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How contingencies and disclosures work when buying a home

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2021 | Real Estate Law

A Florida home may be the biggest investment you ever make, so you would be wise to do your due diligence before signing on the dotted line. You may hear the terms “contingencies” and “disclosures” thrown around as you navigate the contract process, but you may not know what they mean or how they work.

According to NerdWallet, contingencies give you an “out” from buying the home if certain conditions never come to fruition. Disclosures refer to the specific things about a home the seller has an obligation to tell you.

Common contingencies

You may decide to make an offer on a home with a mortgage contingency in place. A mortgage contingency asserts that you plan to move ahead with the sale if you receive the funding you need to do so. You may also decide to make an offer that is contingent on you selling your existing home, or an offer contingent on a home inspection not turning up any major property defects.

Common disclosures

In Florida, your seller has to disclose certain aspects of a home before you buy it. The seller must tell you about any major structural defects that exist in the property. He or she also has an obligation to inform you about environmental hazards, such as the presence of asbestos or lead paint. The seller also has to tell you about whether the property has a history of infestations, such as termite problems, before selling you the home.

While these are some of the more common contingencies and disclosures seen in residential real estate, please note that this is not an exhaustive list of all types of each.