West Virginia Real Estate Purchase Agreement

The WV Real Estate License Act mandates that all agency relationships for real estate be in writing. It helps prevent fraud or corruption with real estate agents and agreements. However, a West Virginia real estate purchase agreement must be in writing, but it must also contain specific requirements. Without these requirements, the agreement can become invalid.

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West Virginia Real Estate Purchase Agreement

There are various legal aspects to a purchase contract. Generally, these specifics detail what type of information should be present, not the particulars about the sale itself, which can change from agreement to agreement. 

Writing Requirement

  • Four (4) critical elements must be present in every purchase contract to be considered legal in the eyes of the law:
    • There must be two (2) or more parties whom the law determines capable of entering into an agreement.
    • One party, the buyer, makes an offer to the other, usually the seller, who accepts the offer.
    • The parties should participate in the consideration of the deal, where the seller and buyer exchange valuables, generally with the buyer paying money to receive the house.
    • The agreement must have a legal purpose that doesn’t breach any West Virginia laws.
  • Buyers and sellers must ensure they sign the written contract; otherwise, it’s invalid. However, it also required further information:
    • Include the contact details and names of both parties.
    • Add a description of the property’s legal and registered address.
    • Statement about the agreed-upon purchase price.
    • Conditions each of the parties must fulfill by the closing date.
    • While not required, an earnest money deposit of between 1% to 2%, sometimes up to 10% of the total price.
    • State a closing date, which is usually around 30 days after the buyer and seller sign the agreement.
  • West Virginia is a caveat emptor, a.k.a buyer beware, state. Buyers should always thoroughly inspect the property since they purchase it “as is.” 
  • Sellers should note that while they’re not obligated to disclose material defects, they can be in trouble if they deliberately misrepresent the property’s conditions. It includes any other material facts or information that could signify fraud.
  • The buyer must take responsibility for organizing a home inspection. They can also request termination clauses if the property doesn’t pass the inspection as part of the contract conditions.

Required Disclosures

Two (2) legal disclosures are also required in this agreement. Sellers must add it to avoid any complications with the agreement. One is the federal agreement, and while the other isn’t necessarily required by law, it’s an excellent sign of good faith.

  • Lead-Based Paint Disclosure: Buildings built before or during 1978 generally have lead-based paint present. Sellers must inform buyers if this is true and explain the hazards of this paint.
  • Residential Property Disclosure/Disclosure of Material Defects: While this disclosure isn’t legally required, it’s a good idea to include. It describes the overall condition of the property. It further places responsibility on the buyer to purchase the property “as is” or to request repairs of any defects they find.