Question: We live near Lake Pleasant. Our next-door neighbor is retiring, and he and his wife are moving back to California. They want to sell us their home without paying a commission to a real estate broker. Our plan is to buy their home as an investment property for short-term rentals because we are near several spring training baseball fields. Our next-door neighbor has filled out a purchase contract that he located on the internet. Is it ok to use this purchase contract?

Answer: No. You should hire a local Realtor for a minimal commission who will use the Arizona Association of Realtors® Residential Resale Real Estate Purchase Contract (“AAR Purchase Contract”), which is used in at least 95% of resale home sales in Arizona. The reasons for using the AAR Purchase Contract include: 1) The AAR Purchase Contract is drafted by the Arizona Association of Realtors, whose members represent both sellers and buyers, so the AAR Purchase Contract is relatively neutral; 2) The AAR Purchase Contract is unique to Arizona community property laws and other Arizona laws, e.g., Arizona law requires an affidavit of disclosure from the seller for the sale of most homes outside city limits; 3) In general, internet purchase contract forms are poorly drafted, are one-sided forms in favor of either buyer or seller, and are limited to local practices, e.g., in many Eastern states an attorney, not a title company, does the closing paperwork for the purchase of a home.

Note: All new home builders such as Pulte Homes and Shea Homes have their own purchase contracts.

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