Arizona Real Estate Buyer’s Investigation Checklist:
Arizona Real Estate Buyer’s Investigation Checklist A real estate agent is vital to the home buying process and can provide a variety of services in locating a property, negotiating the sale, and advising the buyer. However, an Arizona real estate agent is generally not qualified to discover defects or evaluate the physical condition of property. But a real estate agent can assist a buyer in finding qualified inspectors and provide the buyer with documents and other resources that contain vital information about a prospective new home.
This checklist is designed to make a buyer’s home purchase of Arizona real property as smooth as possible. Some of the more common of the issues that a buyer may decide to investigate or verify concerning a home purchase are summarized in this checklist. Included herein are: (1) common documents that a buyer should review; (2) physical conditions in the property the buyer should investigate; and (3) conditions effecting the surrounding area that buyer should investigate. In addition, a buyer must communicate to the real estate agents in the transaction any special concerns the buyer may have about the property or surrounding area, whether or not those issues are addressed in this checklist.
REMEMBER: This checklist is supplemental to obtaining professional home inspections. Professional home inspections are absolutely essential, as there is no practical substitute for a professional inspection as a measure to discover and investigate defects or shortcomings about a home.
COMMON DOCUMENTS THAT A BUYER SHOULD REVIEW The documents listed below may not be relevant in every transaction, nor is the list exhaustive. The information contained in these documents may not have been independently verified by the real estate agent or any other person.
MLS Print Out A listing is an agreement between the seller and the listing agent and authorizes the listing agent to submit information to the Multiple Listing Service (“MLS”). The MLS print out is similar to an advertisement and contains various abbreviations and symbols. Neither the listing agreement nor the MLS print out are a part of the purchase contract between the buyer and seller. The MLS print out contains limited description of a property, such as its size, encumbrances, utilities, amenities, etc. The information was probably secured from the seller, builder or a governmental agency and could be inaccurate. Therefore, the buyer should verify any important information contained in the MLS, as the information may be incomplete or an approximation. For more information visit: www.armls.com/ or www.tarmls.com/
The Public Report The public report is required to be given to buyers by developers in a new home subdivision. The purpose of this document is to point out material information about the development that a buyer might want to know about to make a decision to purchase. For example, the section of the Public Report entitled “Nuisances and Hazards” will disclose adjacent land uses that may be of concern. The Public Report is prepared by the seller/builder, could be inaccurate and should be verified. Additional information about the Public Report may be found at the ADRE web site at: www.re.state.az.us/checklist.html
Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement (“SPDS”) Most sellers provide a SPDS. This document covers a variety of questions for the seller to answer about the property and its condition. A buyer should carefully review the SPDS and verify those statements of concern. A sample of the Arizona Association of REALTORS® S.P.D.S. may be found at www.aaronline.com/documents/spds_samp.pdf. The ADRE advises: “Read the seller’s property disclosure report, and check every item on it. Ask to see receipts for repairs to the home. Look behind large pictures on the wall and behind anything on the floor which conceals large areas of the wall. Look for stains on the ceilings or carpets that might indicate water damage. Read the purchase contract carefully to determine if there are any deadlines for challenging the seller’s disclosure report or for having your own inspections conducted.” www.re.state.az.us/checklist.html Remember, your review of the S.P.D.S. is not a substitute for professional inspections.
Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (“CC&Rs”) The CC&Rs are recorded against the property and generally empower a homeowners association to control certain aspects of property use within the development. By purchasing a home in such a development, the buyer agrees to be bound by the CC&Rs. Thus, the CC&Rs form an enforceable contract between the homeowners as a whole as well as between the individual homeowners. It is essential that the buyer review and agree to these restrictions prior to purchasing a home. The ADRE advises: “Read the deed restrictions, also called CC&Rs (covenants, conditions and restrictions). You might find some of the CC&Rs are very strict, especially those addressing landscaping, RV parking, play equipment, satellite antennas, and other common amenities — particularly if the subdivision is governed by a homeowner’s association.” www.re.state.az.us/checklist.html A short but informative document on the purpose and effect of CC&Rs may be read at www.realtor.com/BASICS/condos/ccr.asp. Buyers should consult legal counsel if uncertain of the application of particular provisions in the CC&Rs.
Homeowners Association (“HOA”) Governing Documents In addition to CC&Rs, HOA’s may be governed by Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Rules and Regulations, and often architectural control standards. The HOA is in place to enforce these rules and to preserve the value of homes in the condominium or planned community. Condominium and planned community HOA’s are also regulated by Arizona statutes. What makes a development a condominium or planned community? Common area, that is, community ownership of real estate for use by community residents, is the common denominator. In a condominium, the common property is actually deeded as undivided interests to the condominium owners. In a planned community the ownership of the common property vests in the homeowners association. Please read the information provided at www.re.state.az.us/communityassoc.html
HOA Disclosures If purchasing a resale home in a condominium or planned community, the seller (if fewer than 50 units in the community) or the HOA (if there are 50 or more units) must provide the buyer with a disclosure containing a variety of information. The disclosure should contain information regarding the principal contact for the association, assessments, the money held by the association as reserves and if the statement is being furnished by the association, a statement as to whether the records of the association reflect any alterations or improvements to the unit that violate the declaration. See www.azleg.state.az.us/ars/33/01260.htm www.azleg.state.az.us/ars/33/01806.htm for the laws detailing this requirement.
Title Report / Commitment for Title Insurance The title report or commitment contains important information. The Escrow Company or Agent providing the buyer’s title insurance will provide the buyer with a Title Report or Title Commitment. This report or commitment will list documents listed as exceptions to the title insurance (Schedule B Exceptions) showing encumbrances, easements and liens against the property, some of which may effect the use of the property, such as a future addition or swimming pool. Make sure you receive and review all of the listed documents. Questions about the title commitment and Schedule B documents may be answered by the title or escrow officer, legal counsel, or a surveyor. General information regarding title issues may be found at www.titlelawannotated.com/ or obtained from the title/escrow company employed in the transaction.
Home Warranty Policy A home warranty may be a part of the sale of the home. Buyers should read the home warranty document for coverage and limitation information. Be aware that pre-existing property conditions are generally not covered under these policies.
Sworn statement of Disclosure If the purchaser is buying 5 or less bundles of land, other than partitioned land, in a unincorporated territory of a region, the dealer must outfit the purchaser with an Affidavit of Disclosure. An example of the structure might be situated at www.aaronline.com/reports/affidavit_2006.pdf.
Toxic Paint Disclosure Form If the house was worked before 1978, the merchant must give the purchaser a toxic paint exposure structure. An example toxic paint exposure structure might be situated at www.aaronline.com/archives/leadsale.pdf. More data might be gotten at www.re.state.az.us/leadfacts.html
Region Assessors Records The province assessors records contain an assortment of significant data including the surveyed estimation of the property for charge purposes and a portion of the physical parts of the property, for example, the detailed area (which ought to consistently be confirmed for exactness).
For different regions, see County posting : www.az.gov/webapp/entrance/
Proficient Home Inspection Report For the purchaser’s security, the significance of having a home reviewed by an expert home reviewer can’t be over-underscored. A home assessment is a visual physical assessment, performed for a charge, intended to distinguish material deformities in the home. The home overseer will by and large furnish the purchaser with a report itemizing data about the home’s condition. The examiner and the report will bring up issues and conceivable potential issues. The purchaser ought to painstakingly survey this report with the monitor and get some information about any thing of concern. Focus on the extent of the assessment and any parts of the property rejected from the review. Data on ASHI Home monitors might be found at www.ashi.com/; Arizona ASHI data at: www.arizona-ashi-home-inspection.com/; Arizona section of the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) at http://az.nachi.org/arizona/.
See additionally, the Board of Technical Registration at: www.btr.state.az.us/
Termites and Other Wood Destroying Organisms Termites are regularly found in Arizona homes. Exploring proof of termites or other wood pervasion is the activity of the irritation examiner. The Structural Pest Control Commission manages these investigators and can furnish the purchaser with data in regards to past termite medicines on a property. The Structural Pest Control Commission production “What You Should Know About Wood Infestation Reports” is joined hereto. Extra data might be acquired at the Structural Pest Control Commission at www.sb.state.az.us/
Basic PHYSICAL CONDITIONS IN THE PROPERTY A BUYER SHOULD INVESTIGATE Every purchaser and each house is extraordinary, so the physical property conditions requiring examination will differ.
Fixes and New Construction The vender may have made fixes or added a space to the property. For instance, the property may have a conspicuous improvement, secured porch or carport, or have been redesigned. The purchaser should feel great that the work was appropriately done or have a specialist assess the work. Solicitation duplicates of any solicitations or other documentation with respect to the work performed. The Registrar of Contractors production “Employing a Licensed Contractor” is joined hereto. The Registrar of Contractors might be reached at www.rc.state.az.us/and a posting of different kinds of contractual workers might be found at www.arizona-contractors.com/. For data in regards to licenses contact the city or area building division.
Rooftop The examiner may suggest that you have the rooftop further investigated by an authorized roofer. On the off chance that the house (rooftop) is 10 years of age or more established, a rooftop review by an authorized roofer is energetically suggested. A halfway rundown of material contractual workers might be found at: www.arizona-contractors.com/registry/material/roofing.htm. See additionally the Registrar of Contractors data on employing an authorized contractual worker (appended hereto) or online at: www.rc.state.az.us/Acrobat/Misc/Hiring%20Contractor.pdf
Pools and Spas If the home has a pool or a spa, the home controller may establish that the cleaning framework isn’t working appropriately or may reject the pool or spa from the general review. It would then be important to have a pool or spa organization examine the pool or spa as well as assess any issue. For a halfway rundown of Arizona pool and spa contractual workers see: http://www.dexknows.com/nearby/home_improvement/outdoor_living/residential_pool_and_spa_contractors/geo/c-phoenix-az/, likewise http://pleasurepoolsno.com/
Pool Barriers Each city and area has its own pool boundary mandate. Pool hindrance contact data for every Arizona city and area might be found at www.aaronline.com/records/pool_contacts.aspx. The Arizona Department of Health Services Private Pool Safety notice, which is joined hereto, my be found at: www.hs.state.az.us/diro/admin_rules/pool_rules.htm. The state law on pools is situated at www.azleg.state.az.us/ars/36/01681.htm .
Area Square film on the MLS print out or as recorded by the district assessor’s records is regularly a gauge just and for the most part ought not be depended upon for the specific area in a home. An appraiser or engineer can gauge the home’s size so as to check the area. A rundown of appraisers might be found at the Arizona Board of Appraisal: www.appraisal.state.az.us/. A rundown of engineers might be found at the Board of Technical Registration at: www.btr.state.az.us/
Sewer Even if the posting or SPDS demonstrates that the house is associated with the city sewer, it ought to be checked by a handyman, home auditor or other expert. A few urban communities can play out this test too.
Septic Systems and Other on hand Wastewater Treatment Facilities If the property has a septic tank or other on location wastewater treatment office, it must be reviewed by a certified septic tank organization preceding exchange starting on January 1, 2002. Contact the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (“ADEQ”) for more data. www.adeq.state.az.us/
Far reaching Soil The dirt in certain zones of Arizona has “mud like” inclinations, in some cases alluded to as “extensive soil”. In spite of the fact that it isn’t extremely normal for homes to encounter critical development due to being based on broad soils, it tends to be a significant issue on the off chance that it happens. On the off chance that it has been revealed that the home has extensive soil or if the purchaser has any worries about proof of splitting, the purchaser should make sure about an autonomous appraisal of the home and its basic uprightness by an authorized, fortified and guaranteed proficient architect. To examine regions in Arizona where far reaching soils exist, go to www.az.nrcs.usda.gov/soils/shrinkswell.html. A rundown of State Certified Professional Engineers and Firms can be found at btr.state.az.us/e-stru.htm.
Past Fire/Flood If it is unveiled there has been a fire or flood in the property, a certified examiner ought to be employed to prompt you seeing any conceivable future issues because of the fire or flood harm and additionally any ensuing fixes. For instance, if the property was not appropriately cleaned after a flood, form issues may result. Your mortgage holders protection specialist might have the option to help you in getting data with respect to fire, flood or other past harm to the property.
Scorpions and Other Pests Cockroaches, poisonous snakes, dark widow insects, scorpions and different nuisances are regular in parts of Arizona. Luckily, most vermin might be constrained by utilization of pesticides. Scorpions, then again, might be hard to dispense with. On the off chance that the purchaser has any worries or if the S.P.D.S. shows the merchant has had seen scorpions or different nuisances on the property, you should look for the guidance of an irritation control organization. A wellspring of data on scorpions might be found at www.desertusa.com/oct96/du_scorpion.html.
Passings and Felonies on the Property In Arizona there is a law that states merchants and land licensees have no risk for inability to uncover to a purchaser that the property was ever the site of a characteristic demise, self destruction, murder or lawful offense. See www.azleg.state.az.us/ars/32/02156.htm. This data is regularly hard to reveal, anyway the nearby law authorization office might have the option to recognize calls made to the property address.
Form Mold has consistently been with us, and it is an uncommon home that has/doesn’t have some shape. Notwithstanding, in the course of recent years a specific sort of shape has been distinguished as a potential supporter of ailments. Unfavorably susceptible people may encounter the indications identified with form. Shape development is found underneath materials where water has harmed surfaces, or behind dividers. Search for staining and draining from mortar. A leaflet arranged by the Arizona Department of Health Services at www.hs.state.az.us/edc/oeh/moldfact.htm (a duplicate of which is joined) states: “In the event that you can see shape, or if there is a natural or smelly scent, you can expect you have a form issue. The EPA site additionally contains significant data at www.epa.gov/iaq/bars/moldresources.html
Extra sources might be found on the ADRE site. These sites give great data about form, the issues it might cause, and how it might be expelled. www.cdc.gov/nceh/asthma/factsheets/molds/default.htm
Other Indoor Air Quality Concerns There are worries with indoor air quality (“IAQ”). Radon gas and carbon monoxide harming are two of the more typical and conceivably genuine IAQ concerns. Both of these worries can be tended to by the home overseer, for the most part for an extra charge. With respect to the numerous other IAQ concerns, the U.S. EPA has a large group of asset materials and leaflets accessible at www.epa.gov/iaq/iaqinfo.