Call Or Text Us Anytime 813-420-9963

Call Or Text Us Anytime 813–543-8346

Once an offer, or offers, are in hand you will need to go through the process of qualifying the buyer and evaluating the offer(s). If more than one offer is in hand, it is usually easier to enter the variables into a spreadsheet and compare them side to side.

Considering the Buyer

Each offer MUST be provided with an assurance of financing and that the terms of the contract will be completed in full.

The assurance of financing usually comes in the form of a pre-approval from a lender stating that the buyer has gone through some type of evaluation to assess that they have the assets and income necessary to obtain the financing. It is important to contact this financial entity and determine the extent of this evaluation in order to confirm its type, aging, extent and any minimum requirements that the buyer and the condition of the home will need to obtain the financing.  

Cash offers should be accompanied by a proof of funds that identify the accounts where the amounts that are being offered are located. This may come in the form of a letter from a financial entity, or a screenshot from an online account.

Considering the Contract

As 99.9% of offers will come in the form of a Florida Bar (FARBAR) contract, there will usually be a set of standard variables that will differentiate the offers. Much of the verbiage in a standard contract is “boiler plate” assurances of buyer & seller rights written into Florida Statute. NOTE: unless you, or the buyer are practicing attorneys at law, there can be no deviation from this standard verbiage as doing so would be considered practicing law.

Here are some essential  variables to consider that are contained in the FARBAR AS IS contract:

  • Offer Amount – The gross amount that the buyer is offering to purchase your home
  • Percent of Financing – the percent of the net amount that the buyer will finance to complete the sale
  • Title Company & Date To Deposit Earnest Money (EMD) – Usually the seller gets to choose which title company as long as they pay for the title services. This will also specify the amount of time (weekends & holidays excluded) that the buyer has to make the deposit. I would be VERY wary of buyers who suggest holding their own escrow.
  • Contract Consideration – date in which you have to accept the offer.
  • Closing Date – date which the financing and final transaction will occur
  • Cash or Financing / Type of Financing  – the declaration from the buyer of how the sale will be financed and what type of loan will be utilized. Selecting a cash option removes any financing contingency
  • Financing Contingency Date – the amount of time which the buyer has to verify financing
  • Property Subject to Lease – as a seller, you have to declare if there will be a lease in place after the closing date.
  • Property Conveyed – there are two areas which identify any property, furniture or fixtures that will or will not convey in the sale. Note that all fixtures of the home are usually assumed to convey. Items such as appliances (excluding washer & dryer), drapes and appliance mountings fall into the category of fixtures.
  • Assignability – the buyer has to declare that they want to have the ability to assign the contract to another entity. This is NOT suggested, although there is an option to assign but not be released from the contract which is common for people listing the home in an LLC name.
  • Title Evidence and Insurance – is verifying that the title services will be completed within a period of time and that at such time these findings will be insured to be accurate. The default 15 days is usually sufficient, but needs to be verified with the title company.
  • Home Warranty – A home warranty, it’s amount & who would be responsible for paying could be declared
  • Special Assessments – Usually this option requires the seller to just pay any assessments until closing, at which time the buyer would be responsible. There are certain loans and liens which require these be paid in full prior to closing.
  • Property Inspection – This is the period of time that the buyer has to complete all physical inspections of the property. The AS IS contract allows the buyer to walk away from the contract with no penalty, FOR ANY REASON, up to this date.
  • Additional Terms – is a catch all for any other contingency or contribution to the contract. These contingencies cannot relieve any obligation to uphold any of the standard verbiage of the contract without being considered a practice of law.

Note that all contracts must be signed at the end AND be initialed at the bottom of each page and where any strike-through or correction has been made by each party in the contract.

Once a contract has been determined to be acceptable, the seller signs it in order to execute (start) the contract and timeclock. Making any change to the offer is considered a counter-offer and has to be sent back to the buyer for their agreement and signature. Until the buyer’s final signature is received, neither the initial offer, nor the counter-offer is considered executed.

Once an executed contract is in hand, a copy must be immediately sent to the title company. It is the seller’s responsibility to be aware of each step of the contract and it’s relevant timeline. 

Managing the Transaction

Upon acceptance of an offer, it is the responsibility of each agent (or seller) to manage and track all aspects of the contract. The success of any transaction os the communication and good faith of all parties participating in the transaction. 

Once in hand the contract should be immediately delivered to the title company that has been chosen to facilitate the transaction. The title company will work with all parties to facilitate the steps of the transaction. However, the coordination and negotiation of any contract must be performed by the buyer, seller or their agents.

All timed steps and requirements of the contract should be identified and confirmed prior to the agreed upon date. Any lapse of performance if these steps can cause a default in the contract which could result in the loss of deposits and/or litigation to resolve the completion or compensation of the contract.