The Virginia residential real estate purchase agreement (“residential real estate purchase contract”) is a contract that is used when placing an offer to purchase real estate. The agreement initiates the negotiation process by indicating the buyer’s offer to acquire the property.
Included in the offer will be the purchase price and additional conditions established by the buyer. The seller will have an assigned period in which they can respond to the offer before it expires. During this time, the seller may alter the terms by submitting to the buyer a counteroffer. Should both parties agree on the purchase conditions, they can sign the document to create a legally binding commitment to transfer ownership of the property.
Do Sellers in Virginia Have to Disclose Property Defects?
Virginia does not require real estate sellers to disclose any material defects. Certain states do not require the seller to disclose all defects (caveat emptor), meaning the buyer assumes the responsibility to conduct a real property inspection to seek out any potential defects with the property. In those states, if a buyer fails to conduct a proper examination, they may not have a legal alternative to reverse the real estate transaction.
Required Seller Disclosures in Virginia
Although with any material defects with the property, sellers in Virginia will also need to provide the following:
- Residential Property Disclosure Statement. This form clarifies that the burden of due diligence to inspect the property lies on the buyer of the property. It also describes other possible disclosures that may be needed for certain special circumstances.
- Lead-Based Paint Disclosure. Any home that was constructed earlier than 1978 must come with a disclosure upon the transfer of the property that includes any data concerning the presence of lead on the premises as well as educational materials that communicate the risks involved with coming into contact with the harmful substance.
- Virginia Disclosure Statement for Certain New Dwellings. Newly constructed residential buildings will not be required to complete a Residential Disclosure Statement Acknowledgment Form. In place of that particular form, there is an alternate for newly built homes that serves to inform the buyer of any defects to the structure.
- Military Airbase in the Proximity of the Dwelling. Domiciles that are positioned within a potential accident or noise zone must be indicated s such on the provided form.
- Current Building Code or Zoning Ordinance Violation. It is mandated by the state of Virginia that the owner must divulge any knowledge of an infraction to the local building or zoning code for the property being sold. Should there be qualifying information regarding a violation, the facts about the matter must be included in the provided form for the potential buyerm
- Manufacture of Methamphetamine on Premises. If a dwelling has been previously exploited for Methamphetamine production, and has not been cleaned in a manner adhering to the state guidelines, it must be disclosed to a purchaser.