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Arizona Residential Sellers Property Disclosure Statement

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Arizona Residential Sellers Property Disclosure Statement
Arizona Residential Sellers Property Disclosure Statement
Sellers are obligated by law to disclose
all known material (important) facts
about the property to the buyer.
Arizona
law requires that you disclose material facts
about the property whether or not you are asked
by the buyer or a real estate agent, or when
asked to complete a disclosure form. There are
also some very specific seller disclosures that you
are required by statute to make. For example,
sellers are required to disclose information on
lead based paint in homes built prior to 1978,
and if the property is in the vicinity of a military or
public airport. You may also be required to
complete and record an Affidavit of
Disclosure if you are selling property in
an unincorporated area of a county.
“...you have a duty to disclose
the information, regardless of
whether or not you consider
the information material.
If the buyer asks you about an aspect of the property,
you have a duty to disclose the information, regard-
less of whether or not you consider the information
material. You also have a legal duty to disclose facts
when disclosure is necessary to prevent a previous
statement from being misleading or misrepresented: for
example, if something changes. However, a seller
does not generally have a legal obligation to correct
defects in the property, as long as the defects are dis-
closed. Any correction of the defects is a matter of
contract negotiation between you and the buyer.
If you do not make the legally required disclosures, you
may be subject to civil liability. Under certain circum-
stances, nondisclosure of a fact is the same as saying
that the fact does not exist. Therefore, nondisclosure
may be given the same legal effect as fraud.
The Arizona Association of REALTORS
®
Residential Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement
(“SPDS”) is designed to assist you in making
these legally required disclosures and to avoid
inadvertent nondisclosures of material facts.
You should complete the SPDS by answering all ques-
tions as truthfully and as thoroughly as possible. Attach
copies of any available invoices, warranties, inspection
reports, and leases, to insure that you are disclosing
accurate information. Also, use the blank lines to
explain your answers. If you do not have the personal
knowledge to answer a question, it is important not to
guess — use the blank lines to explain the situation.
The SPDS is divided into six general sections:
(1) Ownership and Property: This section asks for general information
about the property, such as location, ownership and occupancy. Any
seller, whether or not that seller has actually lived in the property, should
be able to answer most, if not all, of the questions in this section.
(2) Building and Safety Information: This section asks for information
regarding the physical aspects of the property. You should disclose any
past or present problems with the property and any work or improvements
made to the property. You are also asked specifically to disclose any
knowledge of past or current presence of termites or other wood destroy-
ing organisms on the property, and whether scorpions or other possible
“pests” have ever been present on the property. Although many sellers will
answer affirmatively to these questions, they were necessitated by law-
suits involving the alleged non-disclosure of these natural inhabitants.
(3) Utilities: You are asked whether the property currently receives the listed
utilities, and if so, to identify the provider. The water source and any known
information about drinking water problems should also be disclosed.
(4) Environmental Information: A variety of environmental information is
requested. In addition to questions regarding environmental hazards,
you are asked to disclose any issues relating to soil settlement/expan-
sion, drainage/grade, or erosion; noise from the surrounding area includ-
ing airport and traffic noise; and any odors or other nuisances. As a result
of recent lawsuits and potential health concerns, you are asked specifical-
ly if you are aware of any past or present mold growth on the property.
Mold spores are everywhere and when mold spores drop in places where
there is water damage or excessive moisture, or where there has been
flooding, mold will grow. Thus, you are asked to disclose any conditions
conducive to mold growth, such as past or present dampness/moisture,
flooding, and water damage or water leaks of any kind.
(5) Sewer/Waste Water Treatment: There are many questions dealing with
the topic of sewer or wastewater treatment as a result of claims involving
alleged misrepresentations that the property was connected to a sewer,
when in fact it was not. You are asked if the entire property is connected
to a sewer and if so, whether the sewer connection has been profession-
ally verified. If the property is served by an on-site wastewater treatment
facility, i.e., a septic or alternative wastewater system, a variety of addi-
tional information is required.
(6) Other Conditions and Factors – Additional Explanations: These
blank lines provide space for you to disclose any other important informa-
tion concerning the property that might affect the buyer’s decision-making
process, the value of the property, or its use, and to make any other nec-
essary explanations.
Please note: By law, sellers are not obligated to disclose that the property is or has
been: (1) the site of a natural death, suicide, homicide, or any other crime classified as a
felony; (2) owned or occupied by a person exposed to HIV, or diagnosed as having
AIDS or any other disease not known to be transmitted through common occupancy of
real estate; or (3) located in the vicinity of a sex offender. However, the law does not
protect a seller who makes an intentional misrepresentation. For example, if you are
asked whether there has been a death on the property and you know that there was
such a death, you should not answer “no” or “I don’t know”; instead you should either
answer truthfully or respond that you are not legally required to answer the question.
Page 1 of 9
Residential Seller Advisory • Updated: August 2012
Copyright © 2012 Arizona Association of REALTORS
®
. All rights reserved.
Document updated:
August 2012
RESIDENTIAL SELLER ADVISORY
WHEN IN DOUBT – DISCLOSE!
Arizona Residential Sellers Property Disclosure Statement
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