Needed To Purchase Real Estate
The "Purchase Agreement" is what is
normally referred to as the "real estate
contract". It's usually a one to five page
document. When a purchaser signs "the Purchase
Agreement", they are signing an offer to
purchase their new home. When the offer is presented
to the seller, the seller can either "accept"
the purchaser's proposal or "counter offer"
back to the purchaser with a counter proposal.
When both parties to the transaction agree on
all terms, this is called "a meeting of
the minds". This is when the offer or counter
offer becomes a "contract".
The "Lead Based Paint Addendum" is
required on any home built prior to 1978. This
form puts the purchaser on notice that there
is/may be lead based paint in the home. Lead
was placed in the paint of all houses built
prior to 1978 to help eliminate mold and mildew
that would attack the paint. We all grew up
in lead based paint homes and survived.
The federal government's concern is to make
sure children do not ingest lead based paint
and end up with physical impairments. The way
most small children are exposed to the paint
is by placing their hands on a window sill and
then putting the fine black powdery substance
in their mouth. The purchasers have the right
to conduct a search or assessment of the property
for lead based paint. In addition the purchasers
have the right to waive the assessment of the
property. Probably 99.9% of the time the purchasers
waive the right to inspect the home for lead.
If the home was built before 1978, obviously
it's going to be there.
Property Disclaimer/Disclosure Statement
The Virginia Residential Property Disclosure
Act requires the owner of certain residential
real property is to be sold or leased with an
option to buy, to furnish to the purchaser either
(a) a RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY DISCLAIMER STATEMENT
stating that the owner makes no representations
or warranties as to the condition of the property,
except as otherwise provided in the purchase
contract, or (b) a RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY DISCLOSURE
STATEMENT disclosing defects in the condition
of the property actually known by the owner.
Certain transfers of residential property are
excluded from this requirement.
Basically, the disclaimer statement says the
seller is making no representations to the condition
of the property, but the purchaser can go ahead
and have the house inspected by a home inspector
to protect himself from unknown problems.
The disclosure statement is a more detailed
history of the house. It goes into detail about
problems that have been incurred with the home
and when the problem(s) was corrected. To me,
a disclosure statement is preferable over a
disclaimer statement because at least the seller
attempts to tell the purchaser where problems
have been in the past.
Sadly, most attorneys advise their clients to
sign the disclaimer statement. The reason they
give is to limit the seller's vulnerability
to a lawsuit in the event the seller either
intentionally forgot or innocently overlooked
to make note of a problem(s) that had been encountered.