My buyer's agent is requiring a Letter of Experience for claims made on the house I am trying to sell (within the last 5 years).
However, there is information in the letter about a large claim made due to bodily injury which had nothing to do with the house. Is there any way this information can be hidden to the buyer, as it is irrelevant to buying the house (and somewhat private information)? This large claim was made in 4 years ago.
You do not have to disclose any information of this kind, however by not doing so you could lose the sale. However, do not attempt to alter or attempt to hide information. The selling of your home is a contract. Any material information provided to form the contract that was meant to deceive one of the parties to enter into the contract could cause the contract to be void or require you to pay any damages.
The "claim" information that has to be disclosed by the seller's insurance company typically involves claims for property damage to the premises. Buyers are entitled to know about damage to the premises and repairs to that damage. Such information can lead to information about hidden defects in the premises that may not visible upon reasonable inspection. A claim regarding personal injuries occurring on the premises may also disclose information about a defect in the premises that allegedly caused the injury. Safest course of action is to disclose. If you have a serious reason or issue about which you are concerned about disclosure of the personal injury claim, consult a lawyer regarding the specific facts of your case.
This answer is intended to provide general information only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Arizona law requires a written engagement agreement between an attorney and client. Many claims and defenses in legal matters involve time period limitations. Competent legal counsel should be consulted to discuss your specific circumstances in detail.
Assuming you signed an AAR contract with your buyer, you agreed to provide the claim history - you are contractually bound to do so. Not knowing the nature of the injury, I suggest speaking with an attorney about your options with restating the claim. As my colleague stated, be wary of non-disclosure. Yes, in AZ there are certain things that you do not have to disclose, but be very certain you are disclosing what is necessary. Most residential real estate lawsuits are tied to nondisclosures.
This reply does not constitute legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship.
I agree with Judy. Under the standard Arizona Association of Realtor Contract, you are required to disclose a Claims Loss Report. I would suggest looking at section 5(b) (or around there).
This brings me to my next point: if you believe the issue could impact the value paid for the property, then you must disclose it to a potential buyer. If you don't disclose such issues, then you could be sued for consumer fraud and breach of contract. Good luck.
The above is for informational purposes only and is meant to facilitate a discussion. The above is neither intended as legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. For more information, visit degnanlawaz.com and/or contact David's assistant at [email protected] and set up an initial consultation and to sign an engagement letter. The following may be considered an advertisement under certain rules of professional conduct.
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