Home Buying in Seattle>Question Details

Patricia Bar…, Other/Just Looking in Seattle, WA

Do disclosure documents for condominium associations have to include audited financial statements and the?

Asked by Patricia Barker, Seattle, WA Tue Mar 17, 2009

auditors opinion letter?

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If the subject condo has an operating HOA (i.e. not a new, developer-offered condo), the resale certificate is to include financial statements. If the financial statements were audited, then the auditor's report must be included. The content of a resale certificate in Washington is prescribed by state law. See http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=64.34.425

Note that HOA board meeting and annual HOA meeting minutes are not required to be included, but often are.

As noted earlier, if you are the buyer, perform your due diligence if anything is not provided or something seems amiss. An agent specializing in or having a transaction history with condominiums can help you understand what is or is not presented. If you are the seller, encourage your board to provide everything available--it only helps your agent better market your property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 17, 2009

When you purchase a condo the seller is obligated to provide you with two disclosures. The seller's disclosure is a list where the seller will indicate any thing about the property or title that would "significantly effect the value of the home". The other disclosure is in regards to lead based paint and is required for older homes and condos.

When you purchase a condo, your agent will obtain a copy of what they call the resale certificate. (public offering statement if it is new construction or a conversion) It should contain all the covenants, conditions and restrictions (condo rules) for the complex, a spreadsheet of the money held by the association, recent association minutes, plans for future improvements, etc. Associations vary in how responsible they are but by law they can't conceal anything they are aware of that would effect the value and perceived future value of your home.

The appraised value of the home can be obtained from the tax records. They vary in how accurate they are and will most likely adjust when you purchase the home anyway. As a general rule condo appraisals are fairly accurate because there are more units to compare them to. Single family home appraisals are all over the board as to how accurate they are.

The bottom line is that if there is information out there about a particular unit your agent should be able to obtain it. If the home owner's association is not very forthcoming with information it is a big red flag.

Hope it helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 17, 2009
The financial documents of a HOA are not required to be audited. Of course, the larger the complex the more need for extra protection. Certain documents like board and annual meeting minutes, as well as annual budgets and balance sheets are subject to availability according to NWMLS boiler plate wording. The absence of such documents doesn't necessarily mean the complex is not a good one but it does suggest additional caution as you consider purchasing the property. New construction versus older buildings all have their nuances when it comes to expectations and reliability of data. Shop wisely.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 17, 2009
"Disclosure documents" (NWMLS Form 17, Seller's Disclosure) and the document which disclose the HOA financial statements (the re-sale certificate) are 2 separate items. You really should work with a buyers agent to help you understand your rights and obligations BEFORE you sign anything. It's important for you to enlist the help of a buyers agent who is your advocate, working for you, not the seller. In Washington, a buyer's agent is typically paid for by the seller, with no cost to you. I am an accredited buyers agent, I have been helping my clients buy and sell real estate in Seattle for over 8 years; call me, I can help. 206-501-7837
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 17, 2009
Just in case anyone need to fill out a NWMLS Form 1, I found a blank form in this link http://goo.gl/4DEUgp. This site PDFfiller also has several related forms that you might find useful.
Flag Wed Feb 25, 2015
Hi Patricia,

Most standard purchase and sale agreements for a condo will be contingent on buyers approval of some seller provided documents, usually including all pertinent HOA information, minutes, financial documents, etc. Standard language can be changed, however, and what the buyer makes their purchase contingent upon can change with each contract. The language of the specific contract is what is important and what must be adhered to by both parties. If you are the seller, read the offer carefully and make sure you provide all requested documents for the buyer's approval. If you are the buyer, make sure you request to read all documents you feel are important about the HOA before signing off on any contingenies. If you are not sure about your rights and responsibilities as a buyer or a seller, consult an attorney.

Good luck,
Meredith Laws
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 17, 2009
Depends on what your purchase contract stipulates. The standard NWMLS contract paperwork that covers HOAs does not specify that they have to be audited.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 17, 2009
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