Selling a Home In Arizona: What Information Must Be Disclosed?
Every real estate seller working in Arizona has a legal obligation to reveal relevant details about a residential property to prospective buyers. Any significant details about the condition of the property must be expressed by the seller to the buyer. If a seller fails to make clear every detail that could possibly affect the property’s value, then they will be subject to legal punishment. In order to ensure that each party is on the same page, residential real estate sellers will often provide information to the cash home buyer in the form of a written disclosure.
Following this process protects the buyer against being misinformed about the property’s worth. It also gives the seller security against disputes in the future involving pre-existing faults in the property. By following this process, neither party can blame the other for being misleading. It’s especially important that sellers make sure to stay above the law, since they are the ones that can be sued for failing to adhere to these guidelines.
Which Important Details Should Arizona Sellers Disclose?
It would be unfeasible to list every minor fact about the property before selling it. Whether a piece of information is important or not can be discovered by applying a light amount of legal thought. If a seller is personally aware of material information which might change the overall value, function, or the buyer’s plans for the property, then they have to make sure that it is clearly communicated at some point during the transaction.
This does not mean, however, that a seller can withhold miniscule details about the property if asked. Any query that the buyer makes regarding the property must be answered to the best of the seller’s knowledge. Again, any information that the seller is aware of cannot be hidden from the buyer, or else the seller will run the risk of being sued.
If a seller has a question that a buyer doesn’t know how to answer, then the buyer is not obligated to go through the task of investigating. If the seller isn’t already aware of specific information, then they can’t be legally liable for not knowing it. The Arizona Association of Realtors has a standard disclosure form which contains commonly asked questions for the seller to fill out; this form is helpful for taking care of most details that need to be disclosed.
Sellers that can’t answer a question should simply state that they can’t provide an answer. There is no legal danger in claiming ignorance about a property’s details, but there are legal repercussions for giving a false answer.
Not every property deal requires a disclosure form; however, each known material fact must still be communicated to the buyer, legal document or not. No matter how many years have passed since a significant event happened that could affect the property’s value, or is the buyer may never feel the negative results of the information, a seller must make sure to disclose all of their vital knowledge.
How To Use The Disclosure Statement
Any changing information must be revealed to the buyer, even if the disclosure form has already been created and reviewed. Anything serious that happens before the property is actually sold, such as structural damage or pest infestations, is necessary for the seller to relay. This doesn’t mean that the seller has to put in any effort to fix the problem, although they may want to alter the terms of the contract in order to better reflect the property’s true value.
It’s tricky to know exactly what does and does not need to be disclosed on each property. The best way for a seller to protect themselves from inadvertently misleading the seller is by expressing as much information as possible before closing the deal.
What Information Should an Arizona Seller Not Disclose To Buyers?
It is required that a seller reveal material information about a property, but there are some aspects of a deal that don’t have to be communicated. Certain details about the history of the property, and especially events regarding the people that once lived there, do not have to be disclosed. If a buyer does specifically ask about something, then they do not have legal power to demand knowledge. A seller can either answer truthfully or state that they are not required to give a response.
The Way That Information Is Disclosed By Arizona Sellers
There are a few states that have refined disclosure forms, but Arizona is not one of them. The Residential Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement is a disclosure form that is most frequently used by sellers in Arizona. It was created by the Arizona legislature for the purpose of giving sellers a streamlined way to disclose important information.
In essence, the document is a simple checklist that goes through a comprehensive set of traits about the property. Sellers will go through the list and check off each section when they have made sure the seller understands it.
The disclosure form makes it clear to the buyer that the information they’ve received is not necessarily fact, but what the seller is personally aware of. This way, a buyer cannot sue a seller for something that neither party knew about.
The most widely used structure of an Arizona Association of Realtors contract puts the responsibility of transporting the disclosure statement onto the seller. They must give the form to the buyer within five days of accepting the offer, although this is usually done much earlier on in the process.
What Happens if a Seller Does Not Follow Arizona’s Disclosure Requirements?
Any seller that puts themselves in legal risk is endangering the future of their finances and reputation. A buyer that can prove a seller violated Arizona’s disclosure requirements can be awarded a huge sum of money. In the best possible case for the seller, they may merely have the deal cancelled and the property returned. It’s best not to take any chances when it comes to disclosing vital information to the buyer. Any sort of fraud or misrepresentation that can be proven in court puts the convicted buyer in a difficult position. Not only are there monetary repercussions, but a seller may also have their license revoked or suspended. Luckily, it isn’t hard to stay above the law in regards to disclosure requirements.
How To Get More Information About Disclosure Requirements
While this is not the most complicated aspect of real estate, there are a few vague points. Each real estate deal is unique, which means that it’s difficult to get clear answers without seeking the help of someone that can analyse the specific situation. Talking to an experienced real estate lawyer is the best way to learn how to follow these steps correctly.