This an archive of updates from July 1, 2022. For the most current form updates, go to our Form Updates page.
On July 1, 2022, Virginia REALTORS® will release revised standard forms. Questions about the forms should be directed to the Virginia REALTORS® Legal Hotline.
The new and updated forms will be available in our Standard Forms library on July 1, but you can preview the changes to each form below by clicking the name of the form.
- There were not many changes to the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act (VRLTA) this year out of the 2022 General Assembly session which means minimal changes to the lease.
- Only change to the lease is on page 15 & came as a request from the field, which has been reviewed and approved by the Property Management Council. Property Managers are frequently included in lawsuits against the landlord, when they have little or no liability. Most of the time, the property managers are able to get the judge to dismiss them from the case, but the new language will hopefully decrease the number of tenants who include the property manager in a law suit, and when they are included, make it easier to get the judge to remove them from the case.
- This form was reviewed as part of the Subcommittee’s routine review of forms
- Changes are to paragraph 1 and a new paragraph 2 to make it clear that the amounts included on the form are estimates and may change based on market conditions. This is for two reasons: first, there may be unexpected supply shortages that increase costs, such as what we’ve seen due to the pandemic, and second, if a tenant remains in the property for a number of years, natural inflation may raise the costs of some of the items listed on the form.
- One of the “other” lines in paragraph 1(b) was changed into “dishwasher” as many properties now contain dishwashers.
- In paragraph 1(h) the language has been changed to apply to more types of flooring beyond just carpet to make it easier for properties with other types of flooring.
- Finally, the signature blocks were updated to conform with the current formatting on VAR forms.
- Both of these forms were also part of our routine review.
- There is a minor tweak, that while maybe not strictly necessary, will hopefully help tenants who are filling out the form. We are making it explicit that the tenant can attach additional forms or documents if necessary.
- There are two changes to the listing agreement.
- The first is based on calls that the legal department gets on the hotline consistently and has to deal with cooperative compensation. Many sellers struggle with the language in paragraph 3(b) and believe that the cooperative compensation is in addition to the commission paid to the listing broker. The Subcommittee decided to remove the sentence “Such compensation shall be paid by Owner at settlement.” Now it doesn’t look like the cooperative compensation is a separate fee that the owner has to pay, it also brings the next sentence, which says that the fee is an obligation of the broker, closer to the cooperative compensation amounts.
- The other change is on the Real Estate Licensee Authorization form for use with Condo & POA communities. This change is in response to two laws out of the General Assembly (HB470/SB197 both of which were part of the Virginia REALTORS® Legislative Agenda). The new law says that the authorization form must include the agent’s license number.
- There were several changes to the Sales Contract – most from requests from the field.
- First, language that prohibits the buyer from assigning the contract has been moved from paragraph 3(c). Based on where the language was, it appeared that it only applied when there was seller financing, which was not the intent of the Subcommittee.
- There is also now a new paragraph 3(e), which is in response to some confusion that seems to have arisen from the new split settlement language added on April 1. VAR has heard that there are many agents who are using the field in paragraph 10(b) to list seller subsidies, which is not the intent of that paragraph, which only deals with what the seller will be paying directly to the settlement agent for items identified in the law. Now, when the parties agree to seller subsidies, or concessions, or whatever they are called in a particular region, that information is included in paragraph 3(e).
- The language in paragraph 10(a) addressing the seller paying the deed prep and recordation taxes has been moved to paragraph 10(b) to keep all buyer fees in paragraph 10(a) and seller fees in paragraph 10(b)
- In the split settlement language (Paragraph 10(b)), the default amount has been reduced from $250 to zero. There are two reasons for this: first, right now most contracts are including zero in the blank because of the nature of the market. Second, VAR has started hearing reports that having an amount in the contract is leading some settlement agents to think that this is what they SHOULD be charging (if they’ve been charging less).
- In paragraph 26, a check box has been added that can be used to indicate that the Residential Property Disclosure Act does not apply in this contract. VAR has heard some questions and concerns about what to do when the RPDA does not apply. There have been questions about whether checking “is not attached” is sufficient to indicate that the disclosure doesn’t apply or just that the disclosure just hasn’t been provided.
- This form was reviewed as part of the routine review. In looking at the form, the Subcommittee believed that it makes more sense to use business days in the timeline here. While many people may apply for insurance online, there are still many buyers who will want to go and speak to an insurance agent in person. Additionally, any response from an insurance agent will be based on business days. Finally, the first deadline (in the first line of the main paragraph) requires the buyer to apply within 5 business days. Making the change to the other two deadlines keeps the timing consistent in the form.
- The Subcommittee determined that this form is primarily being used to build a home in an existing community, we started by adding the note at the top of page 1 indicating that. There are some smaller builders who are using this form even when creating a new community, which is why the note was added above the start of the main part of the contract to indicate that this document is intended to be used in one situation, but not the other. For builders who are creating new communities and still want to use this form, they can do that, but will need to have an addendum drafted by their attorney to accomplish that.
- Language from the residential sales contract regarding Condos & HOAs has been added to this form.
- The only change to this form is the same change to the agent authorization form that we discussed for Form 400 where the agent’s license number is added.
- There is one addition to the Residential Property Disclosure Act that is coming from the 2022 General Assembly session (HB702/Chapter 0268) which adds another “disclosure” to the list of items that the seller is not telling the purchaser about. SUM-1 is updated to reflect the new language in the law.
Forms reviewed & not changing or administratively changing:
The following forms were reviewed as part of the periodic review and there are no changes:
- Form 100 – Disclosure of Brokerage Relationship
- Form 101 – Disclosure of Dual Agency
- Form 102 – Disclosure of Dual Agency – Commercial
- Form 103 – Disclosure of Designated Agency
- Form 400SS – Short Sale Addendum to Exclusive Authorization to Sell
- Form 600 B – EMD Confirmation
- Form 600I – Counter Offer Form
- Form 1500 – Disclosure – Property Previously Used to Manufacture Methamphetamine
The following forms are being removed from the Virginia REALTORS® Standard Forms library:
Form 600C – Multiple Offer Disclosure
- Because the form includes the names of the individuals who have submitted an offer, the seller would have to sign one of these for every offer they received, which is not practical. The purpose of this form is usually accomplished by the listing agent sending an email to all buyer agents who have submitted an offer without it being a formal document signed by the seller.
Form 720 – Commercial Letter of Intent to Purchase
- In most commercial transactions, negotiations are handled informally between the parties or agents initially and then an offer is prepared. Because of that, this form is unnecessary.