If you’re planning to sell your home, there are a few things you have to disclose to the buyers. Arizona has laws that outline what must be disclosed during a real estate transaction. The requirements vary depending on the type of transaction- land or property. Fortunately, there are forms that make the disclosure process fairly easy for sellers and a realtor or commercial broker can provide guidance.
There is standard information a seller in the state of Arizona is required. If a home was built before 1978, the seller must address any known use or issues with lead-based paint. Another standard disclosure is any insurance claims within the last five years. This is available under the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange report (CLUE).
The Arizona Association of Realtors has a standard form to help sellers organize all their information that must be disclosed. In Arizona, any known material facts and any defects or issues known about the property must be disclosed. There are six sections within the form to help sort out and identify the details.
The first section involves the ownership of the property. This includes the address, current ownership status, age of the property, any association fees, and existing assessments.
Next the owner must disclose information regarding the building structure and safety. This includes questions about the roof and overall structure of the residence, any repairs completed or required, plumbing issues or wood infestations.
A seller must disclose all details about the building’s utilities, including details about the electricity provider, water services, cable and internet, trash services, fire services and postal delivery information.
There is also environmental information that sellers must disclose. Any issues with drainage, soil, moisture or fissures and any known noise issues from highways, airports, traffic, landfills, and toxic waste facilities near the property must be disclosed. There are questions that must be answered regarding the properties sewer system or waste treatment system as well as any details regarding repairs and the most recent inspections must be disclosed. Lastly there is a catch-all section regarding any other material facts not covered by the rest of the questions within the form that might impact the value of the property.
What you do not have to disclose
There are laws in Arizona that state what does not have to be disclosed by a seller. These are referred to as “stigma statutes”. One of the most common of these statutes is that you do not have to disclose if someone has died in your home. This is true regardless of how the death occurred. A seller does not have to disclose if someone that lived in the home ever had or was exposed to HIV or any other diseases that are unrelated to exposure and common occupancy. Also, a seller does not have to disclose if any sex offenders live in the area. This information can be found by the buyers themselves, so it is not the responsibility of the seller to disclose this information.
Questions about disclosing
When it comes to questions about if you should disclose information about your property, the answer is probably yes. If you think the information you do not want to disclose is not relevant to the property’s value, it could still be valuable to a buyer. If the information does not fall under one of the three categories stipulated by Arizona law, is factual and could be considered material to a buyer, it is considered best practice to disclose. There are possible legal repercussions to someone who does not disclose potentially material facts during a real estate transaction.
The experts at Landmark Title are here to help with any questions you have regarding the title and escrow process. Contact us today.