HOA Docs Should Not Be Treated as a Get Out Of Jail Free Card
I loved Monopoly
as as kid, always coveting the car playing piece. My brother always wanted to be the car as well, so you can imagine the battles we had even before the game started! Spending my hard earned money on prime real estate was always a thrill, yet I dreaded the "go straight to jail" card, unless of course I had collected the "get out of jail free" card!
Although Monopoly is just a fictional game, I often find the same "game" being played in the Richmond VA real estate
market. We have an abundant amount of communities with HOA's (Home Owner Associations) and all have their own set of neighborhood guidelines. In Virginia, the seller is to provide an updated packet of the rules & regulations to the buyer once under contract and the buyer has three days to review them. If the purchaser discovers something in the documents they find unsatisfactory, they may terminate the sales contract by written notice within the 3 day time period.
Far too often I find buyers using the HOA docs as a get out of jail free card. They use this contingency as a safety net in case they get cold feet or develop the jitters. Although it is legal, I don't agree with this way of thinking. In my opinion, when you make an offer to purchase a property, the buyer should be absolutely certain they are ready to proceed with the process. I do understand, for example, if the buyer has a boat that they intend to store on their driveway only to find out that is prohibited by the HOA. In this instance, the HOA
rules could cause a hardship or an additional financial burden on the buyer and I fully support them asking for a release of contract. However, HOA docs should not be treated as a get out of jail free card simply because one changed their mind.
Is it legal to cancel a contract based on HOA documents as long as it is within the three day review period? Yes. However, I am a firm believer in just because you can doesn't mean you should and might doesn't make right.
Real estate professionals work immensely hard to help buyers obtain the home of their dreams. Once a buyer is under contract, it isn't just the car on the board anymore. In addition to your real estate agent (car), you now have the listing agent (dog), the seller (thimble), the mortgage lender (iron), the title company (battleship), and your insurance representative (wheelbarrow). Depending on when you receive the HOA documents, all of these players have been in the game trying to help you around the board. In most situations, none of us collect our $200 unless we pass GO and we trust our buyers to be serious in their efforts to purchase a property.
Searching for a Richmond VA Realtor
to help you play your cards right? Give me, Shannon Milligan at the RVA Home Team
with eXp Realty, a call today!