Please Sign the Mandatory Sunshine Disclosure

avatarthumbnail.jpgThe last three weeks have been sent converting the bankers’ boxes of files in my office into handy dandy PDF files that I can burn onto a CD and allow to accumulate dust. Staring at the mess, it’s hard not to wonder how many fewer boxes of soon-to-be recycled paper I would have if not for the silly “mandatory” disclosures that we as real estate professionals are asked to have our clients sign.

My favorite whipping boy is the Adult Communities Addendum, often referred to as the “mandatory” community addendum even though it’s not mandatory other than in the minds of some real estate brokerages. This addendum is a catch-all designed to handle a number of different situations, which means large portions of it are crossed out for any one transaction:

  • Line 1 deals with dual agency. If there are two brokerages involved, it doesn’t apply.
  • Line 2 applies only to the 55-plus communities to disclose the age limit
  • Line 3 applies only to Westbrook Village to disclose the age limit
  • Line 4 applies only to Happy Trails and Sun Village to disclose the age limit

So we’re four lines deep and so far only one has been needed. And it just continues from there – mandating the buyer pay fees that the latest contract usually assigns to the seller in opposition to the tradition in the retirement communities, disclosing that only electric golf carts can be used in Sun City Grand (which is useless if that’s not where you happen to buying), and so on.

In my own office we have a pool disclosure form that mimics the language already contained in the purchase contract itself. Many offices have mold disclosures (mold = bad, get an expert).

Today I ran across a disclosure that explains that the state department of transportation may at some future date expand Loop 303, which runs through Goodyear, Surprise, Sun City Grand and along the north end of Corte Bella in Sun City West.

Which makes me think we also need a chip seal disclosure:

Buyer is fully aware that [insert city] uses chip seal to pave its roads, possibly including the road on which [insert property] is located and during these construction projects it is likely paint on buyers’ car will be scratched by flying gravel.

… or perhaps a highway construction disclosure:

Buyers acknowledge that it is the policy of the Arizona Department of Transportation to close multiple sections of highway all heading in the same direction so as to make it almost impossible to get from one side of the Phoenix metro area to the other without use of a helicopter.

(Editor’s note: They’ve gotten better but it wasn’t long ago that westbound I-10 and northbound I-17 would be closed at the same time, relegating those of us heading back home from the East Valley to an hour’s drive on the surface streets.)

And I can’t understand how we get by without a sunshine disclosure …

Buyers acknowledge before passing out from heat stroke that the daily high temperature in June, July and August is almost universally north of 100 degree days. Buyers hold brokers harmless should the thermometer reach 115 degrees even though the agents said we only average a temperature of 108.

Almost all of these disclosures (the real ones, that is) fall under the category of CYA … but maybe they ought to be reviewed under UYB – Use Your Brain.

[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]

About Jonathan

Jonathan Dalton is a 30-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at allphoenixrealestate.com.

  • I want to use the sunshine disclosure, perhaps o SPDS too. OK?
    The community form was mandatory when the Sun City board was in existence. Many of use use the term under Realtor remarks. This is not to hassle local agents, but to make agets from across the valley aware of the special requirements of the adult communities. It is amazing how many people say “my agent didn’t tell me”. No, you can’t raise you kids in an adult community. Yes, the jets from Luke will treat you to the “Sound of Freedom” often. Aren’t we glad they are ours?