In Arizona Sellers of real property are, in most cases, required to complete and deliver to the Buyer a Residential Seller's Property Disclosure Statement commonly referred to as the "SPDS" (think of a potato "spuds").
The SPDS is a disclosure document. It is intended to provide the Buyer with pertinent information regarding the property. This includes, but is not limited, to current information regarding the condition of the property and anything in the past that may have affected the property and has been repaired. In addition the SPDS contains disclosure regarding various other matters that relate to the subject property
The typical Residential Resale Real Estate Purchase Contract requires the Seller to deliver a completed SPDS to the Buyer within a period of five (5) days after the complete execution and delivery of the Contract. The Buyer then has a fixed period of time to review the SPDS, and if appropriate, notify the Seller of any "SPDS items disapproved". In the typical transaction I will receive the SPDS and deliver a copy to you to review. If the SPDS reveals anything that the Buyer disapproves of we will notify the Sellers. The Sellers can (i) explain the reason for the disclosure that is disapproved of which might satisfy you as the Buyer, or (ii) agree to remedy the issue. Should neither of these alternatives occur, you as the Buyer have the right to cancel the Contract without further liability or responsibility on your part.
On occasion I receive a SPDS for my Buyer that discloses the fact that the house needed repairs in the past and that the required repairs had been made. In that instance I provide a copy of the SPDS to the Home Inspector. In so doing I have called specific attention to the issue so that the Home Inspector can take special care in inspecting the repairs to ascertain that the repairs were done correctly and the condition has been repaired.
So you can see that the SPDS plays an important part in the Due Diligence process.
But, what happens if the Seller will not provide a SPDS? This situation arises most often when the Seller is a Lender who has acquired title to the property through a foreclosure, the so-called "REO". The situation also arises in Estate situations; the Seller is the heir of a deceased person and the heir has never lived in the property. In these situations the Seller will often refuse to deliver a "SPDS" under the theory that the Seller never lived in the property. The Seller maintains that having never lived in the property the Seller has no knowledge upon which to base answers to the SPDS.
Because the Contract requires the delivery of the SPDS within five (5) days of final execution and delivery it is incumbent upon the Seller to take the necessary steps to avoid the delivery of the SPDS. This would normally take the form of a Counter-Offer. If I receive a Counter-Offer to that effect we will go over the entire SPDS in order that you can determine exactly what information this particular Seller will not provide. In so doing you can then make an informed decision as to whether or not you will agree to waive the SPDS.
It has been my experience that many of the answers required by the SPDS can be obtained by a due diligence effort on behalf of the Buyer. If it is your decision to waive the SPDS we can still obtain much of the information. We also can request that the Home Inspector provide some of the information that you would normally get in the SPDS.
In conclusion; while obtaining and reviewing the SPDS is an important part of the process the fact that a Seller cannot provide the necessary information does not necessarily prevent a contemplated purchase from being completed. Finally I want to say that the Sellers Property Disclosure Statement is and important document that a buyer should pay close attention to and you need to have an agent on your side that can go over this document with you. As an exclusive buyer agent I am there to guide my clients through this process.
So if your in the market for a home in the next 90 days, for a property priced between $300,000 and $1,500,000, have been pre-approved, and want an agent on your side that is a Certified Negotiation Expert and will $ave you thousands of dollars on your next real estate purchase, contact me, TJ Harris at Buyers 1st Realty, Fountain Hills, AZ. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website www.azbuyers1streatly.com Remember I am "always on the buyers side".