Disclosure of Registered Sex Offenders is Not Required

By Christopher Combs | February 27, 2023

Question: We purchased a nice home in a Tempe community. The seller told our real estate agent that the reason the seller was moving to another Tempe home was “to be closer to the 101 freeway.” Two weeks after we closed on our home, we learned at an HOA meeting that a registered sex offender (“RSO”) lives three homes away from our home. We have two girls ages 8 and 10 so we must now find another home. When we complained to our Realtor why we weren’t told of this RSO, our Realtor said that under Arizona law both sellers…


Quit Claim Deeds Do Not Transfer Real Property

By Christopher Combs | February 21, 2023

Question: My brother and I bought an investment home in San Tan Valley three years ago. Two months ago, my brother gave me a quit claim deed in exchange for $50,000, and my brother moved to Oregon. After reading your recent column on special warranty deeds and general warranty deeds to transfer a home, I am confused. Does my brother still own one-half of the San Tan Valley home because he only gave me a quit claim deed? Answer: Probably not. A quit claim deed is not a conveyance deed, but simply one party agreeing to “quit” any “claim” to…


‘Contract for Deed’ is Allowed Under Arizona Law

By Christopher Combs | February 5, 2023

Question: We are buying a 40-acre parcel of land in Apache County for $400,000, with a $40,000 down payment. Instead of a standard purchase contract, however, the seller wants to use what he calls a “contract for deed.” In other words, although we will initially pay the $40,000 down payment, we will not get the deed to the 40 acres until we make five years of monthly payments to pay off the remaining $360,000. The seller is from Iowa, and he says that he has always bought and sold land with a “contract for deed.” Is this “contract for deed”…


Private Condemnation for Access Should Be Transferable to a New Buyer

By Christopher Combs | January 29, 2023

Question: In a recent column you discussed the rights of two brothers who inherited 20 acres of land in Prescott Valley that was “landlocked”, i.e., no legal access to a public highway. You said that the two brothers had the right of private condemnation over the land of the owner of a 5-acre lot between their 20 acres and a public highway. You then said that, after acquiring legal access by private condemnation, the two brothers could then transfer this legal access to a buyer of their 20 acres. I am a real estate lawyer. Are you aware that last…


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…