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General Warranty Deed for Resale Homes

  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 real estate transactions in Arizona close with a general warranty deed from the seller to the buyer. Is my escrow agent correct?

Answer: Your escrow agent is correct only as to resale homes. The AAR Residential Resale Home Purchase Contract, which is used in 90% of the sales of resale homes in Arizona, provides for a general warranty deed from a seller to the buyer. The transaction discussed in my recent column, however, was a commercial sale of an office building in Casa Grande. In more than 90% of commercial/industrial sales, vacant land sales, and new home sales, the seller only furnishes a special warranty deed.

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