You are in compliance with Fla. Chapter 475 but are you in compliance with Fla. Chapter 455?
Chapter 475 requires agents to report felonies while 455 is similar it has more requirements than most realize. Under chapter 455 a licensee cannot offer to practice beyond the scope permitted by law. A licensee is also required to self-report any crime such as a misdemeanor within 30 days. Self-reporting can be done via an online form from the Department of Business and Professional Regulations.
Want to Learn more? Visit the Florida Realtors website where we sourced our information.
Seller’s can be held legally liable when they willingly withhold property defects and material facts. Real Estate Agents can also be held liable for not disclosing defects discovered in the scope of servicing your client, the seller. Whether you know about the defects or not your reputation as a Real Estate Agent could be tarnished and it is best to advise your seller about disclosing defects for their safety and your own.
Deliberately withholding information from the disclosure form can be used to prosecute your clients and possibly you as their agent for fraud. Encourage your seller to be transparent and encourage the buyers to search for professional guidance on further inspection of the home. If you suspect your seller is hiding something they will not disclose consult your broker for advice immediately. As a Real Estate Agent, it is your duty to protect your clients from making this mistake by providing them with this information and warn them of the implication of withholding information.
For more information read “You Could Be the Fall Guy for Your Seller’s Lies” by Danielle Braff.