Home Selling in 92121>Question Details

The Coach, Both Buyer and Seller in La Jolla, CA

charge for hoa documents

Asked by The Coach, La Jolla, CA Sun May 27, 2012

I'm in the process of selling my single family home. There is an HOA. Escrow requires that I provide various HOA docs for the buyer to review (CCRs, board meeting minutes, aricles of incorporation, etc). My realtor contacted me and said that the management company NN Jaeschke, requires me to pay $340 up front to provide these documents. So, I've spent over an hour total talking to people at NNJ, being directed to their website to order, emailing their 'webmaster', etc. My question is multipart :
1) Isn't $340 excessive for printing 100 pages or so documents?
2) Anyone familar with CA State Assembly Bill 771 "The fee for providing the required HOA disclosures must be reasonable based upon the HOA’s actual cost for procuring, preparing, reproducing, and delivering the HOA documents"...what is reasonable?
3) A related question : shouldn't my realtor be doing all this legwork?? I'm paying her $15,000 in commission for a house that sold in about 30 days.

Help the community by answering this question:


1. It is a little excessive, but you will probably spend more time than it's worth trying to get them to lower the price. I once asked an HOA manager how they figured the cost and the response I got was that they included the time it takes to type up the documents after each board meeting, etc. My response: isn't that what the current HOA members (home owners) are paying for in their monthly dues?
2. See my response to question 1.
3. Neither you nor your agent should be requesting HOA documents for two reasons:
A) Most lenders require that the escrow officer order HOA documents and then deliver them to the lender and to you. It's a "chain of custody" issue. Lenders don't want you or your agent to have the opportunity to make any modifications to the documents before they get them. Having escrow handle them ensures this.
B) The escrow officer should also be submitting a questionnaire to the HOA, either their form or one provided by the lender, that must be completed by the management company or an officer of the HOA. This form typically verifies the number of owners, owner occupancy, whether or not the HOA is involved in a law suits, etc.
You and your agent may want to discuss this with your escrow officer before you do anything else.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 27, 2012
Thank you very much for your detailed answer.
Flag Sun May 27, 2012
HA!!! That's nothing compared to what I'm having to shell out prior to escrow closing on the condo I'm selling. I have two HOA's and, are you ready for this, I had to pay $1344 for the HOA docs that are going to the seller!!!!!!!
There should be laws regulated how much money can be charged for this, as this is absolutely ludicrous!!!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 12, 2015
Oh, and I'm the seller, not the buyer.
Flag Mon Jan 12, 2015
meant to say "regulating"
Flag Mon Jan 12, 2015
...and I have RARELY seen hoa docs costs $50 or less than $100. Most are over $200.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 28, 2012
...and I have RARELY seen hoa docs costs $50 or less than $100. Most are over $200.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 28, 2012
Providing the disclosures is required by law. Some associations do not allow the agent/Realtor to order the packet. Did you ask your agent for assistance? If you've been living in the neighborhood, you would have had access to the meetings and minutes and know about the costs. I think the amount seems high but if they are in their rights to charge this amount, some will. Some hoas have two disclosures books (neighborhood and subdivision) and charge for both. Some charge a $500+ 'entrance' to the buyer at settlement. I'm not really sure why there is a post implying that the agent didn't act in a fiduciary manner but maybe I'm missing another post by you. Your agent is not obligated to take care of this matter for you but most do. LIke I said, though, some associations will not allow the agent to order since they want the seller to order so there is recourse in case the deal doesn't close. Someone ordered and paid for the book when you purchased your home and probably felt the same way about the cost :(. Associations usually are good about disclosing to the residents the cost for the docs and any increases. Good luck with your closing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 28, 2012
In my experience, the HOA documents fees have been about $50.00. And, your Realtor should be doing the legwork.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 28, 2012
Hi Coach,

Sorry, but $340 IS excessive for printing documents they already have typed up.

NNJ also won't give agents basic information about the condo complexes they manage, they expect to be paid for it. This information tells an agent whether their buyer's loan has a chance of working with that complex before they show it. So, instead, the buyer's only choice is taking his chances in escrow to know if he can get the loan - after he paid even bigger bucks for an appraisal and inspection out-of-pocket. Reasonable? No.

And, your agent should absolutely be doing the legwork! That's what we DO (or are supposed to do). You can always contact your agent's broker and request an agent who actually earns the commission.

I hope this purchase works out for you!

Warm Regards,

Cory La Scala, REALTOR
Independence Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 28, 2012
In the main, I agree with what others have said.
The amount that you are being asked to pay for the HOA docs is not out of line with what I have seen from other HOAs and management companies.
What is “reasonable”? I guess we will not know the answer to that question until someone sues and the courts give us an answer. I don’t think HOA document fee amounts are reasonable, but that is just an off the cuff opinion. We agree that it costs an HOA money to provide the requested documents. Many HOAs are under extreme financial pressure these days and are looking for ways to balance their books. I think HOA transfer fees and doc fees are treated as a source of income by HOAs and not cost recovery.
In my experience, the escrow company orders the HOA docs, not the buyer or seller or their agents.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 28, 2012
The fee is not excessive - I've seen them higher.The word 'reasonable' is one of those lovely terms that means nothing. Having done 10 years of deals however, I can tell you that the fee is not at all abnormal or out of sync with the area.

Typically, paying up front for the hoa docs is your job - your Realtor can certainly help facilitiate - but is your responsbility.

Sorry - this was probably not what you wanted to hear!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 27, 2012
Dear Coach,
I can empathize with you as now all of sudden you seem like your name is MR. Bill.

Per the C.A.R. Form Disclosure Regarding Real Estate Agency Relationship,

Seller's Agent

A Sellers agent under a listing agreement with the Seller acts as the agent
for the Seller only. A Seller's agent : or a subagent of the agent has the
following affirmative obligations:

To the Seller, A Fiduciary Duty of utmost care, integrity, honesty and loyalty in
dealing with the Seller.

To the Buyer and Seller:
(a) Diligent exercise of reasonable skill and care in performance of the agent's duties.
(b) A duty of honesty and fair dealing and good faith.

So as you can see unfortunately the Listing Agent failed to inform you and take
care of your needs as a Seller. The least she could do is to offer to pay for it as
it is was overlooked from someone else besides you the Seller. I hope this helps
and if you ever need anymore properties Sold Call me and I will walk you through
the entire process from the beginning to the end of entire process.

p.s. It is typical that the property management company requests an upfront fee due
to so many deals that cancelled prior to close and they are stuck with the fees etc...
and on that note it is the Agents responsibility to inform you and advise you that's why
we make the big bucks :) to make the very complicated process with hundreds of
moving parts flow easy to make your life easier.


David R. Indermill
Luxury Real Estate Advisor
Re/Max La Jolla Ca
Dre# 01232827
Cell: 858-414-5478
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 27, 2012
that's very weird what I typed formatted completely different when Trulia processed and posted..
Flag Sun May 27, 2012
Here are some answers:

1. For HOA's that charge, this fee is in line with others. Is it reasonable? Not in my opinion, no.
2. Since it is in line with other outside managed HOA's I would guess it falls under the reasonable category.
3. I can't speak for how other agencies handle things, but when we come across this situation we will do the legwork but the seller pays.

Also, sellers frequently do this kind of math. My response to that is you don't get paid for what you do, you get paid for what you know. If your agent was good, they covered you on the disclosures end, got the property under contract, probably handled a lot of negotiating in the background that you don't know about, and got your place sold. If it took 6 months would you have paid them more?

Sometimes they are easy, and sometimes they are hard. We have a 4 unit building on the market that we couldn't give away last year and got all 4 in contract in two weeks this year. Trust me, my dollar per hour isn't even close to worth it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 27, 2012
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