First a disclaimer. What I’m including in this post relates to the Regional Sales Contract used in Virginia. Your area may have different terms that relate to contract contingencies.
The answer is very simple. You have a ratified contract when both the buyer and the seller sign all of the terms and conditions of the offer. Just like a home inspection or an appraisal, HAP approval is a contingency to the contract. The date written on Page 10 of the contract is the date the contract is ratified. Folks if you’ve read my blog for the last 18 months you know I’ve got most of the information about this DoD HAP program pegged. Yes they occasionally make a change that I trip over but it’s been rare. Usually it’s their own information that is the problem not mine. After 30 transactions I’m fairly confident in the information I share but of course always defer to the Realty Specialist’s in the Savannah Regional Office.
Why do I bring this up now? Recently an agent in the Northern Virginia area suggested since the United States Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) had not signed the contract between the buyer and the seller the contract wasn’t ratified and therefore not an enforceable contract. Does a lender sign the contract between the buyer and the seller on a short sale? No they do not. They are a contingency to the contract which is why we have the short sale addendum which spells out when things need to be done. But the contract is ratified. The same with a DoD HAP sale.
The only ways that I am aware of that a file is not approved by HAP is if the seller is not qualified for the program or the contract for the property falls below the price threshold established by the program. Knock on wood I’m not sure of any other reason approval would not be given. If someone else has run across one please fill me in.
If you are an agent representing a buyer on a DoD HAP listing make sure you understand you have a ratified contract when the buyer and the seller sign the offer. If you have questions make sure you consult your broker for guidance and advice.