Home Buying in Phoenix>Question Details

millab_, Home Buyer in Phoenix, AZ

HOA fee differs from original MLS listing

Asked by millab_, Phoenix, AZ Fri Mar 1, 2013

I have bought a condo in Phoenix. I found out that the HOA fee is different than it was listed on the MLS listing. MLS listing says the HOA fee is $180.00/month, but the HOA office is asking me start to pay $250/month. What is the law concerning this issue ? If the agent is the who falsify the information, what should I DO ? or If the HOA office is the one, what is my option ? What is my time frame to dispute this issue to government agency who is in
charge of such issues ?

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11
The government agency you desire was sequestured (?) out last night at midnight!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 1, 2013
Millab,

I understand the need to blame someone when you may not have done your own homework. While the MLS might make certain statements or claims, it is only an advertisement and nothing more. As such, all claims in the MLS are the responsibility of the BUYER (you) to verify. The reason I say this is because you, as the buyer, received a package from the HOA and/or your title company called "HOA Disclosures". It's called a "disclosure" because the HOA discloses to you all resale and recurring HOA fees, CC&Rs, amendments, etc. The monthly HOA fees would have been disclosed in your HOA Disclosures and you would have had a 5-day opportunity to cancel your contract (barring contract language to the contrary) if you felt the HOA fees were too high.

Unfortunately, by proceeding to close the transaction, you have accepted all disclosures and conditions of the sale. It was not your agent's responsibility to discover this information for you - it was disclosed to you and you simply failed to notice. I'm sorry this happened to you, but honestly it's your own fault. I know this may be a more blunt response than you've received from others, but I think you need to understand your role in all of this and take some ownership.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 1, 2013
When you purchased the condo there is a mandatory disclosure or condo cert (certification) provided to you that discloses all the fees known at the time. They can differ from the listing if there were changes during that time.

You would have seen the actual HOA payments for the first month or two which are charged on the buyer's side of the final HUD1 that both parties sign. See sample HUD form attached to this answer. Also, post closing there can be increases or new assessments to the HOA fees as well.
I hope that helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 1, 2013
During the Escrow process, you would have rec'd from the HOA and/or property management company all information pertaining to the HOA. You should have reviewed and asked questions THEN. Also, these charges or prorations will show up on your closing statement. Did you ask the question THEN?

"The MLS printout states at the bottom "ALL INFORMATION SHOULD BE VERIFIED BY THE RECIPIENT AND NONE IS GUARANTEED AS ACCURATE BY THE ARMLS"

Did your agent have you sign a BUYER ADVISORY? If so, it clearly states:

"A listing is an agreement between the seller and the listing broker and may authorize the broker to submit information to the MLS. The MLS printout is similar to an advertisement. Neither the listing agreement nor the printout is a part of the purchase contract between the buyer and seller. The information in the MLS printout was probably secured from the seller and could be inaccurate, incomplete or an approximation. Therefore, the BUYER SHOULD VERIFY any important information contained in the MLS"

All the best!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 1, 2013
You should of received a HOA package that included a budget review, reserve study etc. that could of told you of any proposed increases.

HOA have the right to raise their fees. The real question would be was the fee 250 when you moved in or was it lower and then went up after you moved in. If it was higher when you moved in then you may have a disclosure issue with the agent. If it went up after you moved in then that is the risk of having a HOA.

It is up to the buyer to verify the information of the MLS listing as it is not an agreement between buyer and seller but a information service used among members of the MLS.

Regardless of the answer you agreed to pay the HOA fee so that can't be adjusted.

You could go to http://www.azre.gov for the Arizona Department of Real Estate if you feel the need to file a complaint, however, this will not change the HOA fee.

You could also file a complaint through the Arizona Association of REALTORs http://(www.aaronline.com)

Bottom line question would be is this a disclosure issue or a due diligence issue. More than likely a little of both.
Web Reference: http://www.azre.gov
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 1, 2013
You have 5 days to review HOA information when you are in escrow. Did you do that? Have you already closed on the property. You need to get with the agent that represented you and discuss your options with them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 1, 2013
Dear Milab:

Your buyers advisory and tye HOA addendum provide you information about the buyer verifying the amounts of HOA fees and to read, agree to the HOA regulations. HOA fees do change regularly and they usually go up.

You have to sign that you have read and agree to the HOA regulations for the home to close. This should be done during your inspection period.

Talk to you Realtor who is the most familiar with your closing.

May I wish you the best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 1, 2013
All MLS disclaimers state that the information represented is not guaranteed, so the agent may not have falsified information it might have changed or not been property disclosed to the agent. Did the seller disclose the HOA fee in property disclosures?
It is the seller that has to disclose. And it is your job to find out prior to purchase.
Unlike IL we don't have attorney reviews.. but you will see it in your title work.

If you bought through an licensed agent you will need to chat with his/her broker first.
Web Reference: http://welcome2prescott.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 1, 2013
You can' unbake a cake, would not have wanted to buy the unit had you known HOA was higher than what the MLS said. Maybe the seller told the listing agent the monthly amount for last year without including a special assessment to rebuild the reserve. In the condo declarations and bylaws, and condo questionaire these issues are covered and typically your attorney reviews prior to closing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 1, 2013
John, you may want to stop answering questions in markets where you are not familiar. We do not use attorneys to close here in Arizona, it's handled by title/escrow companies. Please, please stick to your own market.
Flag Sat Mar 2, 2013
You should discuss these questions with your Realtor since the answers to many of them depend on where you are at in the purchase transaction. If you are still under contract and have just received the HOA disclosures, then you have the opportunity to opt out of purchasing the home. You should ask your Realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 1, 2013
How long ago did you buy the condo? I would consult with a real estate attorney to get your answers. I believe you have damages, but what the course of action you have to take I can't answer. An attorney is your best bet
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 1, 2013
I bought last month.
Flag Fri Mar 1, 2013
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