Virginia Real Estate Law Questions & Answers

Q: Is a lot survey required for the purchase/sale of a single family residence?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on Jul 23, 2014

Answered on Jul 24, 2014

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Mr. Andrew T. Bodoh Esq.'s answer
Generally it is not required, but it is often recommended.

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Q: i was in contract to sell my home when it burned down. Can the buyers sue me to rebuild ??

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on Jul 24, 2014

Answered on Jul 24, 2014

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Mr. Andrew T. Bodoh Esq.'s answer
That depends largely on what the contract ways to cover this situation.

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Q: Does Virginia law require a seller to notify a potential buyer about any liens? or prior to a sale but before closing?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on Jul 17, 2014

Answered on Jul 22, 2014

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Mr. Andrew T. Bodoh Esq.'s answer
Generally, looking for recorded liens is the purpose of the title search.

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Q: Does death of one purchaser out of two on a new home sales contract negate the contract prior to closing?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on Jun 23, 2014

Answered on Jun 24, 2014

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Charles Snyderman's answer
Assuming the contract says that it's binding on the parties and their heirs, the answer is "no." However, in most cases, the purchase is being financed with a mortgage, and the mortgage lender will not lend the funds if one of the purchasers dies before the closing.

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Q: Can one sell land (no home) without an attorney or title company if buyer agrees...?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on May 16, 2014

Answered on May 17, 2014

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Charles Snyderman's answer
The answer is yes, but why would an informed buyer ever agree to do this. They will have 100% equity in the property. They won't have title insurance. It would be very foolish.

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Q: Can a buyers agent use a verbal acceptance for one buyer, for another that had already refused the counter we gave them

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on Jan 24, 2013

Answered on Feb 2, 2013

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Charles Snyderman's answer
Let me make sure I understand your question. It's confusing the way you asked it. Please understand that while you know all the facts, any attorney who reads your question only knows what you wrote. It appears that you are saying that you are the seller, and there are 2 potential buyers. Buyer No. 1 made an offer, and you made a counter offer which Buyer No. 1 rejected. That resulted in no binding offer and acceptance between you and Buyer No. 1. Buyer No. 2 also made an offer to buy your...

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Q: I bought my home 2 years and 3 months ago, seller hid issues in home. Can I still sue? Please help!

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on Feb 9, 2011

Answered on Feb 10, 2011

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Paul A. Prados' answer
Often for residential home sales there are provisions in your sales contract providing that the sale is "as-is" or that there are no warranties regarding the condition of the property.

You could try a lawsuit, but your chances are heavily limited by your contract terms. Find a real estate litigation attorney in your area, and bring your sales contract (including all addenda), the deed, and all closing documents to your consultation.

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Q: I share 11 acres and a home with 8 siblings. Can 1 force a sale of everything even if we offer to divide out a fair shar

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on Feb 10, 2011

Answered on Feb 10, 2011

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Paul A. Prados' answer
Your question appears to be cut off and is also a little confusing as written. If you are asking can you force a sale of jointly owned property the answer is generally yes. The court will prefer to subdivide the land if each person can be given an equally valuable proportion (as with farm acreage). When it is land with a single family home, the property will almost always be sold. The nine siblings may, at any point come to a written agreement to buy out one or more siblings. This is often...

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Q: What are the conditions needed for extra time to claim an elective share in an estate case?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on Feb 10, 2011

Answered on Feb 10, 2011

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Paul A. Prados' answer
The time frame for claiming an elective share is statutory, it can not be changed. If the time has completely passed there may be other rights for you to try to enforce. Find a trust and estates litigator quickly to prevent other rights from expiring.

If you are in northern Virginia feel free to call my office to set up a consult.

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Q: Impact of a counter-offer on the original offer for Real Estate Purchase

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on Feb 7, 2011

Answered on Feb 7, 2011

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Paul A. Prados' answer
Generally speaking an original offer is rejected by the making of a counter-offer. There can be exceptions depending on the language of the original offer. As this is likely a large expensive life changing transaction, it may be time for you to consult an attorney for a formal opinion based on a review of the documents.

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Q: The co owner of my house moved out of state 2 years ago....leaving her things. Can I get rid of it?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on Jan 27, 2011

Answered on Jan 28, 2011

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Paul A. Prados' answer
If she is actually on the title to the house she has a right to occupy it, unless there is a contract or court order saying otherwise. Her tangible property continues to belong to her, and if you throw it away, you could be potentially sued by her, or maybe even prosecuted. Try to convince her to move her things out, if she doesn't then put them in a safe place within the house out of your way.

If this is related to a domestic relations matter you need to seek legal advice, as there is...

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Q: I asked this question under Estate Planning/Probate but maybe should have chosen Real Estate Law. I am executrix for my

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on Jan 24, 2011

Answered on Jan 26, 2011

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Paul A. Prados' answer
You should hire an attorney regarding the timing of distribution. Generally you can distribute, as long as you hold a certain amount in reserve. This should be an amount worked out between you and your attorney perhaps with the assistance of an accountant. The advice you have received is not bad advice, just conservative advice.

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Q: Are VA Homeowners Associations' Boards of Directors required to establish and maintain Covenant Committees?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on Jan 24, 2011

Answered on Jan 26, 2011

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Paul A. Prados' answer
No, HOA's are not required to have covenant committees under Virginia law. Your actual covenants or by-laws my require a covenant committee or similar committee. Generally the Board may may form whatever committees it wants as long as it is not prohibited by the governing documents.

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Q: Who has authority to place a for sale sign in the yard of a residence?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on Jan 18, 2011

Answered on Jan 19, 2011

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Paul A. Prados' answer
The owner of the property in question or the real estate agent depending on the terms of the listing agreement. The owner can delegate that authority to an agent such as a tenant. An unrelated third party would not have such authority.

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Q: I own a parcel of land the next door owner wants to use my land for drainge do i have to give him the right to drain

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on Nov 9, 2010

Answered on Jan 16, 2011

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Paul A. Prados' answer
The answer is likely no. There are some limited circumstances where you owed a duty to your neighbor to provide drainage. But if this is an increase from previous drainage the answer is likely no.

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Q: What is the difference in personal property, HOA property and a lot owners property, as far as rules apllied by HOA

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on Dec 9, 2010

Answered on Jan 16, 2011

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Paul A. Prados' answer
It would not be possible to know for sure without reviewing the documents. Generally "lot owners" is your real estate for which the HOA has architectural control. "Personal Property" most likely refers to tangible property such as a car which might be parked in a common area. "Common Grounds" usually refers to property owned by the HOA and maintained for the benefit of all property owners.

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Q: When our mother passed away she left me and my two brothers a home which had an existing mortgage. In the settlement of

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on Jan 9, 2011

Answered on Jan 16, 2011

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Paul A. Prados' answer
If your name is on the mortgage a quitclaim deed will not take you off the mortgage. The existing lender needs to voluntarily let you out (unlikely), or the property needs to be refinanced. To get your name off the deed only, a quitclaim deed will suffice.

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Q: Can I sue my Mortgage Company for negligence if they continue to credit my pymts to the wrong acct and report me as late

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on Nov 9, 2010

Answered on Jan 16, 2011

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Paul A. Prados' answer
Negligence is not the basis for a lawsuit in this instance. There are federal statutes that protect consumers in situations where a third party keeps reports to the crediting agencies in an improper way. You need a Plaintiff's attorney skilled in this specialized area of law. Check with a local, or the Virginia State Bar lawyer referral service to find a qualified attorney.

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Q: What is the cheapest way to loan my son the money to pay off his mortgage, but protect myself in case he defaults?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on Jan 15, 2011

Answered on Jan 16, 2011

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Paul A. Prados' answer
It is a matter of the degree of protection you are seeking. The best position you can be in is that of a secured creditor. You could obtain and record a deed of trust, or if you do not wish to force a sale upon default, but be protected in case somebody else forces him to sell you could merely record a lien on the property. There are many ways to structure a deal, but none are going to be cheap. Some will be less expensive than others. If you go without an attorney it will definitely be...

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Q: Under the Virginia Condominium Act, can an association place a lien for assessments that came due over 90 days before?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on Nov 8, 2010

Answered on Jan 11, 2011

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Paul A. Prados' answer
Generally no under Va. Code 55-79.84.

To clarify. There is an unperfected lien on the property for all unpaid assessments. This unperfected lien may still be enforceable if the property is sold. The answer above applies to recorded (and perfected) liens only.

The Assoc will generally sue at a later date for past due amounts. There is no 90 day restriction in that instance. If the assoc wins, the judgment serves almost the exact same purpose as a recorded lien for assessments...

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