There’s a Big Difference Between Special and General Warranty Deeds

By Christopher Combs | January 8, 2023

Question: Two years ago we bought a home in Laveen as an investment. We received a special warranty deed from the seller. We are now selling the Laveen home, and the title company is demanding that we sign a general warranty deed because the title company wants “more protection.” What is “more protection?” Answer: You first have to understand the difference between a general warranty deed and a special warranty deed. With a general warranty deed, the seller warrants good title to the home from the beginning of time. With a special warranty deed, however, the seller only warrants good…

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Canceling Purchase Contract After Inspection Period

By Christopher Combs | November 27, 2022

Question: We signed the standard AAR Purchase Contract (“Purchase Contract”) for the purchase of a Gold Canyon home near the Superstition Mountains. During the 10-day inspection period the seller agreed to make the minor repairs that our home inspector had recommended. We then flew back to Canada. Three days later our real estate agent called us to say that there had been a large monsoon which caused significant damage to the roof and some damage to the living room wall. The seller’s real estate agent told our real estate agent that the seller will fix everything before close of escrow.…


Listing Agent Has to Disclose Family Relationship With Buyer

By Christopher Combs | November 13, 2022

Question: We listed our North Phoenix home with our neighbor who is a real estate agent and also a Realtor. The next day we accepted an offer to purchase our home from a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) buyer. This LLC buyer planned to remodel our home, and then “flip” our home to another buyer. Our Realtor recently said that this LLC buyer, however, may now not be able to buy our home because of problems getting a short-term remodeling loan from a hard money lender. While playing golf my husband recently learned from another neighbor that our Realtor’s brother is…


House Sale Commission Is Owed When a Buyer Is ‘Ready’

By Christopher Combs | October 16, 2022

Question: In a recent column you said that the seller still owed the listing broker a 6% real estate commission when, the day before close of escrow, the buyer of a Peoria home said that he no longer wanted to buy the home, and that he would forfeit to the seller the $5,000 earnest money deposit. You then said that the listing broker was still entitled to the 6% real estate commission under the listing agreement because the buyer was a “ready, willing, and able” buyer. Why should a seller pay a 6% real estate commission to the listing broker…


Disclosure Affidavit From Seller Required for All Land Transfers

By Christopher Combs | September 4, 2022

Question: In a recent column you said that an Arizona law, A.R.S. § 33-422, requires an affidavit of disclosure from the seller to the buyer when land is being sold in an unincorporated area of an Arizona county, unless the land has been subdivided. You also said that this affidavit of disclosure requires significant disclosures by the seller such as access and utilities. Three years ago, we sold a two-acre parcel of land in Pinal County with a ‘seller carryback’ mortgage to us. The buyer planned to split this two-acre parcel of land and build a home on each of…


Commission Could Be Due for Condemned Property

By Christopher Combs | August 21, 2022

Question: We have listed our Phoenix warehouse with a local brokerage firm. Since this listing we have been informed by the Arizona Department of Transportation that our warehouse will be condemned for construction of highway improvements, but under condemnation law we are not obligated to pay a commission to our listing broker. To avoid the time and expense of formal condemnation proceedings, however, ADOT wants to purchase our Phoenix warehouse. Our listing broker, however, says that a full commission will be owed to him if ADOT purchases our Phoenix warehouse. Our listing broker did absolutely nothing regarding this ADOT purchase.…


Broker Should Submit All Purchase Offers

By Christopher Combs | August 14, 2022

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…


Seller Didn’t Disclose the Short-Term Rental Next Door

By Christopher Combs | June 26, 2022

Question: In the purchase contract for the sale of our Chandler home, there is a provision giving the right for a 10-day inspection. The purchase contract also said that the sale was “as is,” and “no repairs.” After the 10-day inspection period, the buyer deposited $35,000 earnest money with the escrow company. The 10-day inspection period expired, and the buyer said nothing about cancellation. A week later the buyer wants to cancel the contract and get their $35,000 earnest money back because the buyer learned that there is a short-term rental (“STR”) home next door. The buyer says that we…