Seller Not Required to Deliver SPDS to Buyer

Question: In a recent column the owner of an Avondale home passed away. His daughter, the trustee under the family trust, had always lived in Mesa, and had no knowledge of the condition of the Avondale home. Therefore, the trustee/daughter does not want to complete the standard Seller Property Disclosure Statement (“SPDS”). Her listing broker, however, says that, under the AAR purchase contract, the seller “shall” complete an SPDS. Your answer to the seller as to whether she had to complete the SPDS was ‘Yes,’ but was equivocal as to reasoning, although you gave three specific arguments. One, the brokers and the buyer want an SPDS to disclose any problems; two, relocation companies and foreclosing banks furnish an SPDS, although they may know nothing about the home; and, three, an SPDS is a “good reminder” to the seller of any problems with the home. My specific question, as I am also a real estate lawyer: can the seller accept the buyer’s offer, but subject to acceptance by the buyer of a Counteroffer deleting lines 154-156 (“SPDS”) in the AAR purchase contract?

Answer: Yes. Arizona law requires disclosure by the seller of any known defects with the home, but does not require a specific form such as the SPDS.

Note: Without an SPDS many real estate brokers will not list a home, and many buyers will not buy a home.

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