While foreclosures in Florida have significantly decreased, many properties on the market still require review of foreclosure cases in the chain of title. Third-party investors acquired properties across Florida at foreclosure sales, and are now selling these properties for a profit. Unfortunately, some investors did not review the foreclosure file or perform a title search prior to binding at the sale and therefore did not discover errors made during the foreclosure action. Purchasers should be cautioned to examine and review the foreclosure in advance of purchasing the property in foreclosure or post-foreclosure to make sure that title to the property is insurable and that any defect discovered through examination can be resolved prior to closing.
- Get It in Writing: Many times buyers and sellers draft their own contracts and write them in such a way that they’re not legally enforceable. The courts will only look at the four corners of the contract in any real estate dispute. The Court will not ask what was the parties’ verbally discussion. If it is not in the contract, then it will not count.
- Being Earnest: In most cases, a seller wants the amount of earnest money in a contract to be as high as possible, while a buyer wants the opposite. Making a large amount of earnest money deposit may be a good move for the Buyer. There are a lot of competition out there; therefore, making a large earnest money deposit is a good way of showing that the buyer is serious. When things go awry and the need arises for a buyer to terminate the contract, too often the buyer will not follow the required steps outlined in the agreement. There are many disputes where notice is given verbally instead of in writing and if it’s not done the right way, your notice may be ineffective.
- When Rezoning is a Factor: Often a sale is contingent upon the buyer obtaining rezoning for the site it is purchasing. In those cases, a buyer should make sure that the contract closing date accounts for the period of time during which a third party can appeal the approval of a rezoning approval. Drafting a contract which includes terms and conditions in this matter can make sure the buyer is not forced to buy a property where some neighbor is suing to challenge the zoning approval.