Owner-Built Home Faces Sale Issues

By Christopher Combs | June 1, 2013

   Question: We bought a lot in Flagstaff several years ago to build our retirement home. Although my husband was not a licensed contractor, he and our son built the home mostly on weekends. After we retired, we moved to Flagstaff. The problem is that, due to the high altitude and cold, after only four months my husband’s health was deteriorating and we decided to move back to Phoenix. When we contacted the listing broker to sell our home, she said that we could not sell our home for at least one year because our home was not built by a…


Honest Error Doesn’t Void Debt to Brokers

By Christopher Combs | May 25, 2013

  Question: We sold a small office building in Ahwatukee Foothills just off the I-10 freeway. Under the purchase contract, we agreed to pay the commissions of both brokers at closing. During the escrow period, the purchase price was increased because the buyer needed additional time to close the transaction. When the transaction finally closed, we received a title company check for the sales proceeds, which we deposited in our bank and paid bills. The title company apparently made a mistake by calculating the brokerage commissions based on the original purchase price, not the increased purchase price. The title company has…


Short-Sale Buyer Has Legal Recourse

By Christopher Combs | January 5, 2013

Question: Our brokerage firm represents a buyer that is purchasing an industrial building in the Scottsdale Airpark area. This purchase is a short sale that has recently been approved by the bank, and our buyer is completing the due diligence for the purchase of the industrial building. The market has improved since the purchase contract was signed almost three months ago. Our buyer just received a letter from the seller’s attorney stating that the seller is no longer willing to sell this industrial building, and is willing to release the earnest money back to our buyer. The seller’s attorney says…


Court of Appeals Approves Verbal Co-Broker Referral Agreement if Performed Within One Year

By Christopher Combs | December 3, 2012

  On November 23, 2012, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that a verbal referral agreement between two real estate brokers was not enforceable because the verbal referral agreement could not be performed within one year as required by the Statute of Frauds.  Facts   Broker A entered into a verbal referral agreement for a referral program with Broker B. There was never a written referral agreement for the referral program.    Under this verbal referral agreement, if a buyer that was referred by Broker A to Broker B ever purchased any property through Broker B, Broker B was obligated…


Court of Appeals Approves E-Mail Signings

By Christopher Combs | October 3, 2012

   On September 25, 2012, the Arizona Court of Appeals decided that a “Thank you” email could be an electronic signing by a real estate agent of a buyer-broker employment agreement.  Young v. Rose, 1CA-CV 10-0786. Facts:    From April, 2006, until October, 2007, a real estate agent (“Agent”) had three  unsuccessful six-month buyer-broker employment agreements with a married couple (“Buyers”) interested in buying a home in the $4,000,000 price range.  The husband was a well-known Scottsdale lobbyist and the wife was a well-known Scottsdale lawyer.    In early 2009 the Agent and the Buyers exchanged emails relating to the…


Condominium Open House Rules in Arizona

By Cameron Combs | March 29, 2016

Condominium Open House Rules in Arizona   Signs: Under Arizona law, an HOA connot prohibit or regulate temporary open house signs.  The only requirements are that the temporary open house signs be industry standard size, and owned or used by the seller or the seller’s agent.  Also, an HOA is permitted to prohibit open house signs on the common elements of the condominium.   Hours: An HOA may not limit the hours for an open house. An HOA can, however, prohibit an open house being held before 8:00 AM or after 6:00 PM.   Note: For more information, see A.R.S. section…


New Arizona Real Estate Laws Effective in 2017

By Combs Law Group | September 29, 2017

New Arizona Real Estate Laws In the Arizona legislative session for 2017 the legislature enacted many new Arizona laws that affect real estate. Most new laws went into effect on August 9, 2017.   Tenant “Finder Fee” is Allowed Generally, any referral or finder fee relating to sale or lease of real property may only be given to real estate brokers or licensees. However, A.R.S. § 32-2176 allows an owner or a property management company to pay a finder fee to an unlicensed person who is also a tenant in another unit managed by the property management company or owned…