ARTICLES & NEWS

REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS ARTICLES

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…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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Using Letters Of Intent In Real Estate Transactions

By Christopher Combs | April 17, 2022

Question: We want to rent a 7,000-square-foot home in Paradise Valley for two years for $12,000 a month. The owners live in Boston, and their attorney has drafted a letter of intent (“LOI”), which has been signed by the owners and forwarded to our rental agent for us to sign. Our rental agent says that the LOI is not binding on us, but simply states the basic terms of the two-year lease, e.g., 7,000-square-foot home, $12,000 monthly rent, and that the formal lease will be on the Arizona Association of Realtors (“AAR”) form lease. We have rented homes before, but…

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Buyer May Want To Waive Home Inspection

By Christopher Combs | March 13, 2022

Question: In a recent column you said that, if the seller was unhappy with the sale price of the home and as a result would not allow a home inspection by the buyer, the buyer could waive the home inspection. In other words, you said that the buyer should “suck it up” because the seller wanted more money! You obviously do not understand the terms of the AAR Purchase Contract. First, the seller has signed the AAR Purchase Contract, and therefore has agreed to all terms and conditions, including a home inspection by the buyer. Second, lines 302-303 of the…

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Listing Agent’s Representations Can Be Purchase Contract

By Christopher Combs | February 27, 2022

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…

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Is 10-Day Inspection Period A ‘Free Look’?

By Christopher Combs | February 20, 2022

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…

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