Join Club

Ask Will: Buyer Beware When Signing a ‘Residential Property Disclosure Statement’

Ask Will banner

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A  column is written by Will Wiard, Arlington-based real estate broker, voted one of Washington’s Best Realtors of 2015 by Washingtonian. Please submit your questions via email.

Q: What does the Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Statement do and whom does it protect?

A: If you’re selling a home in Virginia you are required to provide a signed “Residential Property Disclosure Statement” to the buyer. As noted in an online attachment to the form (not written out in the disclosure itself), the statement notifies the buyer that the seller is not in a position to disclose or speak to any of the conditions of the property. By doing this, the statement essentially puts the responsibility of exploring and understanding the condition of the property in the buyer’s hands.

The signed disclosure form must be provided to the buyer before any contract terms can take effect. If the seller does not provide the statement, the buyer may void the contract.

Buyers Beware

Virginia is referred to as a “buyer beware” state, which means a seller does not have to proactively disclose any problems with the home. This leaves it up to the buyer to find any issues during inspection. Clearly, as a buyer, it’s important to do your due diligence. When choosing your agent, ask him or her about prior experience with qualified home inspectors in the area. A good agent can connect you with a seasoned inspector and offer an extra eye for anything that may cause immediate concern (even prior to inspection).

As a side note, a seller cannot knowingly lie or attempt to hide or cover up a problem. For example, covering a crack in the foundation with rug or putting a large piece of furniture in front of a hole in the wall. In many cases, if a seller does this they could be subject to legal action even after the property closes and deed is transferred.

Some Exceptions

There are some exceptions where the disclosure statement typically is not required. For example, it may not apply in sales between co-owners or between relatives, or in certain tax, bankruptcy, trust and foreclosure sales.

Also, a builder selling new construction is not required to complete the disclosure form. However, the builder/seller does need to provide a written disclosure of any known defects that are in violation of the building code.

Thank you for this week’s question. Please keep them coming to [email protected]. This is also a great place to reach me for anyone looking to buy or sell a home in the Arlington area.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

Recent Stories

Morning Notes

National Win for Local Girls — “Congratulations to the 10U Virginia Hurricanes for winning the organization’s FIFTH NFL Flag Football National Championship this weekend at the NFL Pro Bowl in…

A 3 BD/2 BA home with an oversized kitchen, renovated bathrooms and wrap around deck is included in Just Reduced.

Good Tuesday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 21948 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…

(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) After lockdowns, a fatal, apparent drug overdose, a racist threat of gun violence, and additional threats and gun-related incidents — all within the past few weeks…

Let the Arlingtones surprise your friend or sweetie this Valentine’s Day with a barbershop quartet singing love songs in four part a cappella harmony! Choose from a small selection of songs in our repertoire to surprise your special someone.

$75 for two songs delivered to a place of your choice by a live, in-person quartet. Includes a classy tin of chocolates, fresh red rose and personalized card. Small mileage surcharge for >5 miles outside Arlington VA.

$30 Facetime/Skype valentine- two songs delivered ‘live’ via Facetime or Skype at an agreed-on time.

$20 virtual valentine- two pre-recorded quartet songs delivered via email with a personalized message.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Have you noticed a striking sculpture at Monroe Street and Wilson Boulevard? It’s the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington’s newest installation, Make Your Mark, by Arlington artist, Adam Henry. This sculpture celebrates MoCA Arlington’s rebranding and brings the museum’s energy outdoors.

On February 11, come inside when the museum’s galleries reopen with two new exhibitions: Rebecca Rivas Rogers: Grey View and Crisis of Image.

Grey View, in the Wyatt Resident Artist Gallery, is an homage to “gray” and a snapshot of the artist’s process. Consisting of photographs, collage, and a site-specific installation, this show is an outgrowth of Rivas-Rogers’ visual investigations into places you see on your way to somewhere else.

On the main level, Crisis of Image features artists who seek equity in today’s saturated visual world by developing new methods related to the production of images.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Valentine Pop-Up at George Mason University

Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village

Standup Comedy Showcase Starring Matt Ruby (Comedy Central)

Dead Horse Comedy Productions brings together top comedians from the DMV and beyond for a live standup comedy show!

Matt Ruby, Headliner

Matt Ruby is a comedian, writer, and filmmaker from New York City. His comedy has been filmed by

×

Subscribe to our mailing list