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As-Is vs. Standard Real Estate Contract: Broward County Homeowners’ Essential Guide

As-Is vs. Standard Real Estate Contract: Broward County Homeowners’ Essential Guide

In Florida, homeowners in Broward County must be aware of the two central residential purchase contracts typically used in real estate transactions: the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR) contract and the Florida Bar (BAR) contract. Each type of contract is designed to regulate the terms and conditions between buyers and sellers while ensuring a smooth and legal real estate transaction. Knowing the key differences between an as-is contract and a standard real estate contract can significantly impact the outcome of the home buying or selling experience.

As-is contracts often used when selling a property in its existing condition without any warranties or guarantees, can benefit sellers who want to minimize potential liabilities. In contrast, standard real estate contracts provide more extensive warranties and protections for the buyer, including specific performance requirements by both parties. Understanding the intricacies of each contract type is crucial for homeowners in Broward County, as it enables them to choose the most appropriate contract for their specific situation.

Key Takeaways

  • As-is contracts and standard real estate contracts differ in terms of warranties and protections for the buyer.
  • Homeowners in Broward County should understand the critical differences between both types of contracts to make an informed choice.
  • Familiarity with the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR) and Florida Bar (BAR) contracts assists in successfully navigating real estate transactions.

As-Is Versus Standard Real Estate Contract

In Florida, buyers and sellers typically use two central residential purchase contracts: the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR) contract and the Florida Bar (BAR) contract. Both contract types have advantages and limitations depending on the specific circumstances. We’ll explore these below.

As-Is Contract Advantages and Limitations

As-Is Contract is a contract where the property is being sold in its current condition. Under this type of agreement, the seller is not responsible for any repairs or improvements to the property.


  • Faster Sale: As-is contract allows for a quicker sale since the parties don’t make provisions for repairs or improvements.
  • Reduced Liability: Sellers can avoid lawsuits related to undisclosed defects since the buyer assumes property condition risks.
  • Limited Negotiations: The buyer accepts the property as-is, which means there are fewer negotiations before closing.


  • Lower Sales Price: The property may sell lower than a standard contract due to a lack of repairs or improvements.
  • Limited Buyers Interest: Some buyers may not be willing to accept as-is properties, especially those with significant defects.

Standard Contract Advantages and Limitations

Unlike an as-is contract, a standard contract requires certain provisions for repairs or improvements. These conditions are typically based on the property’s inspection report and agreed upon by both parties.


  • Higher Sales Price: With a well-maintained and upgraded property, sellers can often negotiate a higher sales price.
  • Attracts More Buyers: A property in good condition is more likely to attract a larger pool of potential buyers.
  • Peace of Mind: Buyers have more assurance that the property is in good condition since the seller needs to address identified issues.


  • Longer Sale Process: The standard contract usually takes longer to finalize due to negotiations on repairs or improvements.
  • Increased Costs for the Seller: The seller may need to invest in the necessary repairs or improvements before closing.

In conclusion, both as-is and standard real estate contracts have their own sets of pros and cons. It’s crucial for homeowners in Broward County, Florida, to understand these differences and choose the most suitable contract to meet their specific needs and goals.

Key Differences Between Contracts

Inspection Period and Repair Requirements

The FAR and BAR contracts have significant differences in the inspection period and repair requirements. In the FAR contract, the inspection period typically lasts 15 days, during which the buyer can inspect and accept or reject the property. The seller is only required to make repairs if specifically agreed upon by both parties. Conversely, the BAR contract often stipulates a shorter inspection period and may require the seller to repair or replace certain items if they fail to meet agreed-upon standards.

Financing and Appraisal Contingencies

Financing and appraisal contingencies are crucial in real estate contracts and can vary between the FAR and BAR agreements. The FAR contract provides a financing contingency, allowing the buyer to cancel the agreement if they cannot secure a loan within a specified time. Additionally, the FAR contract contains an appraisal contingency if the property’s appraised value is lower than the purchase price. On the other hand, the BAR contract combines financing and appraisal contingencies. In this case, the cancellation of the agreement can occur only if both financing and appraisal contingencies are not met.

Condition of the Property and Disclosures

Another critical distinction between the two contracts is the buyer’s expectation of the property’s condition and required disclosures. Generally, the FAR contract assumes that the property will be in its existing “As-Is” condition and requires the seller to disclose any known defects. However, it does not mandate any repairs to be completed before closing. In contrast, the BAR contract is more likely to require the property to be in a defined and acceptable condition at closing, which might involve the seller making necessary repairs.

By understanding the key differences between the FAR and BAR contracts, buyers and sellers in Broward County can make more informed decisions concerning their real estate transactions.

Choosing the Right Contract for Your Situation

In Broward County, Florida, homeowners must understand the differences between the two main residential purchase contracts: the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR) and the Florida Bar (BAR). The buyer and the seller must carefully consider their specific needs and situation when choosing the most suitable contract for their real estate transaction.

The FAR contract is predominantly used by realtors in standard real estate transactions. Its main advantage is that it’s a more straightforward and user-friendly document than BAR. The FAR contract covers essential provisions like financing contingencies, property inspections, and timelines for the buyer and seller to complete their tasks. It’s an excellent choice for straightforward transactions where both parties seek a smooth and timely closing process.

On the other hand, the BAR contract provides a more comprehensive legal framework for real estate transactions. It is primarily designed for attorneys, allowing more customization to cater to specific needs and complexities. While it might seem overwhelming initially, the BAR contract is particularly beneficial in transactions requiring extensive legal representation or unique terms that the FAR contract needs to address comprehensively.

Both FAR and BAR contracts have their respective merits, but it’s ultimately up to the buyer, the seller, and legal representatives to choose the most appropriate contract for their situation. It is essential to consult with an experienced real estate attorney or realtor who can provide guidance based on their knowledge of the local market, understanding the nuances within the contracts, and considering the parties’ needs and goals.

In summary, the choice between the FAR and the BAR contract depends on several factors, including the complexity of the transaction, the level of legal representation required, and the preferences of the buyer and the seller. Collaboration and communication between the involved parties are essential in making an informed decision and ensuring a successful real estate transaction.

Florida Association of Realtors (FAR) and Florida Bar (BAR)

Florida Association of Realtors (FAR) and Florida Bar (BAR)

In Florida, the two primary residential purchase contracts that buyers and sellers frequently use are the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR) and the Florida Bar (BAR) contracts. Both of these contracts are approved by their respective organizations, the Florida Association of Realtors and the Florida Bar Association, and they govern transactions in the state’s real estate market.

The Florida Association of Realtors (FAR) contract is designed specifically for real estate transactions and is often considered more user-friendly by agents and brokers. It is a standard form that outlines the terms of the agreement, such as purchase price, financing terms, inspection contingencies, and other essential factors. This contract can be customized to fit the specific needs of a transaction, ensuring that both parties reach a fair and mutually beneficial deal.

On the other hand, the Florida Bar (BAR) contract is prepared by the Florida Bar Association, which focuses on the legal aspects of a residential contract for sale and purchase. This contract is typically more comprehensive than the FAR contract and may include additional clauses and provisions to protect the buyer and the seller from potential disputes. While the BAR contract may require more extensive legal knowledge to navigate, it is generally considered more thorough in its coverage of various scenarios and issues that may arise during the transaction process.

Using either of these contracts is essential for maintaining clarity, transparency, and fairness in the Florida real estate market. Both the FAR and BAR contracts have their unique benefits and drawbacks, so it is crucial for homeowners, buyers, and real estate professionals to carefully review and understand the differences between them to make informed decisions when engaging in residential property transactions.

In conclusion, regardless of the chosen contract type, it is crucial to follow the guidelines set by the Florida Association of Realtors and the Florida Bar Association to ensure a smooth and legally sound transaction for all parties involved in a Florida residential real estate deal.

Navigating the Real Estate Transaction Process

Consultation and Legal Advice

Navigating the real estate transaction process in Broward County, Florida, can be complex, especially when dealing with the two main residential purchase contracts: the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR) and the Florida Bar (BAR). Homeowners need to consult with a knowledgeable real estate attorney or a licensed real estate agent familiar with these contracts’ intricacies. Professional consultation and legal advice can guide you through the negotiation process and ensure the results are in your best interests.

Drafting and Reviewing Purchase Contracts

Once you have consulted with a professional, they will assist you in drafting and reviewing the appropriate residential purchase contract for your specific real estate transaction. Whether you choose the FAR or BAR contract, it is crucial to understand the difference between an “As-Is” contract and a standard real estate contract.

An “As-Is” contract means that the property will be sold in its current condition without any repairs or warranties from the seller. On the other hand, a standard real estate contract typically includes provisions for repairs and various warranties. Your chosen professional will help you draft and review your contract to ensure that the terms are clear, fair, and adhere to the legal requirements of both the state of Florida and Broward County.

In addition, your real estate attorney or agent will assist you in thoroughly analyzing the terms of your purchase contract, such as contingencies, deadlines, and other conditions. This careful review can help avoid disputes and ensure a smoother transaction process. Remember, the negotiation process can be challenging. Still, you can confidently navigate your real estate transaction and achieve your desired outcome by seeking professional guidance and understanding the differences between “As-Is” and standard real estate contracts.

Managing Contingencies and Inspections

When navigating the world of residential real estate contracts in Broward County, Florida, homeowners must be aware of the contingencies and inspection processes involved in both FAR and BAR contracts. A thorough understanding of these steps helps protect the buyer and seller in the negotiation process.

Permit Issues

In Florida, real estate purchases, inspections, and proper permits are essential for homeowners. Inspections are performed to identify potential problems or repairs needed on the property. An inspection report is generated, which highlights the necessary repairs and their corresponding costs. In both FAR and BAR contracts, the repair obligations of the buyer and seller are described, giving clear instructions on handling required repairs.

In some cases, properties may have unpermitted work completed. This could lead to potential issues for both the buyer and the seller. The parties may agree upon specific contingencies to address these permit issues in such situations. Homeowners must understand these contingencies and ensure they are included in the contract to avoid future complications.


Deeds play a vital role in any real estate transaction. They are the legal documents that transfer property ownership from one party to another. Both FAR and BAR contracts contain provisions that deal with the transfer of deeds and should be reviewed carefully to ensure compliance.

When dealing with deeds, inspection reports may come into play. If the inspection reveals significant problems that affect the property’s value or livability, the buyer may negotiate to have the seller address these issues before the deed is transferred. These contingencies related to inspection and deed transfer are essential for both parties to be aware of and understand before finalizing the transaction.

Homeowners can confidently navigate the complexities of both FAR and BAR contracts to protect their best interests by remaining knowledgeable about the contingencies and inspection processes involved in Florida real estate transactions.

Closing the Deal and Finalizing the Sale

Both parties are ready to close the deal once the buyer and seller have agreed on the contract terms. The effective date of the contract is an essential factor to consider, as it signals when the contractual obligations begin.

Escrow plays a pivotal role during this process. An escrow agent, usually a third party, holds the deposit and other funds until the sale is finalized. Thus, they ensure that all payments are distributed according to the agreements made by the buyer and seller. This is crucial in preventing misunderstandings and mismanaged funds, providing security to both parties involved.

The purchase price is a key point to consider during the finalization of the sale. Usually, the buyer is required to secure financing or present proof of funds to cover the cost. This confirmation of financial capability demonstrates a genuine intention to complete the transaction, instilling confidence in both the buyer and the seller.

The parties meet to sign the closing documents once the financing is secured and the due diligence is completed. The signing process typically occurs at the title company or the attorney’s office, depending on the state’s requirements. The buyer and the seller should review all documents carefully, ensuring that the agreed terms are accurately reflected in the paperwork before signing.

At the end of this process, the commission for real estate agents or brokers involved in the transaction is settled. The seller generally pays the commission and can be a fixed amount or a percentage of the purchase price. The commission disbursement is subject to the buyer’s and seller’s signed agreement.

The transaction is considered closed with all formalities completed, fulfilling the contract’s obligations and marking the property’s transfer from the seller to the buyer. From this point forward, both parties can enjoy the satisfaction of a successful real estate transaction in Broward Counties, Florida.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key differences between FAR and BAR contracts in Broward County?

FAR (Florida Association of Realtors) contracts are simpler and more straightforward, while BAR (Florida Bar) contracts are more detailed and contain more legal terminology. Realtors typically use FAR contracts, while attorneys draft BAR contracts. Generally, the FAR contract is more favorable to the buyer, while the BAR contract offers more protection for the seller.

How does the ‘As-Is’ contract impact a home inspection?

An ‘As-Is’ contract means a property is being sold without any guarantees about its condition. The buyer is expected to conduct their home inspection to assess the property’s state. If an inspection reveals issues the buyer is uncomfortable with, they can choose to back out of the deal or negotiate with the seller for repairs.

What are the essential elements of a Broward County real estate contract?

A Broward County real estate contract, should include the names of the buyer and seller, the property’s legal description, purchase price, earnest money deposit, financing terms, contingencies, and closing date. It should also specify any personal property included in the sale, required inspections or repairs, and the parties rights and obligations.

When should homeowners consider an ‘As-Is’ contract over a standard one?

Homeowners should consider an ‘As-Is’ contract when they want to sell their property without making any repairs or improvements. This can save the homeowner time and money, especially if they need to sell quickly or if the home needs significant repairs. However, they should also consider that marketing a property ‘As-Is’ could lead to a lower selling price.

How does the standard contract address repairs and contingencies?

A standard real estate contract typically includes contingencies allowing the buyer to evaluate the property and potentially terminate the contract if it does not meet their expectations. These may include financing, inspection, and appraisal contingencies. As for repairs, the contract usually outlines the seller’s responsibility to repair any agreed-upon issues discovered during the inspection.

Which contract type is recommended for land purchases in Florida?

For land purchases in Florida, it is generally recommended that buyers and sellers use the Florida Bar Vacant Land Contract, as it has been specifically designed to address the unique circumstances of land transactions. Using this contract type ensures that the parties know essential factors related to zoning, environmental issues, and other land-specific considerations that may not be addressed in a standard residential contract.

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