ARTICLES & NEWS

REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS ARTICLES

Disclosure of Gunnery Range is Required

By Christopher Combs | May 12, 2024

Question: We purchased our retirement home last August in far north Phoenix near the mountains. Our seller was an investor.  Thus, many of the seller’s answers on the Seller Property Disclosure Statement (“SPDS”) stated “unknown as never lived in house, buyer needs to do own research.” At that time of our home purchase we were unaware that the Ben Avery shooting range was across the freeway, although we went to the home several times before purchasing the home. We never heard gun shots as it was the middle of summer and 110 degrees. We are miserable in our retirement home…

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Mediation Required for Potential Foundation Problem with North Scottsdale Home

By Christopher Combs | March 31, 2024

Question: We signed a contract to sell our north Scottsdale home to a California buyer for $2.5 million. The buyer deposited $75,000 earnest money with the escrow company. At the final walkthrough the buyer “discovered” some new cracks in our Saltillo tile floor. The buyer then demanded the return of the $75,000 earnest money because of potential foundation problems. We have refused to release the $75,000 earnest money to the buyer because we think that the buyer just got “cold feet,” and is inventing potential foundation problems. Our escrow company said that under the purchase contract both of us now…

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Buyer’s Right to Cancel Purchase Contract Because of “Ghost Rumors”

By Christopher Combs | September 10, 2023

Question: In a recent column you said that a buyer could cancel a purchase contract for a home within the 10-day inspection period because of “neighborhood rumors about ghosts haunting the home.” Even worse, you said that the buyer could then get his $20,000 earnest money back! We are planning on listing our Sun Lakes home for sale at the end of the summer. If a buyer signs the purchase contract and then comes up with some phony “ghost rumors” reason to cancel the purchase contract and get their $20,000 earnest money back, will we have to go to court…

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Seller Wants Two-Week Extension to Close Escrow

By Christopher Combs | September 3, 2023

Question: My wife and I are first time homebuyers in our late 20s. We signed a contract to purchase a home in Chandler. The close of escrow is scheduled in two weeks. Our apartment lease ends in two weeks. The seller’s real estate agent just told us that the seller will not be able to move out in two weeks, and that the seller needs a 10-day extension of the close of escrow. Our landlord says, however, that another tenant is moving into our apartment in two weeks. Therefore, our landlord won’t extend our lease for even one day. What…

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Disclosure of Dog Park by Realtor After Close of Escrow

By Christopher Combs | August 27, 2023

Question: Two years ago we purchased a home in a subdivision of single-family homes in Mesa. At the time that we purchased our home, the Arizona Department of Real Estate subdivision public report given to us by the homebuilder said that the vacant land across the street from our subdivision would be developed into a similar subdivision of single-family homes. We recently received notification, however, that the City of Mesa is condemning this vacant land for a proposed dog park. When we contacted our real estate agent, she said that she did not have any knowledge of this proposed dog…

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Disclosure Requirements for Neighbor’s Nudist Activities

By Christopher Combs | August 6, 2023

Question: We live in a North Phoenix area near the Carefree Highway. We recently learned from our two boys that our neighbors next door were having “wild” parties on weekends. Apparently when our two boys are jumping on the trampoline in our back yard they can sometimes see nude people in our neighbor’s back yard. When we asked another neighbor about these “wild” parties, this neighbor said that these “wild” parties were not really “wild” at all. She said that those neighbors are members of a nudist group, and that they have gatherings in their back yard on the weekends…

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Listing Commission Owed When “Ready, Willing, and Able” Buyer Produced

By Christopher Combs | June 11, 2023

Question: In a recent column you discussed whether a listing broker was entitled to a real estate commission when, the day before close of escrow, the seller agreed with the buyer to cancel the sale of the home. You then said that the listing broker was still entitled to a commission because a ready, willing, and able buyer had been produced by the listing broker. That’s ridiculous! The seller should not have to either (1) hire a lawyer to file a lawsuit to make the buyer purchase the home, or (2) pay a commission to the listing broker. Am I…

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Disclosure of Registered Sex Offenders is Not Required

By Christopher Combs | February 27, 2023

Question: We purchased a nice home in a Tempe community. The seller told our real estate agent that the reason the seller was moving to another Tempe home was “to be closer to the 101 freeway.” Two weeks after we closed on our home, we learned at an HOA meeting that a registered sex offender (“RSO”) lives three homes away from our home. We have two girls ages 8 and 10 so we must now find another home. When we complained to our Realtor why we weren’t told of this RSO, our Realtor said that under Arizona law both sellers…

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