There is No Home Buyer Lemon Law

By
Real Estate Agent with Integrity Real Estate Group

lemonsIn Virginia there is a Lemon Law on the books to protect consumers who purchase a car which is later found to have serious defects.  However, there is no such law when it comes to protecting buyers when they are purchasing a home.  When the market was hot in Northern Virginia many buyers had to pass up the opportunity to have a thorough home inspection in order to "win" their first choice home. 

For some of those buyers the movie the Money Pit went from being an amusing comedy to a real life nightmare. 

Recently I wrote a contract on a "bargain" home and at first blush the house looked to be outdated but in decent shape.  Fortunately the buyers had taken my professional advice and included a home inspection contingency in their contract.  They hired a licensed experienced home inspector to give the house a complete inspection from top to bottom.  Everything started out fine.  However as the inspector made his way through the house he found serious structural issues and significant termite damage.  Since we had the home inspection contingency in the contract the buyers were able to walk away from the house and though they were disappointed they were also very thankful that they wouldn't be stuck with this lemon of a house.

Va Home Inspection Contingency

This is just one example of why buyers need to make sure they have their own representation when they are ready to purchase a home.  A buyer's agent is going to make sure all of the options available to protect you in your home purchase are in place.  So remember there is no Home Buyer Lemon Law.  If you don't have your own representation you could find yourself trying to figure out how to make lemonade from a very sour lemon!

Additional Information for Northern Virginia Buyers:

The Ah-Ha Moment
The Value of Talking to the Neighbors
To Inspect or Not-That is the Question

 

©Copyright 2007. All rights reserved. Northern Virginia Real Estate , Cindy Jones, Associate Broker, RE/MAX Allegiance
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If you are interested in learning more about the Northern Virginia Real Estate market including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties give Cindy Jones and Integrity Real Estate Group a call at 703-346-2213.

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Integrity Real Estate Group
 
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Rainmaker
570,044
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos
Hi Cindy,  The inspection contingency is, or should be, an effective alternative to the " Lemon " laws.  Our contracts also provide a dollar amount which the seller can agree to in order to help the deal stay together.
Nov 18, 2007 05:44 PM #1
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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
Bill-In Va the negotating for repairs happens after the home inspection.  It can get complicated and this is why I recommend my sellers get a pre-listing home inspection to try and deal with any potential issues upfront.
Nov 18, 2007 06:26 PM #2
Rainmaker
298,489
Heather the Realtor Orlando, Lake Mary
LemonTree Realty - Orlando, FL
First Time Home Buyers, Bank Owned Homes
The inspection clause you have is similar to our FAR BAR contracts and one reason why I dont like them, we know them as the weasel clause, it allows a buyer to get out for any reason including cold feet. In our FAR contracts it allows them out for certain things which I think is better for both the buyer and seller in the situation Your Orlando & Lake Mary Real Estate Expert Heather Joubran 
Nov 18, 2007 06:47 PM #3
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Patricia Kennedy
Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. - Washington, DC
For Your Home in the Capital

Cindy, Virginia makes me a little bit crazy as they are the only jurisdiction that makes disclosure at the seller's option, and I may be the only agent I know who makes my Virginia sellers fill them out.  I've had a couple of instances where the sellers and their agents were freakin' sneaks!  Yikes!  And I'm talking known defects!  Double yikes!  

So this is today's rant.  I've heard the legislature is thinking about changing it - good idea if you ask me! 

Nov 18, 2007 07:10 PM #4
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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
Heather-in this case the home had such serious defects that only a contractor would be the right one to buy the house.  Usually the buyer and seller can come to an agreement on repairs or credit.  Our "cold feet" clause is more likely the HOA and Condo Docs.
Nov 18, 2007 08:00 PM #5
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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
Patricia-yes I think next year we will see the Disclaimer disappear in VA.  It is going to put sellers to the test and yes there will always be someone who will "lie" about defects. 
Nov 18, 2007 08:02 PM #6
Rainmaker
157,375
Stella Barbour
NoVa Brokers LLC - Vienna, VA
Principal Broker, Serving Virginia and Maryland
Cindy - Good post.  I always try my best to get people to get a home inspection.  It is such a small price for a huge investment.
Nov 19, 2007 08:33 AM #7
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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
Stella-in this market a home inspection contingency should be a no brainer.  The only homes you can't make it happen is a "true" foreclosure. 
Nov 19, 2007 09:20 AM #8
Rainer
28,843
Martinelli Caputi
Martinelli Caputi & Associates, Ltd. - Warwick, RI
& Associates, Ltd.
Cindy - I'm with you - A buyer needs to be able to walk away from a house that is on the brink of collapsing.  Great post!  :) 
Nov 19, 2007 02:24 PM #9
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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
Richard-this one had more problems than the acutally "AS IS" tear down that I sold two years ago.  Having the ability to protect buyers is important and if you ask my daugher in the UK about buying a home in a country that doesn't have the protections we do you will get an earfull.
Nov 19, 2007 04:50 PM #10
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Cindy Jones

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