It is always a bit of a dilemma when selling at the end of the year in Florida. When selling
in October, the taxes for that year are not out yet, and usually we are still waiting on the TRIM notice from the property appraiser’s office to let us know how much we can expect to pay. It is a guessing game, and as a title company or attorney, we have learned to err
on the side of withholding of too much money (no one wants to pay taxes and they especially don’t want to pay them when they don’t own the home anymore). It is not usually a problem when too much is withheld, as when the check is cut to the tax collector’s office, a check to you for the overage will be cut and sent at the same time (another reason to make sure that your closing company has your forwarding address). But, what about when the bill is out and you want to take advantage of the discount but are selling?
It is best to look at the amount of time before closing. First, if it is a fast closing, the tax office may not get your payment posted prior to closing, then you have to pay it twice and wait for a refund from the tax office. Not an ideal situation. If you are wondering why, it’s because we need to verify the payment is made and if that verification cannot be made, it is our responsibility to collect the funds. If your closing is not for many weeks, then it seems reasonable that it would be posted in time and you can take advantage of that discount.
I highly recommend checking with your closing company before paying. They can tell you if they believe that the payment will be posted in time or to just pay it on the settlement statement. It is hard enough paying taxes once, but to pay them twice really hurts. Check before you pay.
As always, happy buying and selling!