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No Right of Rescission for Improved Lot

By Christopher Combs | August 11, 2014

  Question: We recently signed a contract to purchase a home to be built within a year on a lot in a beautiful community in north Mesa. Although we love our lot, the day after we signed the purchase contract, we realized that, because both of us work in downtown Phoenix, the daily commute would be too difficult from north Mesa. Inasmuch as we believed we had a seven-day right of rescission after purchasing this lot, we immediately asked for our $10,000 earnest money back from the developer. The developer said we did not have a seven-day right to rescission and…


Tenant Has Option to Pay Advance Rent

By Christopher Combs | August 3, 2014

Question: We own a condominium in Scottsdale. For the past 12 years we have rented this condominium to a Canadian couple for January, February, March and April. They paid the rent for all four months in advance, along with a $1,500 security deposit. The husband died this past year, however, and his widow did not want to rent our condominium. In response to our advertising on the Internet, an attorney in northern California wanted to rent our condominium. We refused to rent to him, however, after he told us that we were not entitled to collect the four months of rent…


Payment Feud Entraps Owner

By Christopher Combs | June 15, 2014

  Question:  I recently signed an agreement with a contractor to install new kitchen cabinets in my Chandler home.  Without my knowledge or approval, this contractor subcontracted the work to a local carpenter.  The cabinets were built poorly and were not even the ones I wanted.  I paid my contractor after we settled for 20 percent off the original contract price.  Just two days ago I received a notice of a recorded mechanic’s lien from the local carpenter, who apparently is in a dispute with my contractor about being paid.  Even though I never signed a contract with this local…


Is Commission Owed if Offers Are Refused?

By Christopher Combs | January 11, 2014

Question:  We listed our home in Gilbert for $280,000 after our listing broker told us that $280,000 would be a fair price.  Within three days we had seven offers on the home, including two offers for more than $280,000.  We were confused and upset, so we refused all of the offers.  We no longer trust our listing broker, and we want to cancel our listing agreement.   Our listing broker is angry because we rejected all of these offers, and says that, although we did not have to accept any of the offers, we still owe a listing commission of…


Seller is Not Obligated to Sell, Even After Offer

By Christopher Combs | October 4, 2013

  Question: Two months ago, we listed our north Phoenix home for sale with a real-estate broker because we wanted to move back to Seattle. This list price was $212,000. We have had almost no contact with our broker for the past two months, but last night our real-estate broker brought us an offer for $215,000, which is $3,000 more than the list price. We may move back to Seattle some time in the future, but right now we no longer want to move.   Our real-estate broker told us that, although we do not have to accept any offers…


Contract on Wrong Home Can Be Canceled

By Christopher Combs | September 13, 2013

  Question: In a large Chandler subdivision, we were shown several houses that had all been re-possessed by a major bank after foreclosure. We decided to make an offer on one of the houses, and we signed the contract prepared by our real-estate agent. A few days after escrow was opened, however, we attempted to meet with the home inspector at the house and we realized that we had bought the wrong house. The mistake occurred because our real-estate agent had used information from the bank about another house in preparing the contract that we signed. The bank refuses to cancel the…


Supreme Court Says That Builder Must Be Able To Perform

By Christopher Combs | June 25, 2013

   On June 14, 2013, the Supreme Court of Arizona ruled in Thomas v. Montelucia Villas, CV-12-0156-PR that, payments by the buyer to the builder can be forfeited for breaching the contract only if the builder can show the ability to perform under the contract at the time of the closing date.  In other words, if the builder could not get a certificate of occupancy by the closing date, the buyer would be entitled to the return of payments made to the builder even though the buyer breached the contract.  See Facts below. Facts    The buyer and the builder…


Listing Agreements Only Void If Both Parties Agree

By Christopher Combs | June 15, 2013

   Question: We signed a six-month listing to sell our home in Globe. After four months, the real estate broker has only shown our home to one potential buyer. We are panicking because we need to sell our Globe home to finalize the purchase of our new home in Mesa, which is closer to our children.    We want to list our Globe home now with another real estate broker. When we contacted our real estate broker, however, he said that the listing was not cancelable. Is there anything that we can do?    Answer: A listing agreement is a bilateral contract…