Buying your first home is a big step and having an experienced and knowledgeable Realtor is a must. When you are thinking about buying a home it is important for you to be an informed consumer so that you are prepared for what is to come and to make the transaction as smooth as possible.
The Arizona real estate purchase contract: Buyers should protect themselves by taking the time to read the real estate purchase contract and understand their legal rights and obligations before they submit an offer to buy a property.
Loan Documents- Unless a buyer is paying cash, the buyer must qualify for a loan in order to complete the purchase. A buyer should complete a loan application with a lender before making an offer on a property if at all possible and, if not, immediately after making an offer. It will be the buyer’s responsibility to deposit any down payment and insure that the buyer’s lender deposits the remainder of the purchase price into escrow prior to the close of escrow date. Therefore, make sure you get all requested documentation to your lender as soon as possible.
Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement (“SPDS”): Most sellers provide a SPDS. This document poses a variety of questions for the seller to answer about the property and its condition. The real estate broker is not responsible for verifying the accuracy of the items on the SPDS; therefore, a buyer should carefully review the SPDS and verify those statements of concern.
What if there are not any SPDS: Foreclosure properties will not be able to include this disclosure document because the owner of the property (the bank) has never occupied the home.
Professional Inspection Report – As a buyer, you have 10 days after your contract is accepted to complete a throuogh inspection of the property. The importance of having a property inspected by a professional inspector cannot be over-emphasized. An inspection is a visual physical examination, performed for a fee, designed to identify material defects in the property. The inspector will generally provide the buyer with a report detailing information about the property’s condition. The buyer should carefully review this report with the inspector and ask the inspector about any item of concern. Pay attention to the scope of the inspection and any portions of the property excluded from the inspection.
Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (“CC&Rs”) – The CC&Rs are recorded against the property and generally empower a homeowner’s association to control certain aspects of property use within the development. By purchasing a property in such a development, the buyer agrees to be bound by the CC&Rs. The association, the property owners as a whole, and individual property owners can enforce the contract. It is essential that the buyer review and agree to these restrictions prior to purchasing a property.
Homeowner’s Association (“HOA”) Governing Documents – In addition to CC&Rs, HOAs may be governed by Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Rules and Regulations, and often architectural control standards. Read and understand these documents. Also, be aware that some HOAs impose fees that must be paid when the property is sold, so ask if the purchase of the property will result in any fees.