Let’s start with a major disclaimer … I’m not an attorney and am not providing legal advice. What follows simply is my personal opinion regarding a certain aspect of the Arizona Association of REALTORS residential purchase contract and should not be construed as a legal opinion, the gospel engraved on granite tablets, or anything else similarly formal.
Still, I think I’m right …
Should a buyer in the Phoenix real estate market disclose to the seller that they are making offers on multiple properties at the same time?
One theory says yes, this should be disclosed. In the contract there’s a clause the buyer has disclosed to the seller any information that may materially and adversely affect the buyer’s ability to close escrow or complete the obligations of this contract. Writing multiple offers simultaneously can be construed as something that could adversely affect the buyer’s ability to close escrow, yada yada yada.
Here’s why I disagree and don’t believe multiple offers need to be disclosed. If the buyer’s intent is to purchase the property and if the buyer has the ability to purchase the property and close escrow, the above clause doesn’t apply. Other offers mean nothing unless they’re accepted; in that circumstance, the buyer would be under contract and that likely would impact their ability (or desire) to purchase the property. But that’s only – ONLY – if another offer is accepted. If not, the offer’s irrelevant.
There’s nothing in the contract that says a buyer can’t change his or her mind before an offer is accepted. (Or even slightly after, though that’s a discussion for another day.) There’s nothing that says the buyer can’t decide to buy a car instead of a house and back out while waiting for an answer from the seller. In other words, there’s only so much that can be handled by the contract … circumstances based on what ifs aren’t. And the possibility of another offer being accepted is little more than a what if.
Of course, that’s just my opinion. And it’s not a legal one (see disclaimer.) But, as I said, I think I’m right.