Arizona law requires Havasu home sellers to disclose any past or present issues about their property's physical condition. They must reveal this information in a written statement no later than five days after they've accepted a buyer's offer. While no official document has been drafted for such a statement, the Arizona Association of REALTORS@ provides the most commonly used form in the Arizona real estate market today: the Residential Seller's Property Disclosure Form. However, you may hear it referred to more often as the "spuds". What is the "spuds" and just how much do I have to reveal on this form?
What is the Havasu Home Seller Disclosure Form?
The Havasu Home Seller Disclosure Form is a statement of any flaws that a seller or their agent is aware of located in or around the property that may have a negative on the home's value. This allows the buyer to make an informed decision about whether or not they really want to own the property. Some things absolutely must be included on the form. Others don't necessarily have to.
What am I Required to Disclose?
A homeowner only needs to disclose what they personally know, even if it happened before they bought the property. You may not have been worried about the mold issue the previous owner resolved, but the potential buyer might have asthma issues that make them hesitant. The "spuds" provides an easy-to-use follow checklist to help you organize your statement. Also, so you don't overlook important areas.
When a buyer asks you about anything not on the disclosure form, you must answer the question as honestly as possible. If you don't know, don't guess. You could be held legally liable if your guess was wrong.
Also, if something happens between the time you fill out the form and when the buyer signs their final paperwork, that must be disclosed. For example, did a pipe spring a leak somewhere? Did the swimming pump stop working? Or, did you discover a family of scorpions living underneath some shrubbery in the backyard? You need to tell the buyer about this new information or it could come back to bite you later on.
What Don't I Have to Disclose?
Basically, there are three main things a Havasu homeowner does not have to disclose to a buyer by law. First, whether or not they know of any registered sex offenders in the area. However, even though it's not a legal requirement, a "heads up" for safety's sake isn't a bad idea. Do this if for no other reason than to aid with the safety of any children moving into the house. Next, a seller doesn't have to reveal whether any previous occupant had AIDS or HIV. Finally, they don't have to say whether anyone died due to a suicide or homicide on the property. If a buyer asks any of these questions, it is perfectly acceptable to say that you aren't required by law to answer the question. Be polite about it. And don't make up a lie.
What Happens if I Don't Disclose Something?
Lying on your Havasu Home Seller Disclosure Form or to the buyer directly can leave you open to a lawsuit for fraud, misrepresentation, or failure to disclose by the buyer after the sale is completed. That's why it's so important that you are as open and honest as possible. Talk to your Lake Havasu REALTOR@ and your real estate lawyer about any questions you may have about this disclosure form before you fill it out. These laws get pretty intricate and complicated. It's best to have someone who knows the topic in great detail to help you navigate through it.