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Virginia Real Estate Contract

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What is a Virginia Real Estate Contract?

A Virginia real estate contract is a contract that is used by potential home buyers to make an offer on a property that is for sale. Once the seller receives the offer, they can either counter offer or accept. If the offer is accepted, the real estate contract will dictate how the rest of the real estate transaction will be handled.

Real estate contracts include pertinent information about the property and the sale. It is common to find the following information in a Virginia real estate contract:

  1. Names and addresses of the buyer and the seller
  2. Address and legal description of the property for sale
  3. Agreed upon purchase price
  4. Earnest money deposit
  5. Financing terms
  6. Contingencies
  7. Disclosures
  8. Closing date and costs

A real estate contract becomes legally binding and enforceable once it is signed by both parties.

Common Virginia Real Estate Contracts

Real estate contracts are most commonly used for the purchase and sale of residential real estate like a single family home. In Virginia, there are two contract templates used to facilitate these sales.

  1. Northern Virginia Association of Realtors contract. A contract template created by the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NVAR) and for exclusive use by NVAR members only.
  2. Virginia Association of Realtors contract. This contract form is used to buy or sell residential real estate. It can only be used by members who are in good standing with Virginia Realtors.

4 Essential Elements of a Virginia Real Estate Contract

Under the Code of Virginia, all real estate contracts must be in writing. In addition, for a contract to be legally binding and valid, it must contain the following 4 essential elements:

  1. Offer made by the buyer
  2. Acceptance of the offer by the seller
  3. Consideration
  4. The legal capacity of both parties to enter the contract

What Has to Be Disclosed When Selling a House in Virginia?

Disclosures in real estate are conditions or defects in the property that the seller must inform the buyer about before the sale can move forward. Most states require sellers to provide a disclosure statement as part of the real estate contract process. Some states follow the “buyer beware” principle and do not require seller disclosures. In these states, the buyer must do their due diligence to find issues with the property.

Virginia is technically a “buyer beware” state, however the Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act (VRPDA) requires the seller to provide disclosures for certain issues. While Virginia sellers do not have to disclose every issue and defect, the VRPDA requires the following disclosures in a real estate contract:

  • Building code or zoning ordinance violations
  • Flood risk information
  • Lead-based paint disclosure
  • Methamphetamine disclosure
  • Military air installation disclosure
  • Privately owned stormwater manage facility disclosure
  • Repetitive risk-loss disclosure statement

For any other property conditions or defects, for example a cracked foundation, it is the responsibility of the buyer to conduct adequate home inspections to find the issues.

Can a Buyer Back Out of a Real Estate Contract in Virginia?

Under certain circumstances, yes a buyer can back out of a real estate contract in Virginia. Under the Virginia Code cancellation of sale laws, a buyer has three business days to back out of a real estate contract for any reason. After three days, the buyer will need a valid reason to back out of the contract like an unmet contingency or a termination clause.

Contingencies are conditions within the contract that must be met for the sale to move forward. Common contingencies include the buyer securing financing or the house passing a home inspection. If these contingencies are not met, a buyer can usually back out of the contract without legal or financial repercussions.

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Meet some of our Virginia Real Estate Contract Lawyers

Pia M. on ContractsCounsel
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5.0 (1)
Member Since:
August 4, 2023

Pia M.

Owner
Free Consultation
Alexandria, Virginia
17 Yrs Experience
Licensed in VA
William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law

Pia is returning to private practice after spending the majority of the last five years in public service as a prosecutor, handling major and violent crimes for the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Arlington County and the City of Falls Church. She is committed to serving the community through effective legal advocacy, having spent her early career doing indigent defense work and family law. Pia attended Northwestern University where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. After finishing college, Pia returned home to Virginia and obtained her Juris Doctorate from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary in 2007.

Jason H. on ContractsCounsel
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4.9 (13)
Member Since:
March 5, 2023

Jason H.

Managing Attorney
Free Consultation
Dallas, Texas
23 Yrs Experience
Licensed in TX, VA
Regent University, School of Law

Jason has been providing legal insight and business expertise since 2001. He is admitted to both the Virginia Bar and the Texas State Bar, and also proud of his membership to the Fellowship of Ministers and Churches. Having served many people, companies and organizations with legal and business needs, his peers and clients know him to be a high-performing and skilled attorney who genuinely cares about his clients. In addition to being a trusted legal advisor, he is a keen business advisor for executive leadership and senior leadership teams on corporate legal and regulatory matters. His personal mission is to take a genuine interest in his clients, and serve as a primary resource to them.

Christopher M. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
May 22, 2023

Christopher M.

Owner of The McKenna Law Group, LLC
Free Consultation
Frederick, Maryland
21 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MD, VA
University of Richmond, TC Williams School of Law

Skilled and experienced business attorney with vast experience in a wide array of commercial contracts. Strong emphasis on the lodging and hospitality practice field, including real estate acquisition and disposition, management agreements, franchise agreements, design & construction contracting and finance.

Meagan K. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
May 23, 2023

Meagan K.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Charlottesville, Virginia
10 Yrs Experience
Licensed in VA
George Mason University School of Law

Meagan Kirchner has nearly a decade of experience in Immigration law. She has significant experience working on H-2B immigration matters. Her practice also focuses on business immigration, particularly representing corporate clients pursuing H, E3, TN, O, and L nonimmigrant classifications, as well as lawful permanent residence (EB-1A, NIW, EB-1C). Meagan has represented clients in a variety of industries including agriculture, hospitality, healthcare, IT, engineering, and finance. Meagan has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from George Mason University and a Juris Doctor degree from the George Mason University School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in Virginia and is also a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

Christi H. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
July 8, 2023

Christi H.

attorney
Free Consultation
Richmond, VA
19 Yrs Experience
Licensed in VA
Regent Law School

I have been practicing law for 18 years. I have worked in a mid-size firm environment where I was named a partner in 2014. In 2016, I left to start my own practice and work part-time. I handle most all corporate and transactional work and serve has outside general counsel for a number of companies

John W. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
July 23, 2023

John W.

Strategic Business Partner
Free Consultation
Brookline, MA
38 Yrs Experience
Licensed in DC, MD, VA
Georgetown University Law Center

I am a business lawyer with 30+ years of experience, with a specialization in the life sciences industry. I have been general counsel at 5 different companies - both large and growing, as well as small and emerging. I have built legal teams and have extensive experience with Boards of Directors.

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Real Estate

Real Estate Contract

Illinois

Asked on Mar 27, 2022

what is better to buy land or rent for construction in US?

we are a construction company from Ukraine, we are planning to build a cottage town in the USA

T. Phillip B.

Answered Apr 5, 2022

I suppose it doesn't matter if you have the lease giving you permission and the lease is long enough to justify the building expense when you won't own it. But I'd buy the land so you could eventually sell the property with the building on it.

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Georgia

Asked on Mar 18, 2022

WHAT ARE YOUR FEES TO PERFORM QUIT CLAIM DEED COMPLETE BUTTS COUNTY GEORGIA 30233

SON AND EX

Meghan T.

Answered Mar 29, 2022

Hi. The cost for my practice to prepare a Quit Claim Deed is $99. The Cost for me to handle the closing is $250 plus recording fees. These costs apply for any county within the state of Georgia. Let me know if you have any more questions. Meghan K Thomas

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Real Estate

Real Estate Contract

Georgia

Asked on Mar 24, 2022

How many years does a quick claim become effective?s

Number of years for quick claim to be effect ive

Meghan T.

Answered Mar 29, 2022

A quit claim deed is effective upon execution so long as the deed is dated as of the date of signature. Execution means that the deed is signed, in front of a witness and a notary. The witness and notary must also sign the deed. Finally, the deed must be recorded. This means that the deed must be submitted to the Superior Court recording office of the County in which the property sits. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks, Meghan K Thomas

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Real Estate

Real Estate Contract

New York

Asked on Dec 26, 2021

Can you purchase or refinance under a land contract?

I’ve been living here for 2 years. Currently have been working with my credit union and they are having a terrible time trying to understand the legalities of my land contract first off, and secondly they just don’t seem to know what they are doing. It’s been over 8 months, 4 different loan officers and I’m once again waiting for someone else to help finish this thing out. It’s only $60,000 with a $120,000 appraisal. So, as of now I am stuck paying 2.5x monthly under this land contract than I was promised would be an easy mortgage process. So any guidance in the right direction would be very helpful. It’s a New York home. 20 yr fixed, no balloon, with a (brace yourself) 12% apr. HELP ME PLEASE! One month I’m being told to authorize a credit check for a first time homebuyer grant method of mortgaging this property. The next it’s authorizing it for a refinance. I do have earnest money deposits for over $3,000 and another $3000 paid towards principal under this land contract also.

Jane C.

Answered Jan 11, 2022

I suggest you speak with a New York real estate attorney. That attorney needs to review the documents related to the transaction.

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