Clarification on This Question by the Arizona Association of Realtors May Help Avoid a Dispute.
When a buyer and seller enter into a residential purchase transaction in Arizona, the Seller Warranties section of the AAR Residential Purchase Contract includes specific requirements that certain systems be in working order prior to close of escrow. These are considered “seller warranted items” and are outlined in this paragraph:
With this said, there are always gray areas that exist on just about every contract. Understanding our obligation to protect our buyers and sellers, we really need to be aware of the nebulous or vague items and make sure we solve these issues early instead of letting things go until the last minute. “Working order” is a very broad term and may require a legal opinion. K. Michelle Lind, the CEO of the Arizona Association of Realtors has provided us with a brief list stating AAR’s opinion on a few of the more commonly raised questions:
- Leaking Faucet
- Leaking Landscape Fixtures
- Leaking Outdoor Sprinklers
- Leaking Tub Diverter Valve
- Air Conditioner Performance Under Manufacturer Specs on Temperature Splits
- Windows that Don’t Stay Open or Lock Correctly
- Malfunctioning Pool Light
- Malfunctioning GFCI Outlets
- Inoperable Ceiling Fans
- Malfunctioning Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System
- Structural Pool Leaks
- Loose or Rocking Toilets
- Ungrounded Outlets
- Missing GFCI Outlets
- Hot/Cold Water Fixtures Reversed
- Cracked Windows or Failed Seals on Dual Pane Windows
- Missing or Malfunctioning Light Bulbs
- Roof Leaks
In summary, there are items that contractually MUST be functioning and made right by the seller before closing, as well as those that the buyer may request but the seller is not obligated to repair or replace. The BINSR (Buyer Inspection Notice & Seller Response) is our vehicle to make those requests and identify warranted and non-warranted concerns.
People may think our negotiating is done after we settle on a price, but inspections and repair requests are a very detailed process and require diligence and negotiations on the part of your agent. This is true regardless of which party we represent. If you would like more information or have a specific question, please feel free to contact us!
Sally Cashman | Cashman Partners