When buying or selling a property in Florida, it is important to know what a seller must disclose up front before a transaction can move forward. Florida joins many states that have done away with the "buyer beware" philosophy and require the seller to notify the buyer of known problems with the property. A buyer must still beware, however, and pay heed to the items not included in this list.

Property Disclosure Form

The Florida Association of Realtors provides a standard seller's disclosure form that covers:
  • any existing or potential claims on the property,
  • homeowner association limitations and requirements,
  • boundary disputes,
  • presence of any sinkholes,
  • environmental hazards,
  • infestations or damages from wood-destroying insects,
  • problems with the roof, plumbing, electrical wiring, HVAC, appliances, etc.
While Florida law does not state whether disclosure must be verbal or written, it is good practice to always make disclosures written. Verbal statements are very difficult to prove later should a dispute arise.


Florida courts have sought to protect property sellers from being constantly sued. Sellers are not responsible for defects that they did not know about, and not even those that they should have known about. A buyer claiming to find an undisclosed defect must prove in court that the seller knew about the defect, the defect has substantial impact on the property value, the buyer did not know about the defect, it was not easy to detect, and the seller did not disclose the defect to the borrower. Still, know that an "as is" clause does not exempt the seller from disclosure of any material defects. If you are looking for title insurance in Coral Gables, FL, give Riva Title Company a call at 786-787-7888 or visit them online.