Call us today: (602) 957-9810

ARTICLES & NEWS

REAL ESTATE CONTRACTS ARTICLES

Can Landlord and Tenant Create a Maintenance Deal?

By Christopher Combs | April 15, 2019

Question: We are negotiating a one-year lease for a North Phoenix home. The landlord wants us to be responsible for maintaining the heating and air-conditioning systems in the home. The landlord is willing to reduce the rent by $200 per month. Can we agree with the landlord to be responsible for maintaining the home in exchange for this $200 reduction in the rent? Answer: Probably. A landlord is required to maintain the premises in a fit and habitable condition.  This requirement includes having to keep all heating and air-conditioning systems in working order.  The landlord and tenant in the rental…

Read More >>

Can Buyer Back Out of Purchase Contract for Seller’s Breach?

By Christopher Combs | April 8, 2019

Question:  When we purchased our Chandler home, we received the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement (“SPDS”). The SPDS did not disclose any prior flood damage or mold. During our 10-day inspection period, our home inspector that did not find any prior flood damage or mold. After the 10-day inspection period had expired, however, we learned from a casual conversation with a neighbor that both the seller’s home and the neighbor’s home had flood damage and mold remediation two years earlier. We now want to cancel the purchase contract and get a refund of our $10,000 earnest money. Can we get our…

Read More >>

No Commissions Owed Without Proper Documents

By Christopher Combs | February 27, 2019

Question: For several years I have owned a lot in the Wickenburg area that I inherited from my parents. I have been trying to sell this lot since last summer. One of my neighbors is a real estate broker, and he emailed me last week to ask if I would pay him a 5% commission if he found a buyer that would pay $300,000 for this lot. I emailed him back agreeing to his proposal. The next day this real estate broker emailed me a cash offer from a buyer for $300,000, with $25,000 earnest money. In the offer the…

Read More >>

Termites Found After Home Purchase

By Christopher Combs | February 20, 2019

Question: Shortly after we closed on the purchase of our Tempe home last summer, we noticed termite tunnels in the bathroom. We hired a termite company to treat this termite problem for the cost of $2,800. The termite company told us that our home had previous treatment for termites. In fact, the records at the Structural Pest Control Commission (https://tarf.azda.gov/index.php) that regulates termite companies show that there had been treatment by the seller for termites at our house as recently as the month before closing. The Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement said no termite problems. The sellers now live in New Jersey.…

Read More >>

Dual Agency in Real Estate Transactions Presents a Problem

By Christopher Combs | February 4, 2019

Question: We listed our North Scottsdale home for sale with a long-time family friend because we trusted her.  A buyer has now signed a purchase contract for our home. This buyer, however, is represented by another real estate broker in the same brokerage firm as our listing agent.  Our listing agent says that she is sorry but she is now a dual agent who represents both us and the buyer.  Although we have signed the purchase contract and a form consenting to dual agency, we are not happy.  How can the same brokerage firm represent both us and the buyer, when…

Read More >>

Tenants Have Protection in Foreclosures

By Christopher Combs | January 3, 2019

Question: We have been renting a home in Chandler for several years. We just signed another one-year lease. Two nights ago a process server came by and posted a notice of foreclosure in our front yard. Our landlord lives in Chicago and has not returned our phone calls. If our home is sold in foreclosure, when will we have to move? Answer: In general, a federal law protecting tenants in their homes during any foreclosure by the landlord’s mortgage lender has been in effect since 2009, and has been recently renewed with no expiration date. If you are a bona fide…

Read More >>

General Warranty Deed for Resale Homes

By Christopher Combs | January 2, 2019

  Question: In a recent column you discussed the difference between a general warranty deed and a special warranty deed. You said that a special warranty deed from the seller to a buyer is used in 90% of Arizona real estate transactions. I am an Arizona real estate agent, and I was shocked because our standard Arizona Association of Realtors (“AAR”) contract provides for a general warranty deed from the seller to the buyer. I contacted the escrow agent that I use, and she said that “it is the other way around” from what you said. She said that 90% of…

Read More >>

What if both Spouses do not Sign the Listing Agreement?

By Christopher Combs | December 3, 2018

Question: My wife signed a listing agreement with a real estate broker to sell our Chandler home. My wife did not consult with me before signing this listing agreement. Are my wife and I bound by the listing agreement signed only by my wife? Answer: Probably. A listing agreement is not a real estate contract. Rather, it is a personal services contract hiring a real estate broker, similar to hiring a landscaper or an accountant. The signature of either spouse will bind both spouses and their community property for any breach of the listing agreement. If you and your wife are selling…

Read More >>