federal eviction moratorium is still in effect, and his…

My Cousin “Minny”

Your Cousin Minny dies in Florida leaving you Florida real property. Now you are tasked with how do you get clear title to the real estate to sell the property? A full blown probate or ancillary probate is costly and time consuming, but it may be the only way to clear title. However, you should…

Hurry, We Need to Sign…

When discussing a potential purchase with a client, you may hear, “It does not make a difference to us what type of contract we sign, we love the house and just want to make sure that we don’t lose it”. Stop! There are two standard forms, the FAR/BAR “AS IS” Contract and the FAR/BAR Standard…

Home Inspection Reports: A Life Isn’t Fair Teaching Moment

Mel and Dani are your typical first-time homebuyers. They have scrapped and saved for years to accumulate their earnest money escrow deposit and mortgage down payment. To keep down costs, Dani convinced Mel a home inspection was not necessary because the lender was performing a 4 point inspection. As a result, their contractual due diligence…

No Pets Allowed!

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: After months of searching for the perfect Florida condo for your picky buyers, you have finally found the perfect unit that checks all of your buyer’s boxes. There is just one problem: NO PETS ALLOWED! As anyone who has ever had a beloved pet knows, pets are…

This Is Not A Bill

  Believe it or not, September is here and the football season is upon us!…. well maybe…hopefully? I am more excited than ever for the toe to touch the leather, as it will mean that things are that much closer to getting back to normal, or the new normal. However, all that glitters is not…

The Old Switcheroo!

  You have a Seller ready to list the residence for sale, you’ve confirmed that the Estate of the original owner who passed away has been opened, and a Personal Representative has been appointed by the Court. Your Buyer is an investor who works with a Limited Liability Company (LLC) who wants to buy the…

Prepare Your Buyer/Borrower for the Closing

  With the volume of closings that we have, we handle a lot of different personalities, situations, and behaviors when we go through our closing process. Being aware of these in advance, and perhaps trying to get ahead of the issues, can sometimes make the difference between a happy closing and a dramatic one. 1.…

My soon to-be-ex Needs to Sign What?

  Your friend of a friend from Michigan, Mr. Buyer, tells you he is newly retired, single, and ready to start the next chapter of his life in the Sunshine State, so he reaches out to you as his real estate agent to begin the property hunt. Two weeks later, he has found his dream…

Congratulations On Your Loan Approval… Now What?

Paragraph 8 FINANCING in both the “AS IS” and the “Standard” FR/BAR Contract* is the section of the Contract dealing with financing of a purchase by a Buyer. The purpose of seeking financing is to obtain approval for a loan, thereby permitting the Buyer to close on the Contract. This is defined under the Contract…

Survey Says…

    So what exactly is a survey? A survey is a drawing made by a surveyor which outlines the boundaries and features of your property, including the house and other improvements. It shows things like where the house sits in relation to the property line, where your driveway starts and ends, if your fence is actually on…

Permitted To Close

Open permits, expired permits and code enforcement violations can wreak havoc on a closing when not properly addressed. Picture this scenario… contract negotiations were a breeze, the inspection results were perfect, title came back clean, and closing is looking oh so smooth. Then, out of seemingly nowhere, the municipal lien and permit search results reveal…

Making a Listing, and Checking it Twice

So you just finalized a listing agreement for an exciting property that you can’t wait to advertise to the world for your customer. Like any good listing, you really want this one to stand out among the other similar listings in the area. After spending time at the property and with the owners it is…

Runaway Buyers: Seller’s Options When Left Alone at the Closing Table

What happens when a buyer leaves a seller at the closing table and it is not related to unforeseeable circumstances? In Florida, the FAR/BAR contracts are the mainstream residential transactional sale agreements and they generally provide the parties with a reasonable expectation of their rights and remedies upon a buyer or seller default. When Johnny…

1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Back…

Florida law allows a residential property owner the ability to pull a permit and serve as an Owner-Contractor so long as the residence is for occupancy of such owner and NOT offered for sale or lease (Note: the owner is also required to sign a disclosure statement confirming the same at the time the permit…

When In Doubt, Write It Out…

We have been asked recently whether an agent’s email containing a counteroffer is binding. That’s an interesting question in itself, but it also opens up broader questions: what are the legal implications of acting as someone’s agent, and are there any “best practices” that can help keep an agent out of trouble? Generally, an agent…

When Estates Become Part Of Your Closing

We routinely get the frantic call from a realtor or closing party to address a title issue or incident involving a deceased buyer or seller, or even a prior party further back in the chain of title. Those inquiries come with the urgent questions: Can you fix it? Can it be done before closing? How…

Lending a Hand on Loan Approval

During these uncertain times, providing buyers with the confidence and security to move forward with a transaction is paramount. A well-drafted offer can lead to a smooth closing process while protecting the buyer’s interest in the event of unforeseen issues. Section 8 of the Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase (the “Standard Contract”) and the…

E-Sign Me Up

  Where would we be without technology? The current pandemic has demonstrated how integral technology is to thrive in the real estate business. Such a vast array of tasks can be done electronically: sending wires, signing closing documents, remote online notarization, virtual open houses, signing contracts, etc. When a buyer and/or seller signs a real…

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

The COVID-19 pandemic (a/k/a the “coronavirus”), has hit very close to home when it comes to homeowners being able to make their mortgage payments on time (or at all). Where many Floridians are being furloughed or laid off from their employment, there is increasing anxiety over how that 1st of the month mortgage payment is…

Commercial Leases & the COVID-19 Pandemic

Many of you have asked us about acquaintances, friends, or family members who cannot pay rent due to COVID-19. Some have been forced to shut down, others who remain in business simply cannot pay their bills. What is a tenant supposed to do? Consider the following: Some tenants may want to just stop paying rent.…

Da do Ron Ron Ron, Da do Ron Ron

By now you have probably heard of Remote Online Notarizations, commonly referred to as “RON.” RON is being hailed as a tool that will revolutionize the closing process, and some day it will. But for now, the process of conducting closings using RON is going through some growing pains as we all race to understand…

COVID-19 Closing Conundrum…

The impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on business relationships is still a huge unknown, and we are all aware of how much uncertainty it has injected into our daily lives. Fortunately, the good people at the Florida Bar and the Florida Association of Realtors had the foresight to consider an event like this when drafting…

Your COVID-19 Closing Related Questions, answered by Berlin Patten Ebling

We know you are all tired of receiving COVID-19 related bulletins, but due to the flood of questions we have received on the topic, we felt that this would be a useful and timely topic. This Q&A will answer some of the most common questions we have received over the last few days. We will…

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Is your closing at risk?

The team at Berlin Patten Ebling, PLLC is extremely sensitive to the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The effects of COVID-19 have prevented or delayed performance across virtually all sectors. Fortunately, we have yet to see very little impact to the local real estate industry and we are still seeing robust market activity, great attendance…

Lien Back…

  Did you know that Florida law allows municipalities to put a lien against property without actually recording the lien until they feel like it? And if these liens are not recorded at the time a buyer purchases the property, they will not show up in a standard title search. That means a buyer may…

Homestead Exemption Revocation: Welcome to Florida, Now Pay the Tax Man!

  Knock, knock, BOOM…this is the sound you hear when opening a notice of tax lien from your local property appraiser. The property appraiser’s letter states that you have 30 days to pay taxes, penalties, and interest, or there will be a tax lien filed on your home. There must be some mistake…how did this…

I Love You…Now Sign This!

  It’s that time of year again. Love is in the air, and spouses all over the state of Florida are scrambling to come up with the perfect way to show their significant other that they love and appreciate them. For far too long, spouses have stuck to the same unimaginative and uninspiring routine of…
selby lights in bloom

Stealing Home

So the contract is signed, the earnest money deposit is in escrow, the lender has approved the loan, the survey is clean, the home inspection reveals no issue, and the closing date is set. What could possibly go wrong? You show up to closing only to find out that the Seller never owned the property! This scenario has…

Relocation to Florida: Looking to your Future, Leaving your Past

We all know about the snowbird, the retiree, the investor, the tourist who asks the question: how do I relocate to Florida, how do I become a resident? Beyond the weather and lifestyle, there are obvious reasons why people want to make that move, including the lack of Florida income and estate taxes, exemptions for property…

Do You Have 2020 Vision for Your Closing?

On behalf of the entire BPE family, we want to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Its times like this where it can be helpful to reflect on the prior year, and since this year is 2020 (presumably the year of “perfect vision”), let’s take a step back and reflect on those instances where the…

Don’t Get Burned By Solar Panels (Or Other Leased Items)

More and more homes are running off the power of the sun these days. Renewable energy has become a trending topic and solar panels are beginning to become prevalent in the state of Florida due to positive environmental impacts and the potential to reduce large A/C bills. Selling a house with solar panels comes with…

I just noticed something…

Real estate sellers and buyers are often required to provide contractual notices to their counterparties relative to all kinds of different issues.  For instance: cancelling a contract requires timely notice, objecting to title issues requires notice, and financing issues require notice, to name just a few. How does one party provide notice to another?  The…

Standard Or “As Is?” That Is The Question

While Florida law requires no particular form of contract for a real estate transaction, the FR/BAR Contract forms are the most utilized and well-recognized residential contract forms in Florida.  The FR/BAR Contracts, created and approved by a collaboration between the Florida Association of Realtors and the Florida Bar, include two Contract forms: the Residential Contract…

Property Sharing: Yours, Mine and Ours

Many times property ends up having some form of shared ownership. Sometimes it is simply in the form of joint tenants or tenants in common, but sometimes more complex forms are involved such as life estates, ownership through entities or even by agreement (such as a co-habitation agreement). Over the years, statutes and common law…

Show Me The Money!

Disbursement instructions to closing agents come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common. Each involves a specific direction to the closing agent to disburse the funds entrusted to the closing agent precisely as instructed. The most common form of disbursement instructions involve the settlement statement itself (which is executed…

It’s Not Over Until It’s Really Over…Selling Real Estate After A Divorce

As you all know, real estate professionals constantly wear an abundance of different “hats.” Working in the real estate world demands that real estate professionals have at least a minimal understanding of a variety of topics including, but not limited to, family law, wills, trusts and estates. Even with divorce rates slightly declining, it is…

When Is It Critical To Review Your Estate Plan, and Why?

Just like other important life tasks, your estate plan deserves your time and attention. It’s important that you work with us to review your estate plan at least once a year. Think of this as your estate plan’s annual physical exam, and remember-prevention is the best cure. An annual exam isn’t necessarily the only time…

Color Of Authority To Sign Listing Agreements & Contracts

A contract (which, for purposes of this Blog shall focus on Listing Agreements and Residential Contracts For Sale and Purchase), is only as good as the authority of the Seller and/or Buyer to sign them. Many times, I receive calls from agents asking who has authority to sign the Listing Agreement, and then the Contract…

“Trim Notices & Property Taxes-What to Expect”

At the end of August every year, while most of us are gearing up for football season, County property appraisers across the state are sending out TRIM notices. The TRIM (Truth in Millage) notice or Notice of Proposed Property Taxes is the document that provides a home owner with the updated assessed value (the taxable…

Insurance Considerations as Hurricane Dorian Approaches

As Florida braces for the possible threat of Hurricane Dorian, we encourage you to take all necessary precautions to ready your loved ones and homes for potential impact. If you are purchasing property, or representing a buyer of a property, that is set to close in the near future, we urge you to contact your…

No Leaks, No Damages, No Problems!

  Congratulations!  Your client entered into a new Standard FARBAR Contract on the purchase of a single family home in Sarasota.  The only contingencies are inspections and marketable title. Your client immediately hires a professional home inspector to conduct their home inspection.  During the Inspection Period the home inspector provides a “clean” report only notating…

The Repair Escrow Agreement: Having Your Cake and Eating It Too

In Florida, more likely than not a buyer will identify his or her requests for repairs early in a real property transaction and prior to closing pursuant to the standard FAR/BAR contractual provisions with little fanfare. Nonetheless, as in life and in realty, there are unforeseen circumstances where a closing extension would be difficult and…

I See Dead People (On Title)!

There are endless reasons for property owners to make the decision to sell their property. Unfortunately, one of the most common motivating factors is the passing away of an owner of the property. On top of everything that goes along with the death of a loved one, the last thing a Seller needs or wants…

“Options? We All Got ‘Em, We All Want ‘Em, What Do We Do With Them?”

We see option contracts for real estate purchases frequently, and we run into problems with those contracts just as frequently. In this blog we’ll go over what option contracts are, what they require to be effective, and we’ll identify some common pitfalls. An option contract is a promise by the owner of property to sell…

New Construction, Review Before You Execute

  New construction agreements can be extremely complicated and it is important that the buyer have a thorough understanding of the contract and terms prior to executing.  The construction agreements provided by developers are typically one sided and do very little to protect the buyer/owner in the event that an issue should arise.  It is…
Real Estate Firm

Your Condo Purchase-Treat It As An Investment

Condominium purchases by their nature involve property rights that are more complicated than typical single family lots or properties.  We have written several blog articles relating to investigations that buyers and their realtors should undertake prior to their purchase (links are included at the end of this blog). It is said that ownership of real…

Check Out My Title While BPE Resolves It!

One of the most frequent questions we receive from realtors involves the status of title to the property. The answer to the question “how is title” can be a source of great anxiety or a source of great relief. As a result, most people involved in any real estate transaction want the answer to that…

Not Quite Sure When A Contingency Ends? Read This!

We are fortunate to have holidays and weekends to provide us with time for relaxation, fun times with friends and family, and time away from work to recharge. Legal holidays and weekends follow a different rule for contract contingency deadlines. Throughout this week and into the weekend, while most of us will be celebrating the…

Balancing a Closing with Summer Vacation

During the summer when everyone is jet-setting on vacation, and year round as part time residents move in and out of Florida, we experience an increasing amount of closings where one or both parties cannot be physically present on the day of closing.  As this is a common occurrence, there are many ways to accomplish…

Breaking News! “RON” Remote Online Notarization is coming to Florida

  The much-anticipated remote online notarization (“RON”), is set to arrive in Florida as of January 1, 2020. Florida will join the ranks of twenty-three other states that have either passed or have pending bills that allow online notaries to perform notarizations anywhere in the world (Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi,…

Hurricane Season: The Good, The Bad and Still Closing

Often, parties seeking to buy and sell real property only concern themselves with Florida’s Selling Season and do not take into consideration the other season – Hurricane Season.  Florida’s Hurricane Season is kicking off and now that Hurricane Irma is approximately two-years in the rearview mirror, Berlin Patten Ebling would like to remind our buyers…

Look Before You Leap…Into A New Listing!

Real estate transactions can often be quite complicated and confusing for even the most savvy of Sellers and their agents. You would think that the most basic and straightforward step in the process would be determining who are the owners and who has the authority to convey the property and sign related paperwork, such as…

LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE YOU WALK AWAY FROM A DEAL

While it may not happen often, on occasion we have experienced situations where one of the parties “walks” from the transaction.  In this instance, the buyer or seller is often left in a difficult position and wondering what remedies they may have against the breaching party, if any.  A well drafted contract will typically set-forth…

Foreign Buyers & Sellers-Speaking Their Language

In Florida we are fortunate to have many foreign buyers and sellers of real estate. Sometimes they show up on a realtor’s threshold and are ready to purchase a property to use as an investment, or a vacation home, or a reason to remove their money from their home country, or to house their children…

“Up a Stream without a Paddle-Closing without Title Insurance”

The immense value of title insurance has been well documented. Generally speaking, title insurance provides three somewhat distinct, yet significant coverage’s: Fatal title defects that could cause one to lose their property altogether, such as fraud, forgeries, inheritance issues, or execution/signing issues; Defects that could require the expenditure of significant amounts of money to cure…

Six Things You Need to Know about Buying Rental Properties (#2 will surprise you)

When a Buyer is purchasing a residential rental property such as a multi-unit building, they often have many questions about their rights as the new building owner and landlord.  The Buyer may also wonder whether the standard FR/BAR real estate contract is the appropriate contract for them and what protections it affords them.  Below is…

Getting Up Close and Personal (Property)

When real estate agents are out and about showing homes, those homes are usually staged, lived in, and/or full of furniture, appliances, etc. So when agents get the property under contract, what exactly is conveyed with it? The “As Is” and Standard Florida Realtors/Florida Bar contracts are useful tools and have been drafted by attorneys…

Consequences of Recording a Notice of Commencement

The Florida Construction Lien Statute (commonly referred to as the “mechanics’ lien law”), can be found in Chapter 713 of the Florida Statutes, Part 1. For purposes of this blog, the focus will be on this section of the statute dealing with Notices of Commencement.  First, what is a Notice of Commencement? For brevity, Notice…

DON’T BE CAUGHT WITH YOUR PANTS DOWN

Have you ever represented a Buyer that literally waits to the last second to inform you, via email, that they want to terminate a contract?  As a Realtor, what are your obligations?  Generally speaking your obligation (as Selling Agent) is to deliver the written notice of termination (or signed Release and Termination) to the Listing…

FR/BAR “AS IS” Contract – To Accept, or Not to Accept, That is the Question

The “AS IS” Residential Contract for Sale (the “Contract“) is a popular real estate contract that limits the seller’s repair obligations and incorporates the seller’s material defect disclosure requirements set for in the landmark Florida Supreme Court case of Johnson v. Davis, and due to the Contract’s popularity, this week’s blog topic discussion is whether…

The Importance of the Buyer Walk-through

The excitement of closing is near.  Your Buyer flies into town a day before closing with the moving van not too far behind.  They are so happy they request to conduct their walk-through the day they arrive.  Upon arriving at the home they discover that the Seller has not finished packing.  The Buyer immediately begins…

Am I Bound or Can I Entertain Other Offers?

“Do I have a valid agreement or can I entertain other offers?” In this day and age, this a question that is becoming increasingly prevalent.  For example, you receive a call from a buyer’s agent and the agent indicates that their client has agreed to buy your listing at full price, with no contingencies, closing…

Calculating Contract Dates 101

  Whether you are using the Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase (Florida Realtors/Florida Bar-4x) or the “As Is” Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase (Florida Realtors/Florida Bar-AsIs-4x), time is calculated the same under both forms.   Also, time is of the essence in both contracts so it is important not to miss a contract deadline.…

Look Out for Double Dipping Closing Agents!

Some closing agents are getting greedy and charging closing fees to both, the buyer and the seller. Unlike title insurance premiums, closing fees are not set by the Florida Department of Insurance, so closing fees vary depending upon the closing agent and the transaction’s complexity. Closing fees are charged by closing agents to cover the…

Did Your Email Create a Binding Contract?

According to many experts, more than 90% of business in today’s marketplace is transacted in electronic form.  As you are probably aware, Florida law permits the signing of contracts by electronic signature.  In fact, many realtors use electronic signatures to finalize contracts for the sale and purchase of real estate.  However, many people do not…

Is Waiting on the Association Estoppel Delaying Your Closing?

It seems like lately it is more and more the norm that closing agents are waiting for the management company, or homeowner’s association, to issue the estoppel letter for closing. What can you do to ensure the association estoppel doesn’t hold up closing?  Make sure you get the management company or homeowner’s association contact information…

When is a Loan Commitment Not Really a Loan Commitment?

As many of you are aware most borrowers receive a Loan Commitment from their lender setting forth the terms and conditions that have to be met in order for a loan to be granted/funded.  In most borrower’s minds, the Loan Commitment is the lender’s promise (commitment) to grant and fund the loan even though the…

Properly Completing a Contract or Listing Agreement for a Deceased Owner

We often encounter errors in contracts involving a deceased seller.  Unfortunately, the errors often delay, and can even cancel, a property sale.  Many people think that a surviving spouse, or personal representative, automatically has the authority to sign a listing agreement or contract to sell property owned by the decedent.  This is most definitely not…

Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012

In 2012, Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (“Act”) which requires FEMA, as well as other agencies, to change the way the National Flood Insurance Programs (“NFIP”) is run. The Act was designed to reduce the NFIP’s growing debt. Key provisions of the legislation require the NFIP to raise rates to…

Don’t Forget the Open Permit Search!

For financial reasons most parties do not perform an Open Permit search (which would include expired permits) until after the inspection period has expired.  This is a common mistake that generally leads to the buyers inability to object to an open permit issue at a later date.  The new FARBAR-2 Residential Contract for Purchase and…

Complying with the Escrow Rule

Under Rule 61J2-14.008 of the Florida Administrative Code, a real estate licensee who prepared or presented the contract (“Licensee”) must make sure the contract contains the name, address and phone number of the escrow agent, which applies to all escrow agents, not just attorneys and title companies. The Florida Realtors/Florida Bar Contract forms contain the appropriate blanks…

Major Differences Between the As Is Contract and the Regular FAR/BAR Form

The As Is Contract and Regular Florida Realtors/Florida Bar Contract forms are essentially the same with the following exceptions: 1. Heading. Of course, the inclusion of “As Is” in the heading sometimes draws concern and can create minor angst for Sellers since they don’t want Buyers to get the impression that the Property is substandard.…

Issues with Designating Seller as “Owner of Record”

Originally Published: 9/3/2012 One trend we have noticed recently is an increasing number of new purchase contracts with “Owner of Record” designated as the seller.  For several reasons, we do not encourage sellers’ agents to complete contracts with this designation, or for buyers to sign contracts without the full legal name of the seller listed.…

CRSP-12 and CRSP-12 Addendums Debut

Originally Published: 8/10/2012 Effective August 20, 2012, the FAR-9 Contract will be replaced with the Contract for Residential Sale and Purchase (CRSP-12). In addition, the Comprehensive Addendum (FARA-10) will be replaced with the CRSP-12 addenda. Please see the attached link to the summary list of the changes between the FAR-9 Contract and the CRSP-12 Contract.…

IMPORTANCE OF OBTAINING NEW SURVEYS AND HAVING THEM REVIEWED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FLORIDA REALTORS/FLORIDA BAR CONTRACT

Originally Published: 6/8/2012 The following are excerpts of a more comprehensive article previously published by Julie A. Horstkamp, Esquire, Berlin Patten, PLLC, Member of Sarasota Association of Realtors/Sarasota County Bar Association Joint Committee, and Chair of the Florida Realtors/Florida Bar Joint Committee. We receive a number of questions regarding the survey provision under the Florida…
Menu