REAL ESTATE AGENCY LAW ARTICLES
Broker Should Submit All Purchase Offers
Question: We listed our Gilbert home for sale for $650,000. After two months we received a cash offer for $638,000. We reluctantly accepted this cash offer for $12,000 less than our listing price. We have now learned from another Realtor that, before we accepted this $638,000 offer, this Realtor’s buyer had made a $650,000 offer to our listing broker contingent on qualifying for a new loan. When we confronted the listing broker about this other $650,000 offer, the listing broker said that she didn’t think that this $650,000 buyer could qualify for a new loan, so she didn’t bother to…Read More >>
What Qualifications Do Real Estate Agents Need?
Question: In a recent column you said that, under Article 26 of the Arizona Constitution, a real estate agent has the right to practice law, e.g., draft purchase contracts or leases in a real estate transaction. We recently moved to Arizona from West Virginia, and we are planning on buying a new home from a homebuilder in Gilbert with the purchase price in the $1.2 million range. We were surprised to learn from the Gilbert homebuilder’s sales agent that real estate agents in Arizona generally take the place of a lawyer in the purchase of a new home. Sounds totally…Read More >>
Can Listing Agent Bind Seller to Purchase Contract?
Question: In a recent column a buyer made a $480,000 offer to purchase a Casa Grande home. The listing agent emailed the buyer’s agent, “Sounds good. Let’s open escrow. Seller signing the purchase contract.” The seller then sold the house to another buyer for $510,000. Your answer was that the email of the listing agent was binding on the seller to sell the Casa Grande home for $480,000. At our Tuesday brokerage office meeting, almost everybody in the office disagreed with you. Please explain your answer. Answer: First, the answer to the question was “probably.” This area of the law…Read More >>
Can Seller Cancel Listing Agreement?
Question: We signed a listing agreement to sell our Glendale home for $780,000. Our listing agent said that she had listed and sold 16 homes in our subdivision. Although our listing agent said that the listing price of $780,000 was too high, we were in no rush to sell our home in this “booming” market. Therefore, we refused to lower the $780,000 listing price. After two months our listing agent has not brought us one offer, although a similar home in our subdivision just sold for $755,000. We asked our listing agent to have an open house, but she said…Read More >>
Listing Agent’s Representations Can Be Purchase Contract
Question: We made a full listing price offer of $480,000 with $20,000 earnest money for a home in Casa Grande. Our real estate agent emailed our $480,000 offer to the listing agent who emailed our real estate agent back the next day “Sounds good. Let’s open escrow. Seller signing the purchase contract. Will send tomorrow.” After we received a copy of this email from our real estate agent, we thought that we had a contract. We then scheduled a home inspection, called our mortgage broker and filled out some paperwork, and paid $250 to a roofing company for a roof…Read More >>
Is 10-Day Inspection Period A ‘Free Look’?
Question: We signed a purchase contract to sell our Rio Verde home to Los Angeles buyers for $1.2 million with $50,000 earnest money. During the 10-day inspection period the buyers cancelled the purchase contract and demanded their $50,000 earnest money back. Their only reason for cancellation of the purchase contract was that they would be too far away from Scottsdale Fashion Square and the downtown Scottsdale area with restaurants, shopping, etc. We think that the buyers just found another home that they liked better than our Rio Verde home. Therefore, we don’t want to give the buyers back their $50,000…Read More >>
Release of Real Estate Agents Probably Not Enforceable
Question: In a recent column you said that under the AAR Purchase Contract the seller and the buyer release their real estate agents from any liability in the transaction. We sold our Chandler home in July. Neither my husband nor I remember seeing this release language in our AAR Purchase Contract. When we reviewed lines 428-434 of our AAR Purchase Contract, however, we were shocked to see that not only did we release our real estate agent and the buyer’s agent, but the release was in bold print, and we initialed this release. At that time we just signed and…Read More >>
Specific Legal Description Not Required in Purchase Contract
Question: We have a small commercial brokerage firm in Phoenix. Common brokerage practice in most commercial brokerage firms is not to state a legal description in the purchase contract. Instead, the address and the parcel number are specified, and an exhibit to the purchase contract says “legal description to be inserted by title company.” The reason is that no commercial broker wants to take the risk of inserting in the purchase contract an erroneous legal description, which can be complex and more than two pages. Is a specific legal description required in the purchase contract under Arizona law? Answer: No.…Read More >>