In most states it is required of the seller of a property to disclose information about the property that they are selling. In the state of Arizona, we have several requirements for our sellers in this regard. I thought it might be helpful to run you through some of those. If you are a seller or are thinking of selling your property, it is obvious why this would be important to you. As a buyer you can also use this information to educate you on a few of the items that you should be thinking about as you purchase a house.
According to the AAR (the Arizona Association of REALTORS®) “Residential Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement” there are 6 main areas that sellers are required to disclose about. Sellers may be tempted to say as little as possible about the property they are looking to sale. It is our experience that this is NOT the way to go. Too many deals have fallen through and too many lawsuits have happened over lack of full disclosure much to the chagrin of the seller. So the saying, “HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY” very much applies to disclosures. “Sellers are obligated by law to disclose all known material (important) facts about the Property to the Buyer. The SPDS is designed to assist you in making these disclosures. If you know something important about the Property that is not addressed on the SPDS, add that information to the form.” (AAR Residential Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement)
Let’s go over the 6 areas that sellers will be asked about.
#1 - Ownership and Property. This section is all about the general information of the property. Whether or not a seller has actually lived in the property, they should still be able to fill out this section. This section asks specifically about the ownership of the property, the location of the property, who is occupying the property, etc. This should be an easy section.
#2 - Building and Safety Information. In this section you will be asked about the physical aspects of the property. All past and present problems with the property as well as any repairs and improvements you have made to the property should be disclosed here. Again, be sure to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth! You’ll be glad you did. In Arizona this is also the section to disclose any problems with “pests”. Termites, scorpions and spiders are always up there on the list, so be sure to say if you have seen any of those on your property.
#3 - Utilities. Providers of the utilities are to be listed in this section. Another easy section.
#4 - Environmental Information. In this section we want to know about the environmental factors. Is there soil settlement or expansion, what about any drainage problems, is there erosion? Are you close to an airport or is there other types of noise pollution? What about mold? Has there been any flooding or leaks that may have caused mold? This is the section where you would disclose any of these issues.
#5 - Sewer/Waste Water Treatment. Buyers need to be informed correctly in this area. If you are on a septic tank or city sewer is a major issue. Be sure you know and disclose how your property discards the waste and if there have been any problems with that system.
#6 - Other Conditions and Factors - Additional Explanations. In this section there are blank lines that allow the seller to disclose any other important information about their property. Here would be the place to add any other items that would be relevant to a buyer in their decision making process as to if they will be purchasing your home or not. Keep in mind, if it bothered you it will probably bother them as well. Disclose, disclose, disclose!!!
So, now we’ve talked about the things that you are required to disclose. There are some things in the state of Arizona that you are NOT legally bound to disclose. Those items are: (1) if the property has been the site of a natural death, suicide, homicide, or any other crime classified as a felony, (2) owned or occupied by a person exposed to HIV, or diagnosed as having AIDS or any other disease not known to be transferred by common occupancy of real estate, or (3) if the property is located in the vicinity of a sex offender. Be careful with these exceptions because there are laws that protect the buyer if an “intentional misrepresentation” has been made. If you are asked directly about any of these exceptions to the disclosure rules, your best bet is to either answer the question honestly and directly or respond that you are not legally required to answer the question.
I hope this has helped you better understand the required disclosures when selling a property in the state of Arizona. As always, it is very important to have a Realtor who understands and can advise you in all the areas of your real estate transaction. If we can be of any help to you, please contact us at Katie@yourreddoorteamaz.com or directly at 480-415-1341.
Your Red Door Real Estate Team was founded in 2016 by Chelsea Anderson & Katie Evans when they joined forces to take the real estate world by storm! We specialize in traditional residential real estate which means we help sellers sell and buyers buy homes in and around the Phoenix Metropolitan Area.
Your Red Door Real Estate Team is known for helping sellers sell for 99% of list price in only 37 days on average which compared to the average agent nets our sellers 2% more money in less then half the time on the market. What does this mean for you as a Seller? More Money in YOUR pocket!
Our Buyers meet with us too for us to understand their situation and create a custom buying strategy to help them understand current market conditions and how they fit into that market and what opportunities we can create to capitalize on. What does this mean for you as a Buyer? Power! We want to set you up so you can compete with the best qualified buyers to win the contract on your dream home!
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"Chelsea Anderson is a superb Realtor. She is extremely knowledgeable, experienced with the local areas and professional. I was located in Virginia, with the one exception on the house hunting experience, everything was handled either electronically or phone. She was highly responsive on all my issues/concerns. She was excellent in coordinating with all involved from the initial home selection to closing. I would absolutely recommend her to anyone buying a home in Arizona. "