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'As Is' Home Sellers and Buyers Beware

07 September 2013   Lee Amble
It is important to disclose all known issues when selling property. 

This article will be very important to both home buyers and sellers; mostly the home sellers. We will discuss both "as is sales" and the importance of what realtors call the SPDS, which is a Sellers Property Disclosure Statement. An SPDS is used by realtors while selling a home. During my 38 years of selling real estate, I have seen nearly everything you could imagine happen. The things I actually remember mostly are not the good things; mainly the tough situations. When the SPDS came out, it certainly helped the realtors, buyers, and sellers and still does.

Listed below is information which will help you understand its worth.

Sellers are obligated by law to disclose all known material (important) facts about the property to the buyer. The SPDS is designed to assist a seller in making these disclosures.

I'm going to help you with instructions to fill out an SPDS. By givng out the information, it will help alleviate future problems, potential law suits, etc. The following is for the seller.

  • Complete the form yourself.
  • Answer all questions truthfully.
  • Attach all supporting documentation.
  • If you honestly do not have personal knowledge to answer a question, explain why.
  • By signing the SPDS, the failure to disclose known material information about the property may result in a lawsuit or liability.

    I think one of the most important sections of the SPDS is:

    Other conditions and factors: lines 232 and 233 on the SPDS.

    Exact wording is as follows: What other material (important) information are you aware of concerning the property that might affect the buyer's decision making process, the value of the property or its use. If this is not filled out, there could be law suits ahead. Some examples may be: group homes, airplane noise, unusual odors, drainage problems, high traffic count, etc. It's up to you to make sure it is filled out properly. Normally there should be no excuses or I just forgot, didn't think it was important, etc. Sellers put your thinking cap on and save yourself a lot of potential aggravation and trouble.

    Let's look at the next important and sometimes confusing statement: "Home as is".

    "As is:" Is a seller of an "as is" home liable for a defect that appears? Yes.

    The failure by a seller to disclose a known material defect in a home or another real property is fraud. An "as is" sale or waiver of the seller's property disclosure statement will not prevent a claim against the seller for nondisclosure of a known problem.

    Just remember on any problem you may have wanted to forget, you may have shared the information with a neighbor, workman of some sort and now you see how it may get back to a future buyer.

    For a more complete explanation of "as is", please read article in the Arizona Republic Aug. 9, 2013. The title is: "Seller of as is home is liable for defects not disclosed." Written by Christopher Combs, Attorney.

    I hope you may have gotten some valuable information from this article. It should clear up a few things about buying and selling real estate. Thank you for reading. If you have any further questions or ideas for articles you would like to read about in the future, please call me.

    If you have any real estate questions about buying and selling, feel free to call. It may save you time and money!

    Here are my two favorite sayings: "Remember, experience isn't expensive, it's priceless!" and, 
    "Selling a home is easy, doing it right is key."

    LEE AMBLE, REALTOR/CONSULTANT
    NATIONAL REALTY OF PRESCOTT
    LEE'S CELL: 928 533-4455
    JAN'S CELL: 928 533-4488
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