One of the biggest nightmares for new homeowners is to finally complete the purchase of their home and find out there are a bunch of issues that were not disclosed by the seller. While proper inspection and disclosure should effectively reveal issues with the home, it is not unusual for pre-existing issues to reveal themselves through normal day-to-day use of the home.
Duties of Disclosure in Arizona
If someone is selling a home in Arizona, the seller is required to disclose any known material facts and any defects or issues that should be known about their property. These areas of information include details about ownership, safety, utilities, environmental information, sewer/wastewater treatment, as well as other duties. For a more comprehensive look at duties of disclosure by sellers, please see our Relate Article Here.
Pursuing a Home Seller for Misrepresentation
Under Arizona law, a seller commits consumer fraud if the person acted with deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, or concealment, suppression or omission of any material fact with intent that others rely on in the sale or advertisement. See ARS § 44-1522. If you find an issue that was not disclosed during the purchase of real estate, you will need to document everything before attempting to fix any of the issues. Our firm can help you gather all the necessary evidence before you proceed with any repairs. It will make it more difficult to pursue your case if you move forward with repairs before proper documentation.
Demand Letter to Seller and Dispute Resolution
Generally, it is better for all parties to avoid a lengthy and expensive trial. With an experienced real estate attorney, it will usually be more effective and efficient to pursue a direct negotiation with the seller. This process starts with a demand letter to the seller with details of the property issues that have been found and your proposed resolution.
If a satisfactory agreement cannot be reached with the seller or their attorney, then the Residential Real Estate Purchase Contract of the Arizona Association of Realtors allows the parties to use mediation to present the facts of the case and receive a recommended resolution from a neutral third-party. Binding arbitration is required if the parties cannot reach a resolution via mediation. Both parties have the option in Arizona to opt out of binding arbitration within 30 days of the completion of mediation and pursue litigation to resolve the dispute.
Find an Experienced Real Estate Attorney
The attorneys MacQueen & Gottlieb have extensive experience with real estate disclosure disputes. Our firm can assist a buyer that recently bought a house with problems not disclosed by the seller. We will help you collect the necessary evidence related to the material defect in the home and evaluate the potential claim against the seller. Our attorneys present the legal actions available and represent your interests vigorously through litigation if necessary. Contact us at 602-533-2840 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment online.