Selling Your House in a Homeowners Association
There’s a wide range of information one must learn when living in a homeowners association. From rules to regulations to opportunities for community involvement– it can be a lot to take in. Once you get familiar with your HOA, however, they can become resources and reliable aids when you have questions or concerns about owning a home. Just as an HOA maintains general control of homes in their neighborhood and ensures that everyone is following the rules, they also have a say in selling your home when you’re ready to leave.
In this article, we’re breaking down all of the steps you must understand when trying to sell your house under the management of your local Homeowners Association. Selling a home in any capacity requires great attention to detail. And selling a home under the management of an HOA has different requirements. There are some extra legal documents, and some other motions you must go through in order to make sure you’re meeting the conditions of the HOA when you’re ready to put your house on the market.
You and your family have decided it’s time to go. You’ve loved and enjoyed the neighborhood you live in but you’ve always dreamt of buying an RV, decking it out, and traveling across the country together, in search of new adventures. You’ve bought the RV and started sharing the news with your friends, but before you put your house up on the market, you’re going to need to make a phone call to your trusty HOA. While it’s not required by law to contact your HOA before you sell your home, there is a list of HOA rules you must abide by before selling. You will want to avoid getting into any hot water before you start your cross country adventure.
How Stuff Works suggests to first learn what sort of procedures your HOA requires, and what documents your state requires before you start the selling process. If your HOA does require specific documentation, expect that a home inspection will likely be included in their requests. The easiest way to find out what your HOA requires in terms of selling your home is by checking the HOA’s bylaws.
If your HOA isn’t led by a property management company, then someone on the board is likely a friend or neighbor that can help guide you through the process of documents and sign-offs needed to get your house on the market. Similarly, relying on friends that have already sold properties under the same HOA can be of great assistance and support during the selling process.
You, the HOA, and the Buyer
There’s a very particular relationship at play between the seller, the HOA, and the buyer during the selling and purchasing of a home under an HOA. The first item to get clear on is to make sure you’re settled with any outstanding payments you may owe your HOA. If you’re ready to move house but you have late payments due to the HOA, you can be rest assured they are going to expect payment before you can list your house. Additionally, if you’ve had any issues with your HOA regarding the aesthetic of your home (an exterior paint color that doesn’t meet the HOA guidelines, etc.), those will likely need to be resolved before you can sell your house.
Many homeowners aren’t aware of this, but some HOA’s have the ability to charge you a fee for transferring your paperwork under your name over to the name of the new buyer? There are two types of fees that your HOA can charge you before you move. The first is simply a flat fee they can charge for the transfer service. The other, more unfortunate fee is dependent upon the selling price of your home.
As mentioned above, when it comes to potential buyers, your HOA might expect you to hand over a stack of paperwork to the interested party depending upon the HOA’s rules for their neighborhood. Here are some of the key items you will likely need to prepare for the buyer: your HOA’s covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs), any special restrictions affecting properties in your association, the amount and use of monthly association fees, recent association financial statements and budgets, certificates that any changes made to your home were approved by the HOA, the HOA’s master insurance policy, and any future fees planned beyond the regular dues.
You’re on Your Way!
Selling a home requires a lot of work no matter how you cut it. And realistically, selling your home under your HOA doesn’t actually add that much more of a headache. Using your neighbors, the boards, and in many cases your real estate broker to help you understand what you need before your house can go up for sale is really a foolproof way to ensure you’ve checked off all of your boxes before hitting the road.
If you manage all of the records of your home in an organized way and meet with your HOA early on, then selling your house will run much more smoothly than you think! If you’re interested in more details on the paperwork you might need to prepare before selling your house Nolo provides a thorough and helpful breakdown of necessary documents. The key piece of selling your house without a hitch starts with making sure your paperwork is in line (and that you have no outstanding fees), and you’ll be ready to hit the road sooner in no time.