by Grant W. Kehres* | Posted 09/28/2010
The 2010 version of the FAR/BAR contract has made its debut. A number of changes from previous FAR/BAR versions are noted, and there are some important points to keep in mind when drafting or responding to an offer involving this form, including:
• The Buyer is entitled to an automatic extension of the closing date (up to 7 days) to allow for Truth In Lending Act compliance.
• If the Buyer’s mortgage loan fails to fund due to the financial failure of the lender, the Buyer is excused from performance and receives the return of the deposit.
• The Buyer now bears the responsibility to determine during the inspection period if there are any open or expired building permits or unpermitted improvements.
• By definition, municipal lien searches are distinguished from open or expired building permit searches. In Miami-Dade and Broward counties, the Seller pays for the municipal lien search; but the contract is silent as to which party bears the responsibility in other counties.
• Buyers may cancel the contract within 20 days of the Effective Date if the property is in a Special Flood Hazard Area or Coastal High Hazard Area.
• Disputes must be first submitted to mediation. The mediator must be certified or must have experience in the real estate industry. If the dispute is not resolved through mediation, only then may it be pursued in court.
• Real estate brokers now enjoy a limited hold harmless and indemnity for a number of common transactional problems, including misstatements made by either of the parties and inaccurate information in the public records.
Every transaction and every client is unique, so if you need help with the new FAR/BAR contract, feel free to contact our office. We are committed to providing the assistance needed to custom modify the new form contract whenever necessary to meet our client’s unique and special needs.
*Grant Kehres is Board Certified by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization as a Real Estate Law Specialist. He holds a doctorate in jurisprudence from Vanderbilt University, an MBA (finance) from Babson College and a dual undergraduate degree in investments and economics from Babson College. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 1978, he has handled nearly 10,000 closings for more than 6,000 clients. For more information on our services and what distinguishes our office from other law firms and title companies, call (561) 392-5200.