When you are selling your home, are you required to disclose if your home was used as the setting of an adult movie?
Yep. I couldn’t help myself. The question is designed to catch your attention –clickbait style.
The Arizona Republic already covered the question in this story just the other day.
However, its worth a look because disclosure rules are very, very important –whether you are the buyer or the seller.
If you are selling, the first thing a good you will be asked to, do after you sign your listing agreement, is complete a Seller Property Disclosure Statement, or SPDS. And the general rule is, “when in doubt, disclose.”
In other words, if you can’t remember whether you had that roof repaired after that monsoon five years ago, it is better to disclose what you know. If you don’t and the new owners find out that you knew a material fact that you should have disclosed, you could be in legal hot water.
You can best protect yourself by being honest. If the buyer walks because they don’t like something, its better than lying about it and possibly suffering greater losses later
However, there are some things that you are not required to disclose (and which your agent can’t disclose).
- If the home was the site of a natural death, suicide or homicide or any other crime classified as a felony.
- If home was owned or occupied by a person exposed to HIV or AIDS.
- If home being located in the vicinity of a sex offender.
Why do we have this list? Simple, these things could unfairly tarnish or sour a home unnecessarily. When it comes to these items, it is the responsibility of the buyer to check it out.
So, let’s go back to the issue in the article, from the buyer’s perspective. Is it relevant that the home was the site of adult movies? Nope. Not as far as the contract is concerned. How it is material to the sale? Was there damage to the property? Probably not. (Maybe just a slight embarrassment, though.)
In Arizona buyers can cancel the contract during the inspection period for almost any reason. However, in this case, if the buyers had hoped to cancel the contract (and keep their earnest money) after the inspection period, they could not do it on this basis. Its unfortunate that the buyers did not learn about this before they finished the inspection period.
So, if you are buying a home, Michelle and I are going to advise you to complete all of your inspections –including talking to the neighbors about the “scoop” on the home– before you complete your 10-day inspection period. We have never heard of a client regretting knocking on a few surround doors and talking to the neighbors.
Do you think these buyers would have learned about the previous videographic uses of the home had they paid a visit to the neighbors? We think they probably would have.
Not that we think the production of some skin flicks is going to permanently tarnish a home. But if knowing that such movies were made in a home give you the heebie-jeebies, be certain to learn everything you can.
We are a couple of experienced and licensed agents who pride ourselves on understanding commissioner’s rules.
If you have questions about the home buying or selling process, give us a call at 602-456-9388.