I recently moved to Tucson from Oklahoma City and purchased my first home. I met my neighbor next door who is selling his house off market for a great deal. My question is, what do I need to know about buying off market in AZ and Tucson? Any laws I should be aware of? Should I use a real estate lawyer? If so, any recommendations? Thanks for any help!
It'd be best to sit down for a free consultation with a lawyer and see exactly what the local laws are. As far as buying off market, I'd assume you are not using agents and this would be a direct sale, seller to buyer. Also, you can ask you neighbor for advice on how he did his deal, but I'd still want to talk it over with an attorney or agent if you had any questions. There are a fair amount of disclosure laws one would need to be aware of and then there's contract law as well. Inspection period, escrow rules, contract breaches, and so on.
We do not use attorney closings here in Arizona. Real estate agents write contracts on behalf of our clients and are specifically empowered by state law to do so. I was a bit surprised to find out that something like 45 states use attorneys for this.
Get paired up with a good escrow officer; s/he will make sure the documents are prepared appropriately and transfer of title happens successfully. You can use the standard form used by the AAR or pay an attorney to draw up a standard contract for you. Theoretically you can write your own contract and several investors do so, but you really do need to know what you're doing.
Key stipulations to keep in mind would be disclosures (lead based paint, structural/mechanical/public safety, insurance claims history) and which items do and do not transfer with sale. Termites are a big concern in Arizona, so make sure you do your due diligence there.
Shoot me a PM if you want a reference for an escrow officer, a real estate attorney or have specific questions.
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