What is a Road Maintenance Agreement?

Private Roads…Beauty and the Beast!

By Rachel Hogan

As you drive home from a hectic day, your stress melts away when you turn off that highway and hit the gravel road. Home sweet home, just moments away with an amazing view, peace, and serenity! As much as you are going to miss this peaceful drive down your private road, you are excited to offer your home to a new buyer! Then….du-du-dun-dun-dahhhhh…the buyer asks if there is a Road Maintenance Agreement (RMA) for your private road, because their lender is going to require it!

Sellers, be prepared, this is now a requirement for most loan programs!

Don’t fret….often times, an RMA can be drafted by a local attorney after a title search. All property owners can be added and those who are agreeable will sign with a notary and the document will be recorded at the courthouse.

So what’s the problem? Getting everyone to sign can be quite a challenge! Although several property owners help maintain the road, you may have a few that are not comfortable signing.

Here are a few tips that have been helpful for my clients:

  • Plan ahead…if you live on a private road and are thinking about selling, start talking to the neighbors about the benefits for all parties involved (safety, access, marketability, property value, etc.)
  • Work closely with a local real estate attorney who can recommend language that will be consistent with the current verbal agreements you have with your neighbors. Trying to enforce big changes can equal big concerns!
  • Once the document is drafted, invite the neighbors over for coffee/beverages to discuss concerns and make them a part of the process so everyone can take ownership and feel like they have been heard.
  • Plan a gathering with a notary once the document is finalized to make it easy for your neighbors to sign/notarize.
  • Having this completed prior to listing your home is the best route, if possible.
  • If you are just starting this process when you receive a contract on your home, set a goal for having this completed and recorded at least a week before closing to avoid closing delays!
  • Be proactive….even cash Buyers may request this to be in place!

To learn more about preparing to sell your home, contact your Nest Broker.

Rachel Hogan is a Nest Agent in the New River Valley. Rachel utilizes her in-depth area knowledge and industry expertise to assist her clients in making confident, informed decisions. 

Photo credit: Phil Roeder

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Posted in Asheville, Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, New River Valley, Wilmington
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