Today, more homes than ever are part of homeowners associations (HOAs) – primarily because people like the extra security and improved neighborhood personality it affords. What’s not so great about having a house in an HOA is that selling it is more involved and more difficult. Besides having to make full disclosure of everything regarding the HOA, sellers are often saddled with other burdensome legalities. Being equipped with knowledge of what lies before you is the best way to proceed, so here are 4 things you should know about selling your house in an HOA.
1. Obligation to Inform All Parties of the Situation
The first thing you need to be aware of when selling your house in an HOA is that you must inform the association of your intent to sell and move. “Out of all [the] things you should know about selling a house when a homeowner’s association is involved,” industry experts maintain, “this is the simplest and most practical one. Even if you’re merely thinking about moving, you should run it by the homeowner’s association. That way, you can find out precisely what you need to know well before the day actually arrives.”
In addition, you also have to inform buyers that your house is in an. The buyer has a right to know and, on finding out late in the game, might actually back out of the deal if you keep this information from her just to make the deal move forward. The transaction has to take place under the association’s regulations and terms, so the buyer will eventually find out anyway. Be upfront to avoid embarrassment and a soured deal.
2. Deviations from the Standard Inspection Procedures
Another important thing you should know about selling your house in an HOA is that inspections will typically deviate from standard procedures. In traditional, non-HOA real estate transactions, the buyer typically sees to the inspection. But when you sell a house in an HOA, this changes.
In this case, the seller also has to arrange for an inspection. In some cases, “[Y]our HOA may require a home inspection report to be generated before you will be allowed to sell your home. The association’s own representative will most likely perform the inspection to ensure everything is up to code. If repairs are needed, they must be completed before you can sell your home.”
3. Moving Fees and Resale Packages
You need to know also that selling a house in an HOA involves extra costs, sometimes fees for moving. “HOAs sometimes charge fees to have a home transferred from one person to another? In some cases, a flat fee is charged. In others, the fee depends on the selling price of the house. If it’s based on a percentage of the home’s selling price, you can expect to pay half a percent to one percent of the total to the homeowner’s association.” Be aware, too, that all your HOA dues have to be paid up before you can sell.
You may also have to deal with a “resale package,” which will cost you time and effort. The HOA will provide you with the resale package, which you pass on to the buyer. This is simply a way for the association to make sure the buyer is fully aware of all the rules, regulations, and costs and that everyone is on the same page.
4. Multiplied Required Documentation
Perhaps the most important thing you should know about selling your house in an HOA is that required documentation multiplies. Buyers will request and you will have to supply – chiefly because it’s required by law – many more documents than in the sale of a non-HOA home.
Experts say that the following are some of what you’ll have to come up with:
- HOA CC&Rs along with bylaws, rules, and regulations
- Special restrictions regarding such things as parking and pets
- Minutes of recent HOA meetings, as well as budgets and financial statements
- Statements showing how much you pay in association maintenance fees
- Proof of your improvements being association approved
- Copy of HOA master insurance policy
- “Current and planned special assessments against the property (fees above and beyond the regular dues, used for projects benefiting all homes in the association or for major emergency repairs)”
Keeping accurate and thorough records will be key here. Your agent can also be a great asset in sorting through all this. Discover more by calling 866-593-7012!
So what’s the key takeaway about selling your house in an HOA? Just this: it’s more difficult and more legally complex, with more required documents and costs than selling a non-HOA home. And this means, ultimately, that the expertise of a good real estate agent becomes even more important for your success.