Is Home Sellers Responsible for Repairs After Closing?

Real Estate Agent with Samson Properties VA0225077251

ID-100377114As we know, buying a home is an emotional and one of the largest financing investment for an individual. Buyers fall in love and goes through the home inspection, tedious loan process and finally closing on their dream home.

After living there for a short period home buyers start discovering issues. It could be a leaky roof to a drainage issue or a plumbing leak or an electrical miswiring. Who is responsible? 

Can the buyers go after sellers?

Is the seller obligated to work with purchasers to repair/compensate for damages?

Are the home buyers on their own?

Virginia Seller Disclosure Requirements:

Go back and read up the Residential Property Disclosure Form that you had signed when you purchased the home. The first statement of the document reads as below:

"The first item on this disclosure form states that the seller “makes no representations or warranties about the condition of the property or its attachments.” Essentially this means the seller is not responsible for informing the buyer about anything wrong with the property, and it is up to the buyer to find any problems prior to closing."

Followed by the link to DPOR site with details

Essentially it is informing Buyer Beware!!

So after moving if the buyers find issues that could have been discovered under home inspection or other inspections the sellers is not liable. If the buyers have waived their rights to home inspection the same theory applies.

However, if you as a consumer/purchaser can prove the sellers knew about the problems and the concealed you are definitely built a case.  Proving can be challenging!

As a home buyer in the Northern Virginia area here are 10 things you can do :

1. When purchasing a home do not waive your right for a home inspection.

2. If you find latent defects that were notified in the home inspection, hire a specialist to further help you investigate the issues.

Example, if home inspector mentions roof needs repair or there is significant damages hire your own roof inspector to inspect and provide you with a report.

3. Ask recommendations from your Realtor, friends and family for a professional home inspector.

4. If you are not satisfied with the home inspector hire another inspector and request sellers to extend the contingency timeline.

5. If you are buying a home that was a flip (investor buying, fixing and reselling), ask for permits! If the permits were not issued call the county and speak with them about the local jurisdiction rules and permit requirement.

6. If you are buying home with extensive upgrades done, ask the home sellers for invoices or warranty or contractor they hired for remodeling.

7. If you are buying a new construction the builder home warranty will cover you. However, you should still hire home inspector at various stages of home building.

8. Ask home sellers for a home warranty. That may help you cover major repairs with a small deductible fee.

9. Don't skip on a walk thru prior to closing.

10. If any repairs sellers have agreed to correct you can rehire your home inspector to check on the work. Ask for receipts for all the work completed.


Bottom line: Buyers beware!!!  Home sellers, their Realtor or your Realtor are not obligated but some may be helpful to guide and direct you for a solution.


Posted by

Associate Broker

NVAR, Life Time Top Producer
NVAR,Multiple Million Dollar Sales Club Member
Samson Properties
Cell - 703-625-4949
Email -
Residential real estate agent serving Northern Virginia in Fairfax & Loudoun county over a decade and almost $100+M in sales volume experience. 


Comments (6)

Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

In a buyer beware state, it is important that Buyers not only hire the best home inspector they can, they also have any additional inspections that may be necessary to protect their interests. 

Jun 26, 2016 12:39 AM
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Ritu, I can't STRESS the importance of a Home Inspection for any buyer in any state. That Seller's Disclosure Notice is the major reason for many of the lawsuits in my area. Buyers do have to prove that the seller's knew about the defect to win their case and make the sellers compensate them for those defects found after moving in. That's a good list of things buyers need to do.

Jun 26, 2016 12:44 AM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Ritu Desai Thnks for the very good helpful report on the home sellers responsibility for repairs after closing.

Jun 26, 2016 02:54 AM
Jeremy K. Frost
Keller Williams Realty - Dripping Springs, TX
Associate Broker, ABR,CNE,CRS,ePro,PSA,RENE,SRS

This is a fantastic post. Thank you for sharing and best of luck!

Jun 26, 2016 03:12 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Hi Ritu Desai 

This is an excellent post highlighting the need for Buyers to do their due diligence and the risks they take if they fail to do so!

We wish you great success with your blog posts and networking with other members of Active Rain!

We clicked the “Follow” button on your profile so that we will be alerted to your future blog posts and can read and comment on them, and we invite you to "follow us" - should you be interested - by clicking the “Follow” button you see underneath our photo to the left. There is no requirement or obligation for you to do so, but we would be honored if you choose to do so!

Jul 17, 2016 01:05 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

This is why a Buyer Agent should attempt to leave a POST Settlement Solution -

A 1 Yr. Home Warranty

Oct 15, 2016 11:01 AM