Arizona Real Estate Buyer’s Investigation Checklist
As your real estate agent, it is vital to the home buying process and can provide a variety of services in locating a property, negotiating the sale, and advising the buyer. However, an Arizona real estate agent is generally not qualified to discover defects or evaluate the physical condition of property. But a real estate agent can assist a buyer in finding qualified inspectors and provide the buyer with documents and other resources that contain vital information about a prospective new home.
This checklist is designed to make a buyer’s home purchase of Arizona real property as smooth as possible. Some of the more common of the issues that a buyer may decide to investigate or verify concerning a home purchase are summarized in this checklist. Included herein are: (1) common documents that a buyer should review; (2) physical conditions in the property the buyer should investigate; and (3) conditions effecting the surrounding area that buyer should investigate. In addition, a buyer must communicate to the real estate agents in the transaction any special concerns the buyer may have about the property or surrounding area, whether or not those issues are addressed in this checklist.
REMEMBER: This checklist is supplemental to obtaining professional home inspections. Professional home inspections are absolutely essential, as there is no practical substitute for a professional inspection as a measure to discover and investigate defects or shortcomings about a home.
Top 5 Common Documents that a Buyer should Review
- MLS Print Out -The MLS print out contains limited description of a property, such as its size, encumbrances, utilities, amenities, etc. The information was probably secured from the seller, builder or a governmental agency and could be inaccurate.
- Public Report – The public report is required to be given to buyers by developers in a new home subdivision. The purpose of this document is to point out material information about the development that a buyer might want to know about to make a decision to purchase.
- Sellers Property Disclosure Statement – Most sellers provide a SPDS. This document covers a variety of questions for the seller to answer about the property and its condition. A buyer should carefully review the SPDS and verify those statements of concern.
Covenant, Conditions and Restrictions “CC&R’s” -The CC&Rs are recorded against the property and generally empower a homeowners association to control certain aspects of property use within the development. By purchasing a home in such a development, the buyer agrees to be bound by the CC&Rs. Thus, the CC&Rs form an enforceable contract between the homeowners as a whole as well as between the individual homeowners. It is essential that the buyer review and agree to these restrictions prior to purchasing a home.
- Title Report & Home Warranty -The title report or commitment contains important information. The Escrow Company or Agent providing the buyer’s title insurance will provide the buyer with a Title Report or Title Commitment. This report or commitment will list documents listed as exceptions to the title insurance (Schedule B Exceptions) showing encumbrances, easements and liens against the property, some of which may effect the use of the property, such as a future addition or swimming pool.
A home warranty may be a part of the sale of the home. Buyers should read the home warranty document for coverage and limitation information. Be aware that pre-existing property conditions are generally not covered under these policies.