MD home sellers – be aware of your obligation to provide HOA or condo docs.
As time passes, real estate contracts become increasingly lengthy. Both home sellers and buyers are incredulous when they first encounter the many pages of a home sale contract. To put it in perspective for them, I often retell the stories that I have been told about how a time in the past real estate transactions were conducted with one or two page contracts, and sometimes even on just a handshake. To offer some solace to the seller/buyer, I assure them that there is importance to the seemingly endless number of notices and clauses; many notices are reminders to the seller and buyer about their obligations in the transaction.
A good example of the need for such notices is the seller’s obligation to provide the buyer with HOA/condo information and docs. In the past, this obligation was often taken lightly; sellers would often dig out the association rules which they were given when they purchased the home, dust them off and give them to the home buyer; with little expectation that the information would be reviewed.
Unfortunately, this practice is still occasionally being attempted by unknowing sellers and their agents. Several years ago, an agent asserted that an ancient looking manila envelope (that was stained because it was most likely used as a coaster and trivet) that the seller received when they purchased the home fulfilled their obligation to the buyer, even though the information was out of date and incomplete.
Providing up to date and complete documents to the home buyer allows the buyer not only to review the association rules, but also makes them aware of the financial and legal standing of the association.
As a home seller, it’s important for you to understand the need to fulfill your obligation with regard to providing HOA/condo association information, and to do it quickly. The buyer may “cancel” (void) the contract if they do not receive all the required information; and the buyer has a review period (five days to review HOA docs, and seven days to review condo docs), during which they may “cancel” (void) the contract.
Most resale packages that are obtained from HOA/condo associations contain all the documents required, however, it’s still up to you the seller to ensure all the required documents are enclosed in the package. To be more specific, local HOA/condo real estate disclosure forms were recently changed for clarity; including asking the seller to list fees, assessments, association contacts, and other information.
Home buyers are informed consumers; many are aware they are required to receive specific information about the HOA/condo from the home seller. And although the review period for the HOA/condo docs may have been abused by home buyers in the past, during the hectic sellers market when the review period was used as an “out” from making offers on multiple properties; today, home buyers take the review period seriously and many read the docs. You might even get a question or two about the bylaws/rules from an astute home buyer.
If you’re planning a sale of your home that is located within a homeowners association or a condo, you’re obligated to provide the home buyer specific information about your association. Besides your listing agent, who can guide you through the requirements and your obligations; your HOA/condo association and its management company are helpful sources to obtain the necessary information.
Original published at https://dankrell.com/blog/2012/10/25/md-home-sellers-and-hoa-docs/
by Dan Krell
This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws. Copyright © 2012 Dan Krell.