Buying a home can be an overwhelming process. First, there is the matter of locating the right property. Then you have to calculate your bid, pay earnest money, and hope that the amount you have offered aligns with the seller’s expectations. Once the seller accepts your offer, you are in a legally-binding contract, and the clock will start to tick in several ways. The good news is that by understanding your Arizona real estate purchase contract, you can be better prepared for the home-buying process.
What Does Signing a Real Estate Purchase Contract Mean?
When a buyer and seller enter into a purchase contract, each person is agreeing to the conditional exchange of property and funds. The buyer is promising to either obtain the necessary financing for the property or averring that he or she will have the cash needed to purchase the home by the closing date. The seller is attesting to the condition of the home through their disclosures and to the status of the title of the property. He or she is also promising to deliver ownership of the home to the buyer as disclosed and described by closing.
An Arizona purchase contract will typically have a section entitled “Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement” (SPDS). This can be used by the seller to convey information that the seller must legally disclose to the buyer. In general, sellers must tell buyers about significant or material issues with the property. However, only those he or she knows about. These may include things such as termite damage, noticeable foundation issues, or visible water damage to an interior wall. Arizona case law has also established that when a buyer asks about an item, it can become material. Typically, the seller will provide this information to the buyer within three days of acceptance of the offer.
Arizona purchase contracts provide buyers a specific number of days (usually ten, but this number is negotiable) from the date the seller accepts an offer to have the property inspected. This is the time the seller has to check out any possible defects or problems the seller did not know about or failed to mention. Before the end of those ten days, the buyer must give the seller notice of items of which the buyer disapproves. At this point, if the buyer has discovered significant issues, they have the option of: 1) canceling the contract, 2) allowing the seller to remedy the problems, or 3) continuing with the contract without the seller making any changes or repairs. Depending on how the buyer notifies the seller of the items, he or she may or may not be entitled to the return of their earnest money. There is a limited amount of time for the buyer and seller to negotiate. Once it has passed, both sides may be obligated to the contract terms.
Work with An Arizona Real Estate Attorney
There are also several other essential parts of an Arizona purchase contract that govern different aspects of the transaction. As this is a legal document, it’s critical that you consult with an Arizona real estate attorney before signing. Your counsel can help you understand the terms of your purchase contract and assist in ensuring that your interests are protected.
Laura B. Bramnick is an Arizona real estate attorney with the knowledge and experience to protect your interests during every stage of your real estate matter. If you are seeking an exceptional, client-driven real estate lawyer in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Sedona, and throughout the State of Arizona, contact Laura B. Bramnick to schedule your consultation.