Call us today: (602) 957-9810

ARTICLES & NEWS

REAL ESTATE CONTRACTS ARTICLES

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 >>
house keys in hand from seller

The Seller Won’t Move Out – What Should We Do?

By Christopher Combs | November 18, 2018

Question: The purchase of our Scottsdale home closed last Friday. We were planning on moving into our new home on Saturday, but the seller refuses to leave because he says that his new home won’t close until next Thursday. He promises to move out next Thursday, but in the meantime we are staying in a motel, and all of our belongings are still in storage. Waiting until Thursday is not a major problem, but how can we guarantee that the seller leaves on Thursday, as under our purchase contract he already agreed to leave last Friday? Answer: In your purchase…

Read More >>

Why do Arizona Home Purchase Contracts have a Three-Day Cancellation Clause?

By Christopher Combs | September 14, 2018

The history of the three-day cancellation clause found in the current Arizona home purchase contract dates back to the development by the Arizona Association of Realtors (“AAR”) of a standard contract for home purchases more than 50 years ago.  At the time, home purchase contracts did not have cancellation notice requirements, allowing buyers and sellers to cancel the contract for any lack of performance, and to do so without notice. The concern in Arizona was that, because of summer heat and vacation schedules (and before fax machines and email), buyers and sellers might need more time to close escrow than…

Read More >>