Buying or selling real property is one of the largest investments that most homeowners and business owners make. Florida has one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. According to the latest data from Zillow, the median home price in the state is now $377,706, and the median home that is for sale goes pending in just 31 days. Commercial property is even more expensive. 

Whether you are buying property or selling property, it is imperative that you take the proper steps to protect your rights and your interests. At Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA, our team works hand-in-hand with buyers and sellers through real estate transactions. Here, our Coral Gables real estate law attorney highlights key things to know about buying and selling property in Florida.  

Do the Research: Make Sure Clarify Your Goals and Know the Market 

As there is a lot on the line with a residential or commercial real estate transaction, it is crucial that you do your research—and this requires having a clear understanding of your goals. Familiarize yourself with the local real estate market by reviewing recent sales, comparable properties, and market trends. Doing so will put you in the best possible position to make informed decisions and set your expectations. Research is important for both buyers and sellers. Key considerations include location, property type, budget, and potential return on investment. By clarifying your goals and having a solid grasp of the market, you can best navigate real estate transactions. 

Seek Professional Guidance and Support 

You do not have to figure everything out on your own. Both residential real estate transactions and commercial real estate transactions can be complex. Seeking professional guidance and support provides much-needed protection. A South Florida real estate lawyer who has a deep knowledge of the law and a comprehensive understanding of the local market can make a big difference. An attorney’s expertise can guide you through the negotiation process, provide insights into market conditions, and ensure compliance with legal requirements. 

Know the Importance of the Contract (Carefully Review the Language)

With real estate transactions, the contract is everything. Do not go by verbal representations. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, you need to review (and understand) the contract language. If any sort of legal dispute or other issue arises, the contract will be used to resolve the matter. A real estate purchase agreement should outline the terms and conditions agreed upon by both parties. 

To safeguard your rights, it is imperative to carefully review the language and ensure you understand each provision. Pay particular attention to clauses related to contingencies, disclosures, deadlines, and penalties. Consult with a real estate attorney if necessary to clarify any ambiguous terms and negotiate changes if needed. A well-drafted and thoroughly reviewed contract will not only reduce the risk of problems, but it will also help to protect your rights if any arise. 

Three Key Tips for Homebuyers in Florida

With picturesque beaches and great weather, South Florida attracts homebuyers from across the country. Whether you are a local or you are moving to the state, you must act to protect your rights and interests when buying property. Here are three tips for homebuyers in Florida.

  • Know How to Effectively Use Contingency Periods: Contingency periods are an important part of any real estate transaction for buyers. During this time, the buyer can conduct inspections, appraisals, and other due diligence activities. In Florida, contingency periods can vary in length. You should refer to any agreement to clarify the deadline. 
  • Make Sure You Have a Full Understanding of the Costs: Cost matters. Beyond the purchase prices, costs include closing, property taxes, and insurance. It is essential to have a full understanding of these costs before making a final offer on a home in South Florida. You should also factor in the cost of any repairs or renovations that may be necessary.
  • Do Your Due Diligence (Inspection): You need to know what you are buying as it is represented. It is essential to have a thorough inspection of the property before closing. You should also research the neighborhood and surrounding areas to ensure that the property is in a safe and desirable location.

Three Key Tips for Homesellers in Florida

If you are planning to sell your home in Florida, there are several factors that you should keep in mind to ensure that you get the best possible price for your property and to avoid any potential legal headaches down the road. Here are three key tips for sellers in Florida. 

  • Know the Value of Your Property: A critical factor in selling your home is to know its value. Conduct a thorough analysis of the current market conditions, including things like recent sales of similar properties in your area. Knowledge is power. 
  • Be Sure to Meet All Disclosure Requirements: In Florida, sellers are required to disclose any known defects or issues with the property to potential buyers. Failure to do so could be a very serious problem, you could even be held legally liable for the damages sustained by a buyer. Compliance with residential disclosure requirements is a must.
  • Ensure the Purchase Contract is Pristine: The purchase contract is the core legal document that specifies the terms of the sale. Be sure that the contract is clear, concise, and free of any errors. A seemingly small mistake could cost a home seller thousands of dollars in the long run. You should consult with a Florida real estate attorney to ensure that the contract is legally sound and in your best interests. 

Speak to Our Florida Real Estate Transactions Lawyer Today

At Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA, our Florida real estate transactions attorney provides the solutions-first legal guidance and support that you can trust. We protect the rights of buyers and sellers in real estate transactions. Call us now at 305-669-5280 or contact us online for a fully private case review. With a legal office in Coral Gables, our firm serves real estate buyers and real estate sellers in Miami-Dade County and throughout all of Southeastern Florida. 

South Florida has one of the most dynamic real estate markets in the entire country. At Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA, we work closely with buyers, sellers, and lenders in complex real estate transactions. With experience in residential and commercial property transactions, our firm is committed to protecting the best interests of our clients and helping them achieve their goals. We want to make sure that our clients have the knowledge they need. Here,  our Coral Gables real estate law attorney answers five of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about real estate transactions in Florida. 

  1. What is an Earnest Money Deposit and How Does it Work When Buying a Home?

The personal finance company NerdWallet explains that earnest money is a “good-faith deposit you make on a home to show the seller you’re serious about buying.” In virtually every residential real estate transaction that is completed in Florida, the buyer will have been required to put down some form of earnest deposit money. In effect, earnest money “holds” the property for the prospective buyer while the purchase contract is being finalized. The amount of earnest deposit money required is generally negotiated by the parties. Most often, it is between one percent and three percent of the total sale price. 

When the transaction is finalized, the earnest money will simply be applied to the sale as part of the down payment. What happens if the home purchase agreement falls through? It will depend on exactly what happened and why. The terms of the contract matter. There are many circumstances in which buyers can get their earnest money back—such as when they have a contingency for a home inspection, and they do not like the results of the inspection. However, there are also some circumstances in which a seller may be justified in retaining the earnest money. 

  1. What Steps Should a Buyer Take Before Purchasing Real Estate in Florida?

Are you considering purchasing residential or commercial real estate in Miami-Dade County or elsewhere in South Florida? There are several important steps that you should take to protect your rights and interests. Key things that prospective real estate buyers should do include: 

  • Carefully determine your budget and financing options so that you are in the right position to find the best available property; 
  • Comprehensively research the area to ensure that you have a full understanding of what is available; 
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage (or ensure other financing is in place), get the property inspected by a reliable professional, and initiate a title search; and 
  • Consult with an experienced real estate attorney who can help negotiate and review the purchase contract to ensure you are fully protected. 
  1. What is a Title Search in a Real Estate Transaction and Why is it Important?

A title search is an important part of a major residential or commercial real estate transaction in Florida. As simply defined by Investopedia, a title search is “an examination of public records to determine and confirm a property’s legal ownership.” Put another way, a title search helps to ensure that the property being purchased is actually owned by the seller and that there are no outstanding liens or claims on the property. Most often, a title search is a process that involves examining a wide array of public records to determine the ownership history of the property, as well as any encumbrances, such as mortgages, liens, or easements, that may be attached to it.

The importance of a comprehensive title search cannot be overstated. From the perspective of a residential homebuyer or commercial property buyer, the purpose of a title search is to provide peace of mind that they are purchasing a property that is free and clear of any legal issues that could potentially arise in the future. As a title search is often a prerequisite for obtaining title insurance, it also helps to protect the buyer from unexpected financial obligations or disputes over ownership. 

  1. What Makes Commercial Real Estate Transactions Different?

While residential real estate transactions are certainly complicated, commercial real estate transactions in Florida tend to be even more complex. Some notable reasons why commercial real estate transactions are different than residential real estate transactions include the following: 

  • The unique type of property involved; 
  • Zoning and other land use restrictions or requirements; 
  • Issues related to the financing of commercial property; 
  • Assignments of leases and other commercial leasing matters; and
  • The size, scope, and complexity of the transaction. 

Overall, commercial real estate transactions are different from residential real estate transactions due to the type of property involved, the purpose of the property, the size and complexity of the transaction, and the financing arrangements. 

  1. How Can a Florida Real Estate Attorney Help With the Purchase or Sell of Property?

Whether you are buying or selling residential property or commercial property, it is crucial that you have the right professional representation. Real estate is a major transaction. A South Florida real estate attorney can provide a range of services to help with the purchase or sale of property. This includes reviewing and negotiating the terms of a real estate contract, conducting a title search to determine the ownership history of the property and identify any liens or encumbrances, handling the closing process, and providing legal representation in the event of a dispute or legal issue related to the purchase or sale. You do not have to navigate such an important transaction alone. An experienced Florida real estate lawyer will ensure that your rights and interests are properly protected through every step of the process. 

Contact Our Coral Gables, FL, Real Estate Transaction Attorney Today

At Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA, we are dedicated to assisting buyers and sellers with the purchase and sale of real property, including residential and commercial property transactions. Give us a call at 305-669-5280 or contact us online to arrange a fully confidential, no-obligation consultation. From our Coral Gables office, we represent buyers and sellers in real estate transactions throughout South Florida, including in Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Palm Beach County. 

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We service all your real estate needs in the entire State of Florida. We are your “real estate lawyer near me”.

As a buyer or seller of real estate in Florida, it is never prudent to rely on a real estate agent or broker to handle your real estate transaction. Realtors are excellent at what they do, which is bringing buyers and sellers together. However, when it comes to giving advice regarding a Real Estate Contract, the did not attend law school and are not experts in contract law. It always makes sense to hire a real estate lawyer to protect you every step of the way. What you pay is nominal for peace of mind.

What can you expect to pay a real estate lawyer? Depends on the transaction. Fees generally start at $450.00 and depending on the scope of work, whether you need an As Is Contract for Sale and Purchase prepared, title work, lien search, etc.

Always hire a real estate lawyer near me to protect your interest.


706 S. Dixie Highway Second Floor Coral Gables FL 33146

(305) 669 5280

Dealing with the current situation is hard enough on ourselves and our loved ones. But what if you entered into a contract, or are a landlord or tenant facing difficult uncertain times? Can you get out of the contract? Can your tenant? Can a seller or buyer? The question is, when It Comes to Contracts, is Coronavirus a ‘Force Majeure’?

Force Majeure typically refers to an “Act of God” such as a hurricane, terrorrism or other act, outside the control of the person, that prohibits the person legally bound under the contract to perform. Is the COVID-19 pandemic, legally speaking, an “act of God”?

Here’s a look at how Florida Courts may rule on real estate disputes that arise from transactions during this unprecedented time.

If intending to invoke a “force majeure” clause, a party is required to show a very specific and compelling reason why they can’t perform, as opposed to a more general sense that times are uncertain.

Since this is a first in history, and very new, it is a complicated question to answer. However, though not exactly on point, there is not an abundance of legal precedence to predict how Florida Courts may rule on disputes that arise from transactions during this time.

First of all, what is written into the contract does hold a lot of weight. If, for example, the Far/Bar As Is Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase or Residential Lease contains a force majeure clause, then that will control.

What is the legal definition of force majeure?

As written in the As Is Contract: Section 18(G) Force Majeure. Buyer or Seller shall not be required to perform any obligation under this Contract or be liable to each other for damages so long as performance or non-performance of the obligation, or the availability of services, insurance or required approvals essential to Closing, is disrupted, delayed, caused or prevented by Force Majeure. “Force Majeure” means: hurricanes, floods, extreme weather, earthquakes, fire, or other acts of God, unusual transportation delays, or wars, insurrections, or acts of terrorism, which, by exercise of reasonable diligent effort, the non-performing party is unable in whole or in part to prevent or overcome. All time periods, including Closing Date, will be extended a reasonable time up to 7 days after the Force Majeure no longer prevents performance under this Contract, provided, however, if such Force Majeure continues to prevent performance under this Contract more than 30 days beyond Closing Date, then either party may terminate this Contract by delivering written notice to the other and the Deposit shall be refunded to Buyer, thereby releasing Buyer and Seller from all further obligations under this Contract.

What does this clause do?

It provides an automatic extension that comes into play when a dramatic event prevents a party’s performance or closing from happening. It takes an unusual event to trigger this force majeure clause, as you can see from a few of the examples in the clause, such as hurricanes, acts of God, and acts of terrorism.

Once the clause is triggered, certain time periods (including the closing date, if applicable) will be extended for a reasonable time up to seven days after the force majeure no longer prevents performance. Parties should pay attention to the time in relation to the closing date, though, since either party may terminate the contract by delivering a written notice if force majeure continues to prevent performance more than 30 days beyond the closing date.

Are all force majeure clauses the same?

No.The specific terms can vary, which means every analysis must look at the specific words of the executed contract to see if they apply. It’s possible for the same exact facts to qualify for force majeure protection in one contract, but not another. For example, some force majeure clauses include epidemics and pandemics as covered events, while others do not.

Is the virus an “Act of God” as written in the clause above? Does this force majeure clause apply to COVID-19 related issues?

At this point, it is too novel and too new to tell. So frankly speaking, we don’t know yet how the Courts will interpret it.

Where does the Law Offices of Jacqueline A. Salcines PA Come In?

Myself and my team want you to know that we are here for you. Whether to interpret a contract, or the law, at the Law Offices of Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA we here virtually, to assist. In addition to reviewing contract for you virtually, we can initiate contact with the other party and send demand letters. We are open and here to serve the community.

Call or email us today. We are here to help. Contact attorney Jacqueline A. Salcines, Esq. today.

Jacqueline A. Salcines PA

Tel: 305 669 5280




In the midst of this crisis and the unknowns that lie ahead, many real estate buyers are looking to get out of real estate contracts. Many calls this week pertained to the clause in the real estate contract that is labeled “Force Majeure”. This term, translated means “superior force”, that is a force beyond your control, such as “hurricanes, floods, extreme weather, earthquakes, fire, or other acts of God, unusual transportation delays, or wars, insurrections, or acts of terrorism, which by exercise of reasonable diligent effort, the non-performing party is unable in whole or in part to prevent or overcome.”

Whether the current times call for this depends on your circumstance. Loss of jobs, loss of income, unexpected layoff or business closure could all qualify to get you out of a contract.

Contact us today to discuss your particular real estate transaction and issues to see if we can help. With over 20 years experience, we are here to help you navigate these stressful times.

Here by FaceTime, Skype, Phone and email, call us anytime.


Jacqueline Salcines, Esq.

305 669 5280

If you are buying, selling or refinancing real estate, the most important decision you can make is to hire the right Real Estate Lawyer to represent you. Hiring a real estate lawyer to oversee the transaction and make sure that the transaction goes smoothly is what we are here for.

At the Law Offices of Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA, our real estate lawyers in Miami have over 31 years experience in closing residential and commercial real estate transactions. As both an Accountant and a Real Estate lawyer, attorney Jacqueline A. Salcines has closed more than 5,000 transactions and has the knowledge and experience to represent you in your real estate closing.

Did you know that in Florida, neither the seller, nor the bank can force you to use their title company. This is called coercion and there are laws against it. However, in Florida, if you do not select a title company, the lender will select one for you. Or worse, your realtor will recommend one or the seller will choose, leaving you at the mercy of others. And unprotected!

At the Law Offices of Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA our real estate lawyers serve buyers and seller from all over the globe with their real estate closing transactions. Whether buying a home, an investment property, a duplex, an income producing property, or a commercial land or vacant land, we have the knowledge and experience to protect you as a purchaser of real estate.

We handle the following real estate transactions for our clients:

  • As Is Residential Transactions
  • Commercial Transactions
  • Escrow deposits
  • Title Review, Title Examination and Title Insurance
  • Lien Searches
  • Real Estate closings
  • Sale by Owner transactions
  • 1031-Exchanges
  • FIRPTA and 1040 NR filings
  • Landlord Tenant Matters
  • Commercial and Residential Leases
  • Landlord Tenant evictions
  • Real estate litigation

Buying, selling or refinancing real property is often the largest investment that a person does in their lifetime. Don’t go it alone. Hire the services of an experienced real estate lawyer.


Jacqueline A. Salcines, Esq.
706 S. Dixie Highway
Second Floor
Coral Gables, FL 33146
Tel: 305 | 669 | 5280