I specialized in condominium sales in North Seattle. The situation you described is similar to one of my transactions that I am dealing with now. I can give you more insight on this issue.
First of all, what does it say exactly on the resale certificate? Take a close look. Does it say the $2K past due is owed by the units of the entire HOA or the particular unit that you are buying? You don't have to worry about the former, but you do want to know about the latter. If it is the former, you can stop reading here because you don't have control of how other units pay their dues. If it is the latter, please read on...
HOA past due and HOA special assessments are a lien again the property. Typically, good listing agents will provide the information in the listing details if the lien was accumulated before the listing date. However, if the lien is accumulated during the period of transaction, it will not be available in the listing details. This is very typical in a short sale transaction where you wait for 4 to 8 months for the lien holder's approval. Sellers moved out during the waiting period and stopped paying for the HOA or special assessment. If this is your situation, the HOA lien should be taken care of in the escrow with a mutual acceptance. If the lien holder or the seller wants you to pay the HOA past dues, they need to get your signature stating that before closing.
The bottom line is ... TRUST your real estate agent. It is tough to be in this business. To stay in the business, an agent must know well what prevents a deal from closing. If you decided to use this agent, then trust him or her. This agent will work for the best of your interest and avoid unnecessary risks in your transaction.
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