What's Up?


Q: I have concerns about the upcoming election and the counting of the ballots. I know we received two ballots and the punch numbers are now different candidates. How can I be assured that the machine is going to count my second ballot correctly? Also, who is going to pay the $5,000?

A: The second ballot will be counted correctly because of the way the machine is set up, according to Marci Huffman, chief deputy town clerk. Additionally, the second ballot is the only ballot that will be counted. As for the cost, according to Town Manager Fred Carpenter, the town has paid that bill, but the matter is still being negotiated.

Q: I recently went to close escrow on a new home purchase but was surprised to find during the closing that there was already a number of liens on the property that I wasn't aware of. Shouldn't my real estate agent have told me about this ahead of time?

A: "Not necessary," says Paul Bates, president of the Central Arizona Board of Realtors said. "Liens do not always need to be disclosed. The number or amount of liens on a house doesn't really matter as long as the full purchase price gets the buyer a clear title. When a home closes escrow all liens must be paid off by the seller.

By law, a buyer does not have to close unless they have a clear title.

This is covered in the boilerplate of the statewide contract.

The seller has an obligation to clear the title regardless of the purchase price.

This is usually all handled by the escrow agent.

A good real estate agent will check things out and try to protect the buyer and keep them informed, but they are not obligated by law to check on liens.

There is some protection by law and that is: If you are dealing with two separate companies (One selling and one listing) then the buyer's agent has a greater responsibility for research and discovery on all factors. In others words, the buyer's agent has the responsibility to get answers for the buyer.

This is one reason most agents like to handle both the selling and listing of a home because it can avoid misunderstandings and the agent knows exactly how everything was received and presented.

A buyer can request a title search at the front end of a transaction, but there may be a charge for this service. But this is probably not necessary unless the buyer is concerned about something unexpected that may abort the sale at a later date in the close-of-escrow period.

Call 474-5251, ext. 147, to reach Roundup's What's Up? line. Leave your question on the answering machine and we'll try to find the answer.

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