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Require Disclosures and Inspections

You can never be too trusting when it comes to buying real estate, Arizona real estate is no exception.  Buyers are entitled to know what they are getting for their money.  Buyers should insist on an inspection and full disclosure of any property being purchased.

Why Do You Need an Inspection?

An inspection is an opportunity to have an expert give you an oral and written report regarding the condition of the property in Arizona you are purchasing. The standard home inspection report will review the current condition of the home's plumbing, heating and electrical systems. The report will also include info about the structure such as the foundation and basement, as well as the roof, attic, ceilings, walls, floors, doors and windows. It normally includes photos of problem areas and recommendations for repairs. For example, after researching sales in the area, you place an offer on a 20 year old Tempe, Arizona home.  Your offer is accepted. Next, you hire an inspector. The report shows a cracked concrete foundation. The roof and plumbing also need replacing. The cost for repairs is $40,000. Your inspection contingency would let you back out, or negotiate further. When writing a report, the inspector must follow certain legalities on paper.  Therefore, remember to accompany the inspector during the inspection, who will be more open in person.  Informal and oral comments give more specifics and insights into the problems of the property. 

Why Do You Need Disclosures?

Regarding Arizona real estate, the law requires the seller to disclose all relevant knowledge of the condition or history of their home to the buyer. For example, a seller would disclose a history of a leaking roof or their house being built on expansive soil. A disclosure contingency gives you protection when buying your Arizona home.  So, upon discovering the roof needs replacing, you can either back out or renegotiate for the repair costs. It also makes the seller legally responsible. If a seller fails to disclose that anything is wrong with the house, and you move into your newly purchased house, only to discover that cracks in the foundation were filled in and painted over, an Arizona court of law can view the disclosure statement as evidence that you had no prior knowledge and that the seller should be held liable for the repairs.

How Do You Get an Inspection?

The inspection is written in as a contingency in standard contracts used for the purchase of Arizona real estate.  The buyer is responsible for the inspector's fee.  There are two national trade organizations. The American Society of Home Inspectors(ASHI) and the National Association of Home Inspectors(NAHI).  I can recommend a list of local inspectors. Please check references carefully.

How Do You Get Disclosures?

Arizona real estate law states that a seller’s property disclosure statement be provided to the buyer within 5 calendar days after acceptance of the contract and then the buyer has 5 calendar days to approve or disapprove them. If the buyer finds the defects unacceptable then the agreement is broken. Don’t jeopardize your investment, insist on a home inspection and full disclosure. Make your purchase contingent on approving the results of both.

Remember, a "final walk-through" is not a home inspection.  Structural and other problems are only revealed with a thorough home inspection.  A walk-through is designed to make certain that the seller hasn’t damaged the property since your last visit.