If the Buyer Learns that a Neighboring Home is a Short-Term Rental Home, the Buyer Can Get Earnest Money Back

By Christopher Combs | October 29, 2023

Question: In a recent column you said that if a seller and a buyer have a dispute about the validity of the sale of a home, the standard Arizona Association of Realtors purchase contract (“AAR Contract”) requires mediation before a seller or buyer files a lawsuit. We bought a home in Phoenix that we loved, but during the 10-day inspection period we learned that the home next door to us is a short-term rental home. We immediately demanded the cancellation of the AAR Contract and the return of our $20,000 earnest money. The seller says that, because the short-term rental…

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COVID Disclosure Requirements When Selling A Home

By Christopher Combs | September 17, 2023

Question: We signed a purchase contract to buy a Sun City home. A neighbor then told us that the seller’s husband had died from COVID two weeks ago. Our real estate agent then told us that this recent COVID death does not give us the right to cancel the purchase contract, because under Arizona law both the seller and the real estate agents had no obligation to disclose to us this COVID death two weeks ago. Can we cancel the purchase contract? Answer: A.R.S. § 32-2156 provides that the seller, or a real estate broker, is not required to disclose…


Buyer’s Right to Cancel Purchase Contract Because of “Ghost Rumors”

By Christopher Combs | September 10, 2023

Question: In a recent column you said that a buyer could cancel a purchase contract for a home within the 10-day inspection period because of “neighborhood rumors about ghosts haunting the home.” Even worse, you said that the buyer could then get his $20,000 earnest money back! We are planning on listing our Sun Lakes home for sale at the end of the summer. If a buyer signs the purchase contract and then comes up with some phony “ghost rumors” reason to cancel the purchase contract and get their $20,000 earnest money back, will we have to go to court…


Seller Wants Two-Week Extension to Close Escrow

By Christopher Combs | September 3, 2023

Question: My wife and I are first time homebuyers in our late 20s. We signed a contract to purchase a home in Chandler. The close of escrow is scheduled in two weeks. Our apartment lease ends in two weeks. The seller’s real estate agent just told us that the seller will not be able to move out in two weeks, and that the seller needs a 10-day extension of the close of escrow. Our landlord says, however, that another tenant is moving into our apartment in two weeks. Therefore, our landlord won’t extend our lease for even one day. What…


Disclosure of Dog Park by Realtor After Close of Escrow

By Christopher Combs | August 27, 2023

Question: Two years ago we purchased a home in a subdivision of single-family homes in Mesa. At the time that we purchased our home, the Arizona Department of Real Estate subdivision public report given to us by the homebuilder said that the vacant land across the street from our subdivision would be developed into a similar subdivision of single-family homes. We recently received notification, however, that the City of Mesa is condemning this vacant land for a proposed dog park. When we contacted our real estate agent, she said that she did not have any knowledge of this proposed dog…

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Buyer Entitled in Good Faith to Cancel “As Is” Purchase Contract During the 10-Day Inspection Period

By Christopher Combs | August 20, 2023

Question: We moved here from Milwaukee and signed a purchase contract with $20,000 earnest money for a Goodyear home. We had the right to cancel this purchase contract within the 10-day inspection period. We both have jobs in Chandler. Neither of us realized how far the day-to-day commute was from Goodyear to Chandler during rush hour traffic. Therefore, we decided to cancel our purchase contract for the Goodyear home, get our $20,000 earnest money back, and buy a home in Chandler. Although we are still within the 10-day inspection period, our Realtor said that we will lose our $20,000 earnest…


Intestate Succession of Non-Community Property

By Christopher Combs | July 9, 2023

Question: I moved into my future husband’s Sun City home seven years ago. We were married two years later, but I never asked to be added to the deed to the home. Last month my husband died. His two sons live in Oregon. In the last seven years they never came to Arizona to see their father so I have never met them. The two sons recently emailed me that they now want to sell the home. They will let me live in the home until the sale of the home closes. Because I was never on the deed and…


Right to Partition As Tenant-In-Common

By Christopher Combs | June 25, 2023

Question: My boyfriend and I bought a home together in Flagstaff five years ago. We agreed that my boyfriend would be the only person on the deed and the mortgage loan because of my poor credit. I paid $10,000 of the $20,000 down payment. Similarly, in the past five years we have paid all mortgage and other home expenses 50-50. I am moving out of our home now to go back to my family in Missouri. My “loser” boyfriend says that, because I was not on the deed and had no liability for the mortgage, I was only a tenant…