Resolving Earnest Money Disputes

By Christopher Combs | May 21, 2023

Question: We signed the standard Arizona Association of Realtors purchase contract (“AAR Purchase Contract”) to buy a home in Glendale. We deposited $12,000 earnest money. The seller, however, didn’t disclose that there was a “pickleball” home next door with loud pickleball tournaments on weekends. Our broker, who is a family friend, told us of this pickleball problem after talking to one of the seller’s neighbors during our home inspection. Therefore, we cancelled the AAR Purchase Contract during the 10-day inspection period. The seller says that we have no right to cancel the AAR Purchase Contract because of a pickleball hobby. The seller instructed our escrow company not to release our $12,000 earnest money back to us. Under our AAR Purchase Contract, we first have to go to mediation with the seller to get our $12,000 earnest money back. If there is no settlement with the seller at this mediation, we…


Recourse for Unknown Tenants

By Christopher Combs | May 14, 2023

Question: We recently purchased an investment home in the San Tan Valley for $425,000 cash. When our real estate agent showed us the home, this home had some furniture in the living room and in two of the bedrooms. Our real estate agent said that he thought that was furniture left behind by the last owner. Two days later we signed the purchase contract to buy the home. After escrow closed, and we had the keys, we went to the home with two contractors to start the repairs to the home. To our surprise, there was a family of four living there. They showed us a one-year lease that they had signed with our seller when they had moved in the week before we signed our purchase contract with the seller. Our escrow company said that we have no claim under our title insurance policy because our title insurance policy…


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