Virginia is a “caveat emptor” state meaning that home buyers are responsible for conducting their own “due diligence” to their satisfaction. Sellers don’t need to disclose much about their home in Virginia, which is a sharp contrast to Maryland where sellers must disclose everything (even things they don’t know) to home buyers.
Both of these contingencies typically take place within a 10 day window here in Northern Virginia.
A significant change since you bought your house is that the home inspection contingency paragraph allows the purchaser to conduct “any inspection” necessary.
A home buyer can hire a chimney inspection company, a plumber, a roofer… I am sure you get the point since you will probably want to thoroughly inspect your next house too.
Virginia puts the responsibility on the buyer to conduct inspections unless specified in the sales contract.
A few examples of a specific inspection that the seller must repair (per the NVAR sales contract) including the septic systems, a water well, or wood destroying insect (termite) inspection results.
The Home Inspection and Radon Inspection Contingencies now include a Negotiation Period. This period may be 7 days long and it allows you and the buyer the chance to reach an agreement.
If the buyer can not agree by the end of the NP then the buyer has the option to declare the contract Void. If that Notice isn’t given, then the contingency is automatically removed and the contract is in full force and effect.
It sounds complicated but the logic works.
Contingency periods from “Ratification Date”:
- Home Inspection: within 10 days
- Negotiation Period: within 7 days
- Radon Test: within 10 days
Radon Inspection Contingencies work the same way.
If the results of the radon test exceed the EPA Action Level, the buyer is likely to submit a copy of the results and an addendum requesting the installation of a remediation device (cost about $850) prior to settlement. There is a retest involved too (about $145).
Radon is considered a “defect” and it is very easy to remediate if necessary.