How do you execute a contract with power of attorney?

A power of attorney is an agreement between the principal (the person who grants their attorney power to another party) and an agent (the person granted this power by the principal). In short, it gives the agent legal authority to act on the principal's behalf.

There are different types of POAs in Florida, and not all empower an agent to sell real estate on the behalf of someone else. In some cases, a power of attorney may be granted only for a single function, such as a one-time sale of a property. For background information on how a power of attorney designation operates in Florida, visit the Florida Bar's website.

If someone is using a power of attorney to buy or sell a Florida property, one way to complete and execute the sale and purchase contract is as follows: Where appropriate, insert the name of the principal followed by the name of the person who has agent power followed by "his/her agent."

For example, assume John Q. Buyer made Jane Doe his power of attorney and empowered her to buy and sell real estate on his behalf. In that capacity, Jane is now selling John's home. In this case, the sale and purchase contract would list the seller as "John Q. Buyer by Jane Doe, his agent."

When signing the contract, Jane Doe should use the exact same language.

A real estate licensee should never interpret a power of attorney for another licensee. If there's a question regarding the validity or interpretation of a power-of-attorney document, the parties should consult legal counsel.

Also: In a sale of real property, a copy of the power of attorney legal document should be provided to the closing agent early in the transaction. Should the closing agent have any concerns, this will give the parties time to resolve questions without potentially delaying the transaction.

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