What is a Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement in Arizona and why do I need to do one?
As a property owner, in order to seller real estate you will be required to fill out a property disclosure statement. SPDS as it is commonly called. It is a form presented to you by your realtor. If however you choose to sell the property without a realtor, you may still need to provide the form to the buyer. It can be obtained from any realtor or the Arizona Department of Real Estate.
The form may seem simple but there is a very important aspect of the form. It can come back to bite you if the buyer is unhappy and sues.
It is not a defense to say you forgot that three years ago you had the roof repaired or the plumbing was an issue. It is not a defense to say you never had a problem but really only mean in the last few years.
This document (SPDS) can be the very document a Buyer uses to sue for recession ( give them their money back) or fraud ( you lied).
The basic rule is to disclose everything. But what if you do not know? For instance suppose you inherited the home or bought it at a deed of trust sale. Then instead of answering no to a question you say see addendum and tell clearly why you cannot answer the question.
Another issue that arises comes from the part of the form where it asks if permits were obtained for home improvements or expansions. Many older homes have something done to them when you buy them. When you answer the question, be careful to point out that you have made no improvements without permits but you do not make any representation for anything done prior to your ownership. That is true even if the person told you there was a permit.
Simply be aware, the SPDS can be a very important document if there is a dispute. It is much better to have covered everything then to forget one thing.