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 any viral illness such as HIV/AIDS, West Nile Virus, or COVID. In other words, there is no requirement that the seller, or the real estate agents, had to disclose that the seller’s husband died from COVID two weeks ago. Nevertheless, if you are honestly and in good faith concerned about the COVID death of the seller’s husband two weeks ago, you are entitled to cancel the purchase contract.
Note: COVID and other viruses are only airborne for a few hours, and will only stay on plastic and stainless-steel surfaces for up to 72 hours. Therefore, if you still want the home, the home should be safe after a 72-hour delay in moving into the home after close of escrow.