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ARTICLES & NEWS

REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS ARTICLES

Misrepresentation of Golf Course Lot by Developer

By Christopher Combs | April 22, 2019

Question:  At the time that we purchased our lot in the Tucson foothills, both the developer’s marketing brochure and the developer’s sales agent represented that our lot was a “golf course lot.” We have started construction of a new home on our lot. Last week we saw construction starting on the vacant land between our lot and the golf course fairway. When we contacted the developer’s sales agent he said that a golf course maintenance building will be built on this vacant land. We have now stopped construction of our new home because we don’t want to have a view…

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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…

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Realtor Forms Provide for General Warranty Deed from Seller

By Christopher Combs | April 1, 2019

Question:  In a recent column you discussed the differences between a special warranty deed and a general warranty deed. My understanding from your column is that in more than 90% of commercial/industrial sales, vacant lot sales, and new home sales in Arizona, the seller only furnishes the buyer with a special warranty deed. In resale home sales, however, the standard Arizona Association of Realtors Residential Resale Real Estate Purchase Contract (“AAR Resale Home Contract”) provides for a general warranty deed from the seller to the buyer. Why does this AAR Resale Home Contract provide for a general warranty deed and…

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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…

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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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