Home sellers often underestimate the importance of the Seller Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS) that is part of our Arizona Association of Realtors purchase contract.
The tendency for some sellers is to not disclose minor problems they have fixed (or haven’t fixed but know about) out of fear that it may dissuade a potential buyer from moving forward on purchasing their home. But it’s important for sellers to disclose what they know to protect themselves from legal problems down the road.
Disclosure laws vary from state to state and Arizona requires the seller to disclose any known facts about the property that are material.
But what is meant by material? Material means information that may have caused a buyer of real estate to make a different decision before closing escrow on the property. The term material can sometimes be confusing and misleading for both the buyer and the seller and that is why the SPDS form is so comprehensive in its questioning.
Is an infestation of scorpions on a property material, even if they have been treated for and no longer remain a problem in a home? Most likely yes, so fill out that SPDS form accurately and honestly and let the buyer make an informed decision.
Rest assured, once you disclose, you can sleep at night knowing you did the right thing and there can be no further recourse on the part of the buyer if they should encounter buyer remorse down the road.
And make sure you disclose as you go: it is essential to update the SPDS form prior to close of escrow if anything has changed with the physical conditions of the property during the escrow period.
If you have further questions, why not contact one of The Matheson Team members who can answer questions and guide you to seek legal help if the concern is of a greater complexity.