Real Estate Lawyer in Palm Coast, FL

calculator keys and model home figure sitting on top of cash

As Flagler and Volusia counties continue to grow, the Florida commercial and residential real estate lawyers of Chiumento Law, PLLC, are ready to help families, individuals, businesses, and developers with their legal needs regarding real estate ownership and sales.

Our Palm Coast law firm represents sellers, buyers, and lenders from large developers to individuals investing in rental properties or purchasing their dream homes. We draft real estate contracts and preside over real estate closings. Our firm also acts as a title agent, issuing title insurance commitments and policies at rates competitive with non-attorney title companies.

Our legal team handles all types of real estate issues on a daily basis. Our commercial and residential real estate attorneys have the knowledge and experience to assess possible risks to our clients early and offer experienced advice on any contract or property dispute.

Chiumento Law, PLLC, brings 50 years of real estate experience to the table to help clients find timely solutions to sometimes unforeseeable complications in real estate transactions. Contact our firm today at (386) 445-8900 or online for efficient and effective professional representation in your next real estate transaction.

What Does a Florida Real Estate Lawyer Do?

As your commercial or residential real estate attorneys, Chiumento Law will ensure that proper procedures are followed during your acquisition or sale of real property. Real estate law applies to sales contracts, property deeds, property taxes, titles, zoning, permitting, and more. Every municipality and local jurisdiction has its own regulations, practices, and procedures, so working with a local attorney is a must.

For any real estate transaction you make, you’ll benefit from having a trained legal professional at your side. Legal forms and financial documents pertaining to real estate sales and acquisitions are complex and can be confusing to anyone not familiar with contract terminology. As your attorneys, we will protect your interests and help you avoid costly mistakes. We can advise you of your rights and obligations as a seller in the event a sale falls through due to such circumstances as unmet requirements of the lender.

If disputes arise, our real estate litigation lawyers can do the research necessary to establish the facts, negotiate and/or implement a settlement with the best possible outcome for you, or vigorously represent you in court.

There are numerous problems that can arise and cause legal disputes during a real estate transaction. Common issues include:

  • Property line confusion
  • Chain of title discrepancies
  • Problems with contracts
  • Disclosure failures
  • Property inspection findings
  • Lien claims
  • Eminent domain/inverse condemnation
  • Landlord/tenant disputes
  • Construction litigation
  • Property owner association requirements

We will ensure your rights are protected now and into the future with your real estate investment.

Real estate agents, title insurance companies, banks, and other lenders cannot provide legal advice. Only a duly licensed Florida residential or commercial real estate lawyer can provide legal guidance – and do so with your best interests in mind.

Our General Real Estate Law Assistance

Your real estate attorney at Chiumento Law will be with you during all aspects of your real estate transaction and closing.

We can assist with the following:

  • Preparing contracts and other documents, such as purchase agreements, mortgage documents, title documents, and transfer documents
  • Reviewing and advising on terms of loans
  • Completing title searches
  • Writing title insurance policies
  • Managing the transfer of funds for purchases

Our Commercial Real Estate Practice Areas

Our commercial real estate lawyers can help you buy, sell, finance, lease, and develop commercial property.

Please contact us about the following:

  • Land acquisition
  • Rezoning, site plan approval, permitting, code enforcement, and variances.
  • Development, including drafting and negotiating easements, declarations, covenants, conditions, and restrictions
  • Environmental regulation compliance
  • Riparian rights
  • Entity formation and joint venture structuring
  • Financing (loan acquisition and terms)
  • Tax implications of real estate sales or purchases, including IRC Section 1031 like-kind exchanges to defer capital gains taxes
  • Design (architect, engineers) and construction contracting and contract administration
  • Commercial leasing

Real Estate FAQs

What are Florida’s laws on buying or selling a home?

Florida statutes and the Florida Administrative Code (rules and regulations of Florida regulatory agencies) govern real estate transactions in the state of Florida. Home sales are also governed by contract law as well as regulations unique to Florida. Depending on the location, there may also be city and/or county ordinances that apply to residential real estate within specific jurisdictions. There are also federal statutes related to issues such as fair housing and discrimination, which could be applicable in some transactions.

While homeowners are free to sell and buy homes without going through a licensed real estate professional, real estate sales agents and brokers are licensed by the State of Florida and held to the law, including regulations regarding ethical sales activities. The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC), a division of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, educates real estate agents and administers and enforces real estate licensing law.

What are the disclosure requirements for home sellers in Florida?

In Johnson vs. Davis, the Florida Supreme Court held that “where the seller of a home knows of facts materially affecting the value of the property which are not readily observable and are not known to the buyer, the seller is under a duty to disclose them to the buyer.” In Rayner vs. Wise Realty Co. of Tallahassee, the Florida First District Court of Appeal said the disclosure requirement also applies to residential properties that are being sold “as is.” These rulings require a seller to tell a buyer about anything that would reduce the value of the property or make the property less desirable.

Florida law (Section 689.25(1)(b)) states that a homicide, suicide, or death that occurred on a property or a diagnosis of HIV or AIDS infection in a previous occupant are not material facts and are not required to be disclosed in a real estate transaction. 

Disclosures may be made verbally or in writing, although it is highly recommended to make a disclosure in writing so that evidence of it exists if there is a dispute. 

What are the security deposit rules for landlords and tenants in Florida?

No state law limits what a landlord in Florida may require as a security deposit. However, a county or municipal cap on security deposits for residential rentals may exist. Typically, a security deposit is one month’s rent. If a security deposit is held in an interest-bearing account (which is not required), the tenant must be notified and paid interest annually and at the termination of tenancy. A tenant who breaks a lease without consent and moves out before the end of the rental term is not eligible for interest on a security deposit.

Florida law requires a landlord to return a tenant’s security deposit within 15 to 60 days of the tenant vacating the rental property unless the landlord intends to withhold all or part of the deposit to pay for damage to the premises beyond normal wear and tear or for non-payment of rent. A landlord must advise the tenant of any deductions from the deposit within 30 days after they vacate the rental property. If the tenant does not object, the landlord is to return the security deposit balance within 30 days of the initial notice. 

A tenant who disputes the landlord’s withholding of a security deposit must do so in writing within 15 days of being notified. If the two parties cannot agree, the matter may be settled in court.

What is wholesaling real estate, and is it legal in Florida?

“Wholesaling” refers to buying and selling real estate sales contracts. Wholesalers seek to find investors to buy distressed properties to renovate or develop. The wholesaler contracts with the property owner to find a buyer for their property within a set period of time. Property owners may deal with wholesalers because their property is worth little, and they do not want to invest time and effort into selling it.  

The wholesaler enters into a wholesale real estate contract with the property owner and then reassigns the contract to an investor at a price that includes an additional wholesale fee of 5% to 10% of the total property price.

Wholesale real estate is legal in Florida. However, wholesalers must understand real estate law and be sure they do not practice real estate brokerage without a license.

What are the duties and obligations of a real estate agent in Florida?

A real estate agent in Florida may act as a single agent or a transaction broker or maintain a “no representation” or “no brokerage” status.

A buyer’s agent or seller’s agent represents one party in the real estate transaction. A single agent has a fiduciary responsibility to either the buyer or seller, which results in a duty to exercise skill, care, diligence, loyalty, confidentiality, obedience, and full disclosure to their client’s benefit.

A transaction broker represents both parties in a limited manner, which does not include acting as a fiduciary to the buyer or seller. This essentially means their objective is to close the transaction, and they are not concerned with who gets the more favorable deal. 

A transaction broker is not permitted to harm either party’s negotiating ability, such as by disclosing a seller’s motivation for selling or the maximum a buyer would be willing to pay. A transaction broker must deal honestly and fairly with the buyer and seller and disclose all known facts that materially affect a residential property’s value and are not readily observable to the buyer. 

A real estate agent with no brokerage status is simply there to help facilitate the transaction between buyer and seller. An agent in a no-representation sale has three duties:

  • Ensure the sale is conducted honestly and fairly.
  • Disclose all known material facts that affect a residential property’s value and are not readily observable to the buyer.
  • Account for all funds in transactions they facilitate.

What is adverse possession, and how does it work in Florida?

Adverse possession is a long-term trespasser’s right to assume ownership of the property they occupy. The doctrine of adverse possession gives an individual who has publicly taken control of and improved an otherwise neglected property an opportunity to be granted title to the property.

Under Florida law, a person must openly occupy a property for seven years and use it in a manner – such as living in an abandoned home – that conflicts with the owner’s claim on the property. The person may then be said to hold the property adversely to the true owner. Real property is considered adversely possessed by the occupant if they have improved it, used it as an owner ordinarily would, or they have protected it by enclosing it.

A party who takes adverse ownership of a piece of real estate may assume adverse possession under color of title or adverse possession without color of title. In addition to the conditions above, to claim adverse possession under color of title, the occupant must show the Florida Department of Revenue that their claim of title to the property is based on a recorded written document and that they genuinely believe this document to be the correct, legal claim of title.

To claim adverse possession without color of title, the occupant must work with the local county appraiser and the state Department of Revenue to establish their claim. This requires completing the Florida Department of Revenue’s Adverse Possession form, DE-452, and filing it with the property appraiser in the county where the property is located within one year after taking possession of the property and paying all taxes and liens against the property. This puts the notice of adverse possession in the public venue. The property appraiser is then required to notify the owner of record of the adverse possession claim.

How do I cancel a real estate contract in Florida?

Canceling a real estate contract is known as “rescission.” In some cases, the contract may describe the exact circumstances that allow for rescission. If rescission is not excluded in the terms of the contract, you may be able to get out of a real estate contract through rescission because:

  • You were a victim of real estate fraud.
  • There is a title defect that cannot be remedied.
  • Due to a mistake, you were not made aware of the details of the contract before it was signed.
  • You were sold a landlocked property, and the seller cannot provide you with legal access to the property.

You must go to court to have a contract rescinded. The Court will only agree if neither the seller nor the buyer will suffer loss as a result of the rescission. For example, any earnest money deposited prior to the sale should be refunded before going to court.

How do I use a power of attorney in a Florida real estate transaction?

A Florida real estate power of attorney is a legal document that gives a selected individual, attorney, or real estate agent permission to sell, buy, refinance, or manage real property in the name of its issuer. A power of attorney might be used if there was a reason the principal would be unable to complete a real estate transaction.  

A durable real estate power of attorney gives the agent specific powers to sign for the principal in a real estate transaction. This might be used in a one-time sale or purchase of a specific home. A real estate non-durable power of attorney is typically written to grant powers for a particular transaction and for a specific period of time. It is a good option for help with a one-time sale or purchase of a specific home but adds a deadline for the transaction to take place.

How do I get a real estate license in Florida?

There are four steps to becoming a licensed real estate agent in Florida:

  • Complete 63 hours of approved pre-licensing education. All required real estate license courses in Florida can be completed in person or online if offered by a state-approved school. Course certification is valid for two years from the date of completion.
  • Pass a background check. If you have a criminal history, your application will be reviewed on its own merit to determine whether you meet the good moral character requirement for obtaining a license.
  • Submit your application to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. This may be done online or with a printed form. You must be at least 18 years of age, have a Social Security number, and hold a high school diploma or its equivalent. If your application is approved, you will receive an email notification and a candidate ID number so you may schedule your state exam.
  • Schedule and pass the Florida real estate exam. After receiving your candidate ID number, you can schedule your state exam. You’ll have 3.5 hours to answer 100 multiple-choice questions. The passing score is 75%. The Florida state exam is offered daily and can be taken online from anywhere or at a Pearson Vue test center. Test centers are located throughout the United States. You can retake the Florida state exam as many times as you wish. You simply need to wait 24 hours to reschedule the examination.​

How do I file a complaint against a real estate agent or broker in Florida?

To file a complaint against a real estate agent or broker, contact the Florida Real Estate Commission at (850) 487-1395. Additionally, you should file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office online at or by phone toll-free at 866-9-NO-SCAM.

You may also file a complaint with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which acts as the State’s consumer complaint clearinghouse, at

Why do I need a real estate attorney?

If you are buying or selling real property, a residential real estate attorney with Chiumento Law can ensure that proper procedures are followed throughout the transaction. Legal forms and financial documents pertaining to real estate sales and acquisitions are complex and can confuse anyone unfamiliar with contract terminology. In addition to Florida statutes, every municipality and local jurisdiction has its own regulations and procedures. An experienced Florida real estate attorney will protect your interests and help you avoid costly mistakes.

Real estate agents, title insurance companies, banks, and other lenders cannot provide legal advice. Only a duly licensed Florida residential or commercial real estate lawyer can provide legal guidance – and will do so with your best interests in mind.

Our Residential Real Estate Practice Areas

For most people, buying and selling a home are the two largest financial transactions they will make. Because the potential exists for complications before, during, or after closing on a new home or a home being sold, Chiumento Law urges you to engage our experienced Palm Coast residential real estate lawyers to provide sound legal advice and protect your interests during these transactions.

Please contact us about the following:

  • Buying or selling a home
  • Buying or selling undeveloped land
  • Building a home (architect and construction contracting and contract administration)
  • Financing (mortgage loan acquisition and terms)
  • Title searches
  • Riparian rights (shoreline and waterway access)
  • Liens and fines
  • Tax implications of real estate sales or purchases
  • Leases
  • Short-term rentals
  • Landlord access
  • Landlord/tenant disputes
  • Evictions
  • Foreclosures
  • Estate planning (wills/trusts and distribution or sales of real property after death)

We can help manage financing, contracts, permitting, and other necessary work if you are considering remodeling or adding an addition to your home. Obtaining legal help to arrange and help oversee a project is good for ensuring your contractor performs the work as anticipated in the agreed-upon time frame.

When and Why You Should Hire a Real Estate Lawyer

Florida is one of the few states that does not require a buyer or seller to work with a real estate attorney to close a real estate transaction. This leaves a lot of information for the average buyer or seller to understand on their own. In addition to common missteps, real estate scams in Florida have been known to cost their victims hundreds of thousands of dollars. Mistakes involving real estate transactions often have long-lasting impacts in addition to being costly.

Real estate lawyers are professionals trained and licensed to practice law pertaining to real estate transactions. They are hired to protect the interests of clients.

One of the first documents a prospective buyer will receive is the purchase and sale agreement or contract. It dictates the terms of purchase. In many cases, its provisions cannot be changed after the buyer has signed it unless the seller agrees to the change.

When signing a contract, you can make your offer contingent on a lawyer’s review. But it’s best to have your lawyer review a contract before signing it. It’s much easier for your lawyer to protect your interests if they can read the contract before you have signed it.

If you are working with a real estate agent or broker, a real estate lawyer working for you can review all documents with you so you understand your agent’s responsibilities to you and your obligations in the transaction.

Your lawyer can also help you determine the most advantageous financial arrangement for your real estate purchase. It should be based on your needs and financial situation, including tax consequences.

The options may include the following:

  • Fixed or variable-rate mortgages
  • Conventional mortgages
  • Government-insured VA and FHA loans
  • Specialized mortgages designed for specific financial situations.

Financing options for commercial real estate purchases and development are more numerous and more complex.

Regardless of the type of loan, our Palm Coast real estate lawyers can review the loan documents and make you aware of specific terms the lender may require, such as:

  • Prepayment penalties
  • Limitation of your right to sell or convey the property without lender’s written consent
  • Insurance coverage requirements
  • Tax and insurance escrow payments
  • Limitations on your use of the property
  • Occupancy requirements
  • Lender’s right to change interest rates during the term of the loan
  • Lender’s right to change interest rates if the buyer assumes an existing mortgage.

Closing a real estate transaction is a complex procedure. Someone must ensure that the purchase contract and other documents are written so that they carry out the actual intent of the seller, lender, and buyer. It is also vital to ensure that the parties close the transaction in accordance with local, state, and federal laws.

The closing agent handling the sale or purchase of your home may be a lawyer, but they may not necessarily represent your interests. It is important to understand the role of the closing agent in your transaction. A lawyer you have engaged has a fiduciary responsibility to put your interests ahead of their own or someone else’s.

We believe it is prudent to engage an experienced real estate lawyer as soon as possible to ensure your interests are represented, and your rights are protected at all stages of a real estate transaction in Florida.

Get in Touch with an Experienced Palm Coast Real Estate Lawyer

In Florida’s housing and commercial property industries, there are no simple closings on real estate sales anymore. Complex title issues often arise, especially if the title came out of a bankruptcy case, short sale, or foreclosure or if it was bank-owned property or part of an estate or a trust. Whether buying or selling real estate in Florida, the earlier you retain an attorney, the better. Do not sign a contract without your attorney’s review. At the very least, write in a contingency clause requiring your attorney’s approval.

Please contact Chiumento Law, PLLC, as soon as you can in Palm Coast or Ormond Beach for a consultation about a pending real estate transaction. Phone (386) 445-8900 or reach out online.

We’re Proud to be Involved in the Community

Chiumento Law, PLLC has contributed to schools and other organizations that have made a difference in the community and take pride in portraying an active role in our community. Flagler and Volusia Counties hosts an array of events and we are proud to be a part of many of them!

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Palm Coast

Chiumento Law, PLLCAttorneys At Law

Palm Coast

145 City Pl #301
Palm Coast, Florida 32164
United States (US)
(386) 753-3293
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Ormond Beach

Chiumento Law, PLLCAttorneys At Law

Ormond Beach

57 W. Granada Blvd.
Ormond Beach, FL 32174
United States (US)
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