ARTICLES & NEWS

REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS ARTICLES

Landlord’s Listing Broker Must Have Access To Leased Property

By Christopher Combs | May 2, 2021

Question: I am renting a luxury condominium in Central Phoenix. The lease expires in three months. The owner’s listing agent now wants to show my luxury condominium to potential buyers. I have valuable leather couches, art work, and clothing in the home. Do I have to let the owner’s listing agent have access to my home? If so, how often are potential buyers allowed access to my home? Answer: In a residential lease, the landlord is entitled to reasonable access to the home. This reasonable access requires at least two days’ notice, and entry three to five times a week…

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Recourse For Spouse’s Misuse Of Community Funds

By Christopher Combs | April 25, 2021

Question: After seventeen years my husband and I have been having serious marital problems. When I was back in Minnesota visiting my parents recently, my husband signed a contract to purchase a condominium in Mesa in his name only. The $10,000 earnest money was “hard” or nonrefundable after the 10-day inspection period. My husband couldn’t get a mortgage loan in his name only, however, so the purchase contract was canceled. The seller now refuses to refund the $10,000 “hard” earnest money. We are still trying to save our marriage, and my husband has apologized to me. Have we lost the…

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No Title Insurance Coverage Generally If Home Is In Floodplain

By Christopher Combs | April 18, 2021

Question: We purchased a home on a five-acre lot near Payson. Two months after we moved into the home there was an overflow of the nearby creek which flooded our entire backyard. Apparently 25% of our five-acre lot is in the Town of Payson’s flood plain. We immediately reviewed our title insurance policy to see if there was flood coverage, or if there was an exception to title insurance for flooding. There was no reference in our title insurance policy relating to coverage for flooding, one way or the other. The seller of the home was an elderly lady who…

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disclose

What To Disclose When Selling A Home

By Christopher Combs | April 11, 2021

Question: We own a home on the side of Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley. If there are heavy rains, there will occasionally be minor rockslides into our swimming pool in the backyard. We are now selling our home. Do we have to disclose these occasional minor rock slides? Answer: Probably. In determining what a seller should disclose to a buyer, two rules should be followed: 1. If it is material it must be disclosed; if it is not material, why not disclose it? 2. If you were the buyer, would you want to know? If these two rules are followed,…

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seller-carryback-financing

Will Seller Carryback Financing Be Jeopardized If Buyer Is A Drug Dealer?

By Christopher Combs | April 4, 2021

Question: We are selling our Carefree home. A young man has made us an offer to purchase our Carefree home for $600,000. There will be a down payment of $250,000 cash, and financing by a $350,000 seller carryback loan from us. This $250,000 cash is apparently from the young man’s successful real estate investments, but the young man cannot qualify for a $350,000 mortgage loan. We think that this young man could be a drug dealer. If we sell our Carefree home to this young man and the FBI seizes the home for drug dealing, will we lose our $350,000…

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Title Insurance

Divorce By Publication May Be Necessary for Title Insurance

By Christopher Combs | March 21, 2021

Question: My three children and I have been living in an apartment in central Phoenix since my husband left us three years ago. My mother died last year and I recently received a cash inheritance of $225,000.00. I have now signed a $225,000 purchase contract for a Chandler home. The escrow company says that my husband has to sign the paperwork to disclaim any interest in this Chandler home. What can I do when I have no idea where my husband has been living the past three years? Answer: If only one spouse is buying a home, the title company…

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HOA debt not disclosed

Who is responsible for undisclosed HOA debt?

By Christopher Combs | March 14, 2021

Question: After we bought our home in Chandler, we attended the homeowners’ association (“HOA”) annual meeting. At this HOA annual meeting we learned that our HOA was in debt for $62,000.00 for attorney’s fees incurred because of a prior lawsuit with our landscaping company. The result is that a portion of our monthly HOA dues goes to pay back this $62,000.00 debt which is of no benefit to us. There is nothing in the HOA Addendum or in our purchase contract regarding this $62,000.00 debt. The seller has denied knowing anything about this $62,000.00 debt. Why should we have to…

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Listing Agreement

Brokerage Firm “Owns” the Listing – Not the Agent

By Christopher Combs | March 7, 2021

Question: One of our best friends is a real estate agent who lives in our Queen Creek neighborhood. We signed a six-month listing agreement with this real estate agent. After only two months our real estate agent left her brokerage firm and went to a new brokerage firm. The designated broker of her old brokerage firm has refused to transfer our listing agreement to our real estate agent’s new brokerage firm. In fact, two real estate agents of the old brokerage firm even called us to discuss a marketing strategy for the sale of our Queen Creek home. Our real…

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