Unlike in many states, real estate professionals and homeowners in Arizona can sell a property without the assistance of a lawyer. In some states buyers and sellers must sit down together at the closing table to finalize the transaction. In Arizona, a house can close escrow without the buyer ever meeting the seller. After the title company has completed the title search, all the loan documents have been signed and the funds delivered to escrow, the title and escrow company records the sale with the county--and then disperses the funds.
Consider hiring an Arizona Realtor. Realtors typically charge a percentage of the property's sale price--due at the close of escrow--with no upfront fees. Many Realtors will market the property, pay for advertising, show the property (even when you are not available), prepare virtual tours, help price the property and walk the sale through the close of escrow. Depending upon the agreement with the Realtor, many of these services do not cost extra--even if the property fails to close.
Request a copy of a blank sales contract from a local title company. In Arizona, real estate sales professionals typically use a purchase contract that has been sponsored by the Arizona Association of Realtors. If you aren't using a real estate agent or Realtor, you will be responsible for the contract. Familiarize yourself with the terms of the contract. If there is something in the contract you want to remove, those lines will need to be marked out and signed by all parties.
Honor the inspection period. In the Arizona sales contract, the default time to inspect the property is 10 days. This means the buyer needs to inspect the property within that time frame. They then have the option to request repairs, or cancel the contract and get their earnest deposit back. Encouraging a buyer to freely inspect the property will help prevent future lawsuits if the buyer is unhappy after the close.
Consider making requested repairs. While you are not obligated to make repairs, if you refuse to do so, it will be grounds for the buyer to cancel the contract. After the terms of the inspection have been met, the seller can lose their earnest deposit if they cancel the contract.
Open escrow with a local escrow and title company, and deposit the earnest deposit. The company will run a title search on the property to make sure you have clear title. You must also purchase a title policy--which protects buyers if they discover that you did not have clear title. The price of a title policy is based on the property's sale price. A title insurance policy for a mid-priced house might be around $1,000. Other escrow fees are typically split between the buyer and seller.
If you have a septic tank, be prepared to have it pumped and certified before the close of escrow. Some counties in Arizona require septic tanks to be transferred to the new owner--which can be done through the title company.
Purchase a home warranty for the buyer. An Arizona Realtor is a licensed real estate agent who is a member of the Arizona Association of Realtors.
Always fully disclose all defects within the house.
- Purchase a home warranty for the buyer.
- An Arizona Realtor is a licensed real estate agent who is a member of the Arizona Association of Realtors.
- Always fully disclose all defects within the house.
Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.