Florida law requires that sellers verbally disclose all latent defects that might adversely affect the value of the property. Failure to do so may result in a lawsuit with a judgment against the seller for three times the cost of any repairs.
A latent defect is one which isn’t easily noticed by a prospective buyer and includes: roof leaks, foundation cracks, pest infestation, and knowledge of an impending neighborhood change that may lower property values after the closing. For example, if you know a landfill dump is planned for your surrounding area, it must be disclosed.
Many experienced agents will give sellers a check-box form to complete and sign. This helps protect them from lawsuits alleging that they were aware of the defect and that they failed to disclose it. It’s not just the seller on the hook; it’s also your agent. When in doubt, disclose or check with a real estate attorney.
In Florida, previous on-site murders, suicides, and the presence of ghosts don’t have to be disclosed.