Understanding Seller Responsibilities in VA Loans: A Comprehensive Finance Guide

May 2, 2024

When it comes to buying a home with a VA loan, it’s important to understand the responsibilities of both the buyer and the seller. While the buyer’s responsibilities are well known, the seller also has certain obligations to fulfill in the VA loan process. In this article, we will delve into the specific responsibilities of the seller in a VA loan transaction to ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of what to expect.

1. Property Condition

One of the primary responsibilities of the seller in a VA loan is to ensure that the property meets the Minimum Property Requirements (MPRs) set by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These requirements are in place to ensure that the home is safe, structurally sound and suitable for habitation. The MPRs cover various aspects of the property, including the foundation, roof, electrical and plumbing systems, and more.
If the property does not meet the MPRs, it is the seller’s responsibility to make the necessary repairs or improvements to bring it up to code. Alternatively, the seller can negotiate with the buyer to reduce the purchase price or provide a credit at closing to cover the cost of the repairs. Ultimately, the seller must ensure that the property is in acceptable condition before the loan can be approved.

2. Pest Inspection

Another important responsibility of the seller in a VA loan transaction is to provide a pest inspection report. The VA requires a pest inspection to identify any problems such as termite infestation or other wood destroying organisms. This inspection helps protect the buyer from purchasing a property with significant pest-related problems.

If the pest inspection reveals any problems, it is generally the seller’s responsibility to address and correct the problem. In some cases, the seller may need to hire a professional pest control company to treat the property and provide certification that the problem has been resolved. The cost of the pest inspection and any necessary treatment is usually the responsibility of the seller, although this may be negotiated between the parties.

3. Appraisal

The seller is responsible for working with the buyer’s lender to facilitate the appraisal process. A VA loan requires an appraisal to determine the fair market value of the property. The appraiser evaluates the condition of the home and compares it to similar properties in the area to determine its value.

If the appraisal comes in lower than the agreed upon purchase price, the seller may need to renegotiate the price or make improvements to the property to increase its value. It’s important for sellers to be prepared for potential appraisal challenges and to work closely with their real estate agent to effectively navigate this process.

4. Disclosures

Sellers are required by law to disclose any known defects or problems with the property to the buyer. In a VA loan transaction, the seller must provide the buyer with a completed disclosure form detailing any material defects, including structural problems, water damage, or any other issues that may affect the value or habitability of the home.
Full disclosure is essential to protect the buyer and ensure transparency throughout the transaction. Failure to disclose known defects can lead to legal complications and potential financial liability for the seller. It’s critical for sellers to be thorough and honest when completing the disclosure form to avoid legal repercussions.

5. Closing Costs

While not exclusive to VA loans, negotiating closing costs is an important aspect for the seller to consider. Closing costs typically include various fees and expenses associated with the transfer of title, such as title insurance, attorney fees, and recording fees. In some cases, the seller may agree to pay some or all of the buyer’s closing costs as part of the negotiations.

It’s important for sellers to carefully review the closing cost estimates provided by the buyer’s lender and understand their financial obligations. Working with a knowledgeable real estate agent or attorney can help sellers navigate the negotiation process and ensure that a fair agreement is reached.
In summary, sellers have several important responsibilities in a VA loan transaction. From ensuring that the property meets minimum property requirements to providing a pest inspection report and disclosing any known defects, sellers play a crucial role in the successful completion of a VA loan transaction. By understanding and fulfilling these responsibilities, sellers can help facilitate a smooth and efficient homebuying process for both parties.


What is the seller responsible for in a VA loan?

In a VA loan, the seller is responsible for certain costs and requirements. These include:

1. What are the seller’s obligations regarding the home’s condition?

The seller must ensure that the property meets the minimum property requirements (MPRs) set by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This includes ensuring the home is safe, structurally sound, and in good working condition.

2. Is the seller responsible for paying for the pest inspection?

Typically, the seller is responsible for paying for the termite or pest inspection required by the VA. The purpose of the inspection is to identify any existing pest infestations or damage that may affect the property’s value or safety.

3. Who is responsible for paying for the VA appraisal?

The buyer is responsible for paying for the VA appraisal. The appraisal determines the fair market value of the property and ensures that the loan amount does not exceed the value of the home.

4. Does the seller need to pay for any repairs identified in the VA appraisal?

The seller is not obligated to pay for repairs identified in the VA appraisal. However, if the repairs are necessary to meet the VA’s minimum property requirements, the buyer and seller can negotiate who will be responsible for completing and paying for the repairs.

5. Is the seller responsible for paying the VA funding fee?

No, the VA funding fee is typically paid by the buyer. The funding fee is a one-time fee that helps fund the VA loan program and can vary depending on factors such as the borrower’s military service category, down payment amount, and whether it is the borrower’s first VA loan.