HOA & COA Document Review-The Clock is Ticking

In Northern Virginia we have a large number of neighborhoods with homeowners associations (HOA) and the closer you get to DC the more condominiums (COA) you will find.  Our contracts spell out the delivery and receipt of documents and the time-frame for review of these documents for buyers.

Unfortunately many agents misinterpret the time-frame and advise their clients they have three days AFTER the delivery of documents to respond.  This is incorrect.  If you read the contract it says WITHIN three days. If the documents are delivered at noon on Friday the clock starts ticking then.  Not on Saturday.  So the time-frame to respond and possibly withdraw your contract without penalty is on the following Monday by noon not Tuesday by 9 PM.

Why do I bring this up?  Recently in a contract review class out of 40 brokers and agents, only 2 of us had the correct interpretation of this statue in our Virginia contract.  The instructor brought up numerous court cases where buyers had tried to use the HOA and COA contingency to break their contracts and lost due to the misinterpretation by their agents of the timing.  In addition I’ve run across a couple of blog posts recently written by local agents giving buyers the impression they had an extra day.

If you are a buyer in Northern Virginia make sure you understand when the clock starts ticking.  It may not matter but in case it does you don’t want to be blindsided.

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