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Florida Real Estate Contract – Important Appraisal Deadline Change

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Rulnick Realty, Inc.

The Florida Realtors/Florida BAR contract for sale and purchase of real estate will change effective November 1.   Updates to the financing clause addressing appraisals may affect you. Now, the mortgage approval deadline will also include the receipt of a satisfactory appraisal. The previous version of the contract did not have an appraisal deadline.


Appraisals have been backlogged in the busy Destin, Florida real estate market, and all over Florida for the past year. Appraisals, or alternate valuations (for example, “desktop” appraisals, appraiser-assisted, or AVM “automated valuation models”) are part of the mortgage loan process, and how a lender vets a property they are lending on. Appraisals can take two to three weeks, and many assignments are turned down by appraisers due to the increased volume of orders for new purchases and refinance loans.

Appraisals are often paid out-of-pocket by the buyer at the time of the order. This could be between $450 and $2000 or more depending on the house.  Some buyers, upon advice from their agent, delayed having their lender order the appraisal until the home inspection was complete – which could take up to two weeks.  That’s because if they cancelled the contract due to inspection, they would save the appraisal expense.

On the other hand, if they ordered the appraisal right away, then cancelled afterwards due to inspection, they’d be out that money. (With the new Florida contract, that sneaky tactic is about to hit a road block.)

Since the previous version of the Florida FR/BAR contract had NO appraisal deadline, it could be done by day of closing.  If there was a problem with the property under-appraising for lender needs, the entire sale could be threatened. That’s no fun for a seller who just moved a house full of furniture, or a buyer whose lease is about to run out.  As appraisals have become more backlogged, the last-minute appraisal situation has become worse.

Florida Realtors’ solution is to have a date-certain by which the appraisal is complete. That date is the same as the loan approval deadline. You must specify the deadline in the contract, or it becomes the default time period – 30 calendar days (extended to the next calendar day if the time period ends on a Saturday, Sunday, or national legal holiday.)

If the finance and appraisal deadline passes, and there is no extension requested, the buyer can lose his deposit if he fails to close. 

So, what can you do about this new deadline to minimize your risk of losing your deposit?

  1. Ask your lender to order the appraisal right away.
  2. Find out when the due date is for the appraisal.
  3. Find out when your lender expects mortgage approval.
  4. Use the later date of the two, based on your consultations with your lender, in the contract paragraph 8b.
  5. Ask for an extension should your approval deadline be in jeapardy.

More questions?


It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!


Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-259-0422
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

Consult with your attorney for legal advice.

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, lists and sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Crestview, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Freeport, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.

Parlo italiano.

Posted by

"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Wendy Rulnick, Broker/Owner Rulnick Realty, Inc.

Call Wendy Rulnick 1-850-259-0422

email itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

www.rulnickrealty.com property searches and community info

Wendy Rulnick helps real estate buyers and sellers on the Emerald Coast of Florida.

Rulnick Realty


Comments (7)

Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Wendy and great job getting the word out on this major change.  Make it a Special Day!


Oct 26, 2021 12:14 PM
Wendy Rulnick

Will Hamm Thank you! I had a special morning, and hope to wrap up a wonderful afternoon. Same to you!

Oct 26, 2021 12:15 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Good for Florida, and including an appraisal on the contract.  Our clients had their home appraised prior to putting it on the market...A

Oct 26, 2021 01:05 PM
Wendy Rulnick

Ron and Alexandra Seigel Yay, they finally did it, as it needed to be addressed in this current market!

Oct 26, 2021 01:10 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Wendy - choosing the right local real estate representation matters and makes a big difference.   It's impossible for those not fully engaged in the industry to understand the nuances that are a part of everyday life.   

Oct 27, 2021 03:29 AM
Wendy Rulnick

Michael Jacobs That is a point well taken.

Oct 27, 2021 06:09 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Your clients are lucky that you keep up to date with everything, they are in good hands!

Oct 27, 2021 05:12 AM
Wendy Rulnick

Brian England I try! Thank you

Oct 27, 2021 06:07 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Wendy, great post to alert all parties that there is a change coming.   Nice to see buyers now won't lose their money on appraisals.

Oct 27, 2021 06:42 AM
Wendy Rulnick

Joan Cox Actually, if they do pay for the appraisal and then they cancel the contract they don't get their money back. 😀

Oct 27, 2021 06:53 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is good information to share.

Take care, be safe and have a great day.

Oct 27, 2021 06:45 AM
Wendy Rulnick

Roy Kelley 

Oct 27, 2021 06:53 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Good morning Wendy! That is a great change to the contract. Especially in this market

Oct 27, 2021 09:08 AM