Selling a home with a pool places some unique responsibilities to the seller that not be required by houses without pools. It goes without saying that sellers of homes with pools should make sure that the pool is in proper working order. Hardware like filters, pumps, valves, heaters, lights and other miscellaneous plumbing must be functional. There should be no leaks. If a spa is included it should meet all functional requirements as well.
But even if the pool meets all of the functional specifications there may be more that is required by homes and homeowners that have a pool. The pool area must meet all local building and safety codes. Most state county and municipal governments have strict safety requirements that must be installed and maintained by homeowners.
In Arizona, where pools are commonplace, the Swimming Pool Barrier Regulations may include a pool fence which may be separate from the boundary fences that owners install to maintain property lines. The fence should include self-closing gates with locks installed at minimum heights to prevent small children from reaching the lock. Other items include self-closing doors, alarmed windows and doors and specialty locks if the building is used as part of the barrier fence.
Finally, landscaping, plants, and trees that may affect the operation of the pool or pollute the water enough to affect the chemical balance of the water should be trimmed or removed.
Above all, it should not be murky. Pool water should be crystal clear. Many drowning deaths in Arizona have been attributed to pools so green and murky that a small child cannot be seen laying at the bottom until it is too late to save them. If the home for sale requires an appraisal the appraiser in most cases will require the pool to be functional and clear as a condition of loan approval.
While the responsibility for inspecting and testing the functionality of the pool lies with the buyer, it will always be the seller’s responsibility to provide a fully compliant and functional pool at the close of escrow. Having home inspector or pool inspector that is knowledgeable with the local pool regulations will ensure that problems with a pool will not be the cause of sale that is delayed or canceled.
For a summary list of Pool Barrier Requirements for many cities in the Phoenix metro just visit the following link: Pool Barrier Requirements at the Phoenix Association of Realtors® website.
Joe Domino is a Realtor® with HomeSmart Real Estate, serving the Phoenix & Scottsdale metro area. You can follow Joe's real estate blog at From The Outside Looking In or find more great information by visiting his website at www.Scottsdale-AZHomes.com