Seller Resources - Articles

Selling Your Home - Disclosure

Whose obligation is it to disclose pertinent information about a property?
In Arizona the seller is obligated to disclose information about the property. The seller and the seller's agent, are required to disclose all facts materially affecting the value of the property that are known or accessible to them. This might include: homeowners association dues; whether or not work done on the house meets local building codes and permitting requirements; the presence of any neighborhood nuisances or noises which a prospective buyer might not notice, such as a dog that barks every night; any flooding that occurred on the property. Your agent will provide you with a Seller's Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS) document to help you jog your memory.  It is a good idea to disclose more information rather than less.  In the excitement of purchasing, a buyer is more likely to not care about an incidental disclosure.  However, if an item was not disclosed and the buyer later has remorse over the purchase, the lack of disclosure can end up costing a lot of money in legal fees.

Do sellers have to disclose the terms of other offers?
Sellers are not legally obligated to disclose the terms of other offers to prospective buyers.

Will a neighbor problem reduce the value of my property?
While it may not reduce the actual value, a cluttered landscape next door can detract from the positive aspects of your home. Review your local laws, which should be on file at the public library, county law library or City Hall. A typical "junk vehicle" ordinance, for example, requires any disabled car to either be enclosed or placed behind a fence. And most cities prohibit parking any vehicle on a city street too long. It also may be worthwhile to check into local zoning ordinances or homeowner association restrictions. In addition, if a neighbor's repair work produces loud noises, he may be breaking local noise-control ordinances, which are enforced by the police department. Before bringing in the authorities, you may want to make a copy of the pertinent ordinance and give it to your neighbor to give them a chance to correct the problem.  The best solution is often to be a good neighbor, ask politely, and offer to help with the clean-up.

Should I disclose a known problem or just fix the problem?
Depending on the severity of the problem and the cost to repair it, it might make sense to simply disclose the issue rather then make the repair. If something is a minor nuisance, but would be expensive to repair, then don't waste the money.  However, just because you learned to live with a nuisance does not mean that everyone will.  You should ask your agent to help you make a determination as to whether the cost will outweigh the benefits.

Nancy and Brian Biggs
Nancy and Brian Biggs
1177 Old Chisholm Trail Dewey AZ 86327