Read Your Real Estate Contract Carefully

When a couple purchased a new Queen Creek home they received a color brochure from the builder showing the features of the builder’s homes. However, after moving into the home, two of the features, a dishwasher and sunscreens, were not in the home. They contacted the builder and the builder said the contract did not provide for a dishwasher and sunscreens and the sales price would have been higher if they were in the home. Under Arizona real estate law, does the builder have to put in a dishwasher and sunscreens?

In general, a brochure is only a marketing tool, and the contract will control the type of extras in the home that the builder is required to construct for a buyer. The homeowners should have confirmed in the contract that a dishwasher and sunscreens were included.

Note: If a marketing brochure makes a statement, however, such as “solid wood doors” but non-solid wood doors are installed, a buyer may have a claim against the builder if there is nothing in the contract to describe the type of door to be installed. A court would probably rule that a reasonable buyer had the right to rely on the builder’s representation that solid wood doors would be installed.

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