Most of the neighborhood in Northern Virginia market belongs to a Home Owner Association. When selling your home you will need to provide the buyer HOA disclosure package. If your HOA sites any violations what do you do as a purchaser and sellers.
Is A Seller in Northern Virginia Obligated to Correct HOA Violations?
Let's say you are buying a property in Northern Virginia. Your contract states that you are buying the property in AS-IS condition. Whether you have chosen the date of the contract, the date of the home inspection or some other point in time, you are buying the home AS-IS as of SOME POINT in time. AS-IS is a regular condition of all real estate sales contracts in Northern Virginia these days.
You have negotiated repairs with the Seller after having your home inspection. Yes, you can still do this even though the home is being sold AS-IS if the Seller is willing to negotiate this term with you. And why would they? Well, you do have the nuclear option in the home inspection contingency which means you could simply send notice voiding the contract and delivering the home inspection report. So Sellers are not as unreasonable as you may think when it comes to home inspection items.
But what about HOA violations? If you are buying a home AS-IS, is the Seller obligated to correct these?
The language that compels the Seller to correct HOA violations is not where you may think. It is found in Paragraph 16 entitled TITLE. The last sentence of this paragraph clarified exactly what is expected of the Seller. It reads:
Seller will pay any special assessments and will comply with all orders or notices of violations of any county or local authority, condominium unit owners' association, homeowners' or property owners' association or actions in any court on account thereof, against or affecting the Property on the Settlement Date.
The only way a Seller is alleviated from the responsibility to correct HOA violations is if there is something in writing superseding this paragraph, like including the AS-IS clause in the Northern Virginia Contingencies/Clauses. There a check box item under AS-IS PROPERTY CONDITION that would need to be checked reading:
All requirements for Seller to comply with Property Owner's or Condominium Owner's Associations notices of violations related to the physical condition of the Property are deleted.
If that is not included in the contract, or some other handwritten term overriding the language in Paragraph 16, the Seller must correct noted HOA violations.
Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker- Licensed in Virginia, GRI, SFR, Northern Virginia Short Sale Specialist. Affiliated with Long & Foster, 7526 Limestone Drive, Gainesville, VA 20155. To contact Chris Ann, call 703-402-0037 or email chrisann@LNF.com. Or you can visit her website: www.nvarealestate.net.
Header is a combination of photos from the Bristow, Gainesville & Haymarket areas, taken by Chris Ann Cleland.