• psst … I’m a Realtor! Thanks for stopping by my website. I would love to help you find your dream home and community in the Hampton Roads or Williamsburg area or to sell your existing home. This website is authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of Hampton Roads and the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market. His websites, WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com and Mr Williamsburg.com were created as a resource for folks who are exploring a move to Williamsburg, VA , Hampton Roads VA and the surrounding areas of the Virginia Peninsula. On his website you can search homes for sale , foreclosures, 55+ active adult communities, condos and town homes , land and commercial property for sale in Williamsburg, Yorktown, New Kent, Poquoson, and Gloucester, VA as well as surrounding markets of Carrolton, Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth Mathews, Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry, Va Beach, Yorktown and York County Virginia You can reach John by email John@MrWilliamsburg.com or phone @ 757-254-813

FAQ Legal Questions Hampton Roads Real Estate

FAQ: Brian, the seller died before we could close on our home in Hampton Roads, Virginia, can the buyer make the seller’s heirs honor the contract?


The Virginia Supreme Court answered this question in the affirmative in the case of Moore’s Adm’rs v. Fitz Randolph, 33 Va. 175 (1835).  This result is true not only in Virginia, but to my knowledge in all fifty states.  In many jurisdictions the answer will turn on whether the contract contains language stating that it is “binding on the heirs” of the parties.  Curiously, The REIN Standard Purchase Agreement no longer contains that language (the VAR contract still does), but the law (at least it seems in Virginia) presumes that it is meant to be binding on the seller’s estate anyway.
Sometimes the seller dies before the deed is executed and so the question becomes: who will sign the deed?  Again, Virginia law provides a pretty clear answer.  Va. Code § 64.1-148 provides that “When any deceased person shall have executed and delivered a bona fide written contract of sale, purchase option, or other agreement binding such deceased person, his heirs, personal representatives, or assigns, to convey any real property or interest therein, his personal representatives may, upon full compliance by the purchaser with the terms and conditions of such contract, option or agreement execute a deed and do all things necessary to effect the transfer of title to such real property or interest therein to the purchaser and such transfer shall be as effective as if it had been made by the deceased obligor.”
It may well be that closing will be delayed somewhat when a seller dies (for example, if the seller had not signed the deed you might need someone to qualify on the estate in order to sign the deed), but as you can see it is clear that the buyer can insist and require the estate to conclude the transaction.

Is the reverse true?  Can a seller require a deceased buyer’s estate to perform the contract?  While in theory it is true (the case above refused to answer that converse question), bear in mind the practical nature of our modern contracts – financing based on the buyer’s income not to mention actually being alive, owner occupancy, etc. would almost certainly dictate a different result.  Perhaps if the contract were a straightforward, non-personalized, cash deal one could bind a buyer’s estate.  Otherwise I would say no.
Brian Lytle Esq.

A brief  review by Real Estate Attorney Brian Lytle Esq. www.LytleLaw.com A general practice law firm located in Newport News, Virginia. From two office locations on the Virginia Peninsula we serve clients and try cases across the Commonwealth including the Peninsula, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, James City and York County areas. Lytle Law has the experience and ability to satisfy nearly all of a client’s legal needs, and where we believe we need help we will either associate appropriate counsel or provide a referral.

Brian is the president of Lytle Title www.LytleTitle.com Lytle Title & Escrow, LLC a Virginia licensed, insured, and bonded real estate settlement company doing business as Lytle Title. With offices in Newport News and WIlliamsburg, Virginia, we primarily serve the Virginia Peninsula (Hampton, Newport News, York County, James City County and Williamsburg), but we also regularly serve surrounding areas, to include Suffolk, Isle of Wight, Gloucester and the greater Tidewater, Virginia area.

Copyright © 2008 Brian D. Lytle. Reprinted here with permission.

For further information about real estate in Williamsburg, James City, New Kent or York County Virginia contact: John Womeldorf/ REALTOR

Liz Moore & Associates

757 254 8136

John@MrWilliamsburg.com email

www.MrWilliamsburg.com/ website

www.MrBurg.com website

www.MrHamptonroads.com/ website

www.MrTidewater.com/ website

www.MrVaBeach.com/ website

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My other area Real Estate and Information Blogs for Hampton Roads/ Tidewater/ Williamsburg Virignia and surrounding areas

Williamsburg Real Estate Blog II

Williamsburg Real Estate Blog

Williamsburg Happenings/ Events Blog

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