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REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS ARTICLES

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…

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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…

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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…

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Difference Between Special Warranty Deeds and General Warranty Deeds

By Christopher Combs | November 16, 2018

Special Warranty Deed vs. General Warranty Deed Question: We are buying an office building in Casa Grande that the seller purchased two years ago. The proposed purchase contract drafted by our attorney provides for a general warranty deed from the seller. The counter offer drafted by the seller’s attorney provides for a special warranty deed from the seller. In a recent column you discussed the difference between a quit claim deed and a special warranty deed. What is the difference between a general warranty deed and a special warranty deed? Answer: A general warranty deed is a warranty of good title…

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Title Company Requires Special Warranty Deed v Quit Claim Deed

By Christopher Combs | October 10, 2018

Special Warranty Deed v Quit Claim Deed   Question: My brother and I inherited a lot in Show Low, Arizona from our mother ten years ago. Since that time I have paid the property taxes, and I have paid for a retaining wall after significant flooding on the lot one summer. Last year my brother said that I can sell the lot and keep the sale proceeds. He then sent me a quit claim deed to the lot which I have recorded. I found a buyer for the lot and we are in escrow, but the title company is refusing to…

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Earnest Money on New Construction not Unreasonable Damages

By Christopher Combs | October 3, 2018

  Question: We entered into a contract to purchase a new home in a subdivision in the Buckeye area for $300,000. We deposited $30,000 earnest money in escrow. After 45 days while the home was still in the framing stage, my wife decided that she wanted to quit her job and return to school. We will not be able to afford this new home now, and we would like the return of our $30,000 earnest money. Due to strong demand in our subdivision, the homebuilder has just raised the base price of our model home, and should therefore make a large…

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For Rent

Partition Lawsuit by Sisters and Attorney’s Fees

By Christopher Combs | July 29, 2018

Question: My sister and I inherited our mother’s North Phoenix home after our mother died. My sister needs money and wants to sell the home immediately. I would like to make some improvements to the home and rent the home for rental income for both of us. My sister, however, says that she will not sign a lease to any renter of the home. If she won’t sign a lease to rent the home, can I sign the lease by myself? Can my sister require the sale of the home? If so, who pays for legal fees? Answer:  First, in…

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Solar Panels Foreclosure

Who Owns Solar Panels after Foreclosure?

By Christopher Combs | July 22, 2018

Question: Last month after a bank foreclosure our investor group purchased a home in Apache Junction. The home has solar panels on the roof. We recently received a letter from the attorney for the solar panel company that leased the solar panels to the former owner of the home. The attorney requested a time to come to the home to remove the solar panels. The attorney enclosed with the letter a UCC-1 financing statement that was recorded before the bank’s foreclosure deed to us. Who owns the solar panels now? If the solar panel company still owns the solar panels,…

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