Page 11 - RS 8 2019 ONLINE
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                                                               I’m BuyIng FlorIda ProPerty.

                                                                   What are my ProtectIons?

                                                                                      Part 2

        State  Laws,  the  Realtor  Association  Code  of  Ethics,  and  Company, Attorney, or Broker who is settling (closing) your
        Cultural Norms will all affect your purchase process, and how  transaction a full, printed copy of that MLS listing.
        to best protect yourself.                              That title company will have to interpret the language of the
                                                               listing as an agreement. And if that shed is also pictured in
          What if I Don’t Have A Home Inspection Contingency?  the MLS listing – let’s just say that, one way or another, you’re
             Even many seasoned agents may overlook this one   getting that shed.

        Another – more commonly missed – but powerful protection   At this point – if the seller still will not comply – the title
        is the MLS listing itself.                             company, Realtor Association mediator, or judge will likely
                                                               return  the  buyer’s  earnest  money,  and  let  the  parties  go
        The MLS listing is, itself, a contract. When two agents join the   their separate ways. OR, you could get an order requiring
        Association, they agree – under the Realtor Code of Ethics –   the delivery of the shed.
        to behave in a cooperative way with each other.
                                                               So, yes, the buyer could even take the case to court to have
        The actual MLS listing for your property is not only an ad. It is   it enforced.
        a system designed for Realtors to cooperate with each other.
        It consists of more information than you will personally find   More  Broadly  –  Other  ads,  pictures,  texts,  and  emails  are
        on consumer-level websites such as or Zillow.  admissible (to a title company, to the Realtors Association,
        com. The MLS listing includes offered commission splits for   and to a judge) as evidence of an agreement, or as evidence
        bringing that seller a buyer, private notes about the property,   of violation of an agreement.
        and sometimes already-filled-out addendums such as those
        previously mentioned.                                  So, What’s the Bottom Line?
                                                               Florida  is  commonly  referred  to  as  an  “As-Is,”  or  Caveat
        Often, a listing will either privately or publicly offer items or   Emptor state. State guidelines bar cities and counties from
        services. The seller may offer a previously performed home   upholding  their  own  ordinances  or  even  the  state’s  own
        inspection, a home warranty, money for a trashed carpet, or   building  codes  when  entering  into  a  resale  transaction.
        items of personal property.                            This is a result of the Florida Association of Realtors having
                                                               successfully lobbied in favor of removing barriers to the sale.
        These items commonly get listed in your purchase contract.
        However,  even  if  they  are  not  –  as  they  are  written,  and   Given the nature of this state’s laws and transaction culture,
        published  as  an  offer  (to  “some  buyer,”  or  to  “some   your best protections are to:
        Realtor with some buyer” – the offers in that listing are still   1. Get everything in writing that is required to be in writing.
        enforceable.                                           2.  Get  the  non-required  home  inspection  contingency  in
                                                               writing, and make sure it’s at least 15 days.
        Let’s say, for example, that the listing says, “Come and buy   3. Get everything else that is important to you written into
        this!  The  shed  comes  with  the  house!”  Then,  at  the  final   the agreement (with caveats for some financing stuations).
        walk-through, the buyer finds that the shed is missing. The   4. Check what’s written anywhere (and that means anywhere)
        seller’s response is, “You never wrote in the contract that you   regarding your agreement.
        wanted the shed. So, we took it with us.”
                                                               And that’s the bottom line.
        The easiest way to have had this ad upheld would have been
        to  have  had  it  written  in  the  contract.  However,  let’s  say
        that we already didn’t do that. We can still provide the Title
                                                   RIVERSTYLEMAG.COM                                              11
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