Florida's Disclosure Requirements

by BlueWater Realty of Pine Island, Inc 01/10/2021

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

When you sell a house in Florida, you have to make certain disclosures to any person interested in buying your property. However, if you don’t live on the property, this could lead to some trouble if you do not disclose a problem that you are required to share. The disclosure form a real estate agent asks you to sign will ask if you live on the property, and if not, if you rent the property out. Even if a defect is not easily seen, you must disclose it.

The Disclosures

The defects do not necessarily have to be physical defects. You must also disclose whether federal, state or local authorities, including zoning, ask you to make repairs, and whether you made those repairs. You also need to disclose any homeowner’s restrictions and deed restrictions, including proposed changes to the restrictions, whether the property has resale restrictions, restrictions on leasing the property out and whether the access roads are public or private. If the property is governed by a homeowner’s association, you must also disclose that and any associated fees.

Property Boundaries

You also have to disclose whether you’ve had the property surveyed, if you have any boundary disputes with the neighbors, the date any common features, such as a shared fence, were installed, if the property has easements or if it has setback violations — when a building is too close to a boundary. If the property is fenced you also have to disclose that and the location of the fence.

Because much of Florida floods, sometimes surveyors issue an elevation certificate. If you received one when you had the property surveyed, you should provide the certificate.

The Land and Environment

Disclose if you know of any settling, sinkhole issues, and flooding or drainage issues. For environmental issues, you must disclose whether the property was built prior to 1978, and if you know of any environmental hazards on the property, including chemical storage tanks, lead-based paint, asbestos and other hazards. The disclosure form has additional environmental disclosures.

Additional Disclosures

You must also answer questions about:

  • Zoning;

  • Flooding;

  • Pests, including termites and other bugs that destroy wood;

  • Structure damage;

  • Roof damage;

  • Plumbing damage;

  • Issues with the electrical system;

  • Information about the heating and cooling; and

  • Information about other equipment including a security system, smoke detectors, sprinklers and garage door openers.

How Disclosures Affect the Sale

You do have to disclose the defects, but they may not be a deal-breaker. The buyer might request that you repair the defects, or might request a lower sale price to compensate for the defects. For example, if you list a home at $250,000, but it shows signs of termite damage and the HVAC system doesn’t work properly, the buyer might ask you to tent the house for the termites and replace the HVAC system, or the buyer might get estimates for doing the work himself or herself, and ask you to reduce the price by the amount of those defects.

About the Author

BlueWater Realty of Pine Island, Inc

Phil Gilles Direct: 239-425-5423 Email: [email protected] Donna Gilles Direct: 239-425-5426 Email: [email protected] Donna and Phil Gilles are two of the most respected Pine Island Florida Real Estate Agents. Their dependability, honesty and integrity are truly a "cut above” in the real estate profession. Having vacationed in Southwest Florida for several years and owning on Pine Island for eleven years, Donna and Phil could no longer resist the magnetism of Pine Island and moved to the island in 1998. Donna and Phil started BlueWater Realty of Pine Island on September 11, 2002, realizing Pine Island was in need of a real estate family that was a step above the mass marketers that dominate the real estate profession. Donna and Phil are both members of the Realtor Association of Fort Myers and the Beach, the Florida Association of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors, the Multiple Listing Service, and the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce. Donna and Phil’s in depth real estate training include investment management, brokerage, marketing high-end homes, real estate law, ethics and practice. Both Donna and Phil achieved the Graduate Realtor Institute designation in 2006. If your immediate future requires counseling in the purchase or sale of real estate, please contact Donna or Phil. They are professionals who will work hard for you to help achieve your real estate goals. The professional GRI (Graduate Realtor® Institute) designated real estate team at BlueWater Realty of Pine Island specializes in assisting prospective Pine Island residents in locating and purchasing their "piece of paradise” in Bokeelia, Pineland, St. James City and Matlacha. BlueWater Realty of Pine Island also provides a "no hassle, no cost” listing service for customers who wish to sell their Pine Island properties. Let the team at BlueWater Realty of Pine Island provide you with the best professional assistance available when selling or buying Pine Island real estate. Contact us at 239-283-7500 for more details. Pine Island, Florida is a short distance from Cape Coral and Fort Myers, Florida, however, our lifestyles and quality of life are worlds apart. Our four-way stop at Pine Island Center is an invitation to turn north toward Bokeelia and Pineland or south to St. James City. Whichever direction you turn, you will experience an atmosphere that exists in few Florida communities. Instead of high rises, asphalt and concrete, you will find low density development with the accent being on preservation and nature – not development. Residents of Pine Island revel in the extraordinary wildlife that inhabits our island, including sea birds of all varieties and colors, manatees, dolphin and other wildlife of all species. Pine Island offers some of the best fishing and boating in Florida. Boat to a secluded beach on Cayo Costa or island hop to the many eateries offering abundant seafood varieties. Fishing opportunities are endless. Inshore fisheries include snook, redfish, trout and world-class tarpon fishing, which has made our waters famous. Offshore fishing for grouper and snapper are excellent with many natural and artificial reefs. There is no better time than right now to purchase your "piece of paradise” on Pine Island. Interest rates are near an all-time low and prices are approximately 40% lower than they were just five years ago. The GRI (Graduate Realtor® Institute) designated Realtors® at BlueWater Realty of Pine Island can make a difference. When you see the letters GRI after an agent’s name, you can count on receiving the knowledge and guidance to ensure a smooth real estate transaction. In short, you can count on getting the best service available from a real estate professional. We want to be your Pine Island Realtor®. Call 239-283-7500 today. When it comes to finding a peaceful community in southwest Florida, Pine Island stands out as a leading place to find a second home, vacation spot or quiet place to retire to after long days in the Florida sun. Although Pine Island is actually the largest island on the Gulf Coast, it is a casual and laid-back place and the perfect spot for secondary homes. If you ever decide Pine Island is the right place for you, you have four beautiful neighborhoods to choose from. Whether you are looking for a gorgeous beachfront home, or a location inland, you will find everything you are looking for and more on this island, including a close-knit community, still active during the day before letting the night drift in and close down the island. Getting to and from the island is simple and the island itself is only an hour away from the Southwest Florida International Airport. Better yet, because the economy of Pine Island thrives on local fishing, it is a great spot for anglers to spend the day fishing or newcomers to begin fishing and develop a new passion. The island is also the ideal spot for relaxing activities like kayaking, hiking, and boating, among others. Visitors and residents alike will quickly find the island is a quiet community where the nightlife dies down by the end of the evening. You will be able to have fun without having to worry about noisy visitors keeping you up all night. Rest and relaxation comes at a premium these days, but Pine Island affords residents the opportunity to comfortably enjoy life. The residents here are just as diverse as the activities you can take part in. Artists, musicians, business professionals, retired attorneys, teachers and snowbirds all call Pine Island home. Even raising a family provides you an opportunity to raise children in a diverse environment with culture and life thriving around them. Still, this tiny part of Florida brings something unique to Pine Island livinganyone who visits it. As Pine Island was described in an article in Coastal Living Magazine, "A slice of Old Florida ‘country’ still thrives on this lush, green isle.” These are just a few of the perks of living on Pine Island. We hope to continually update our blog with community news, real estate updates and information regarding Southwest Florida and Pine Island, as well