Should Realtors that are a member of a local multiple listing service post current/pending special assessments in their listing information?

Asked by Connie Mitchell, South Padre Island, TX Sat May 5, 2012

On two instances I have had buyers interested in properties that I sent them information on from my local multiple listing service. During negotiations it was found there was a current special improvement assessment to be invoiced in the future. Both buyers were disappointed the information was not relayed in the original MLS listing information. The buyers both chose other properties for that reason.

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Steve Tennis…, Agent, McAllen, TX
Sat May 5, 2012
Wow Connie, what a good question.

We are required to disclose material facts and not to mislead the public, right? If the assessment is known about I would say disclose. Most HOA's have a provision for a special assessment in their documents though. On SPI you sometimes know about coming assessments through word of mouth

Steve Tennison
1 vote
Linda Zuniga, Agent, South Padre Island, TX
Mon May 21, 2012
It is my personal opinion that it should be disclosed and displayed once this information becomes available to the Agent. It's always a good idea when listing a property to ask the Homeowner if they are aware of any talk of Special Assessments or Improvements. On the other hand, not all Homeowners go to the Homeowners Meetings and often are caught unaware themselves. Whether it's a Seller, or a Buyer - no one likes surprises.
1 vote
Steve Tennis…, Agent, McAllen, TX
Sat May 5, 2012
Connie, you are working with a relatively young mls but you have some good strong brokers there.

in my interactions there I was sure to ask the listing agent those specific questions as well as searching public records.
1 vote
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sat May 5, 2012
In my area, it's a moot point, as that question is asked (and answered) as part of the seller's disclosure, when the listing is first taken.

But, to answer your question...imo....yes, it should be disclosed prior to going under contract, as part of the listing.......whether that information is part of the MLS, or on another disclsoure is up for grabs.
1 vote
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sat May 5, 2012
So, they decided not to buy the home of their dreams because the agent waited until later to disclose that there were special assessments . . .

I think that we should disclose them, because the objective isn't to get someone into a contract, the objective is to close a transaction. We should be marketing these condos to people with the cash to handle a special assessment, not getting a minimum-down buyer to tie up the property only to find that they can't handle the assessment.

To me, it's like marketing a fixer as "needing TLC." To heck with that - market to a contractor who has the ability to do the work!!!

Anyway - as buyer's agents, we should be able to scout around and look for warning signs of special assessments. EIFS, deferred maintenance, water damage under window sills . . .
1 vote
Connie Mitch…, Agent, South Padre Island, TX
Sat May 5, 2012
Steve thank you and good points! The condo resale certificate will disclose the assessments that are due, but it seems this information should be disclosed from the get go! I agree with your statement that material facts should be disclosed and failing to do so certainly appears to be misleading. I suppose this might be a question I should present to my local multiple listing agency.
1 vote
Karen Moore, Agent, South Padre Island, TX
Sat Feb 28, 2015
Yes, indeed, special assessments, if known, should be disclosed in the listing info. It can be a negotiated item depending on what it is for, the amount, how motivated the Buyer/Seller is, etc. Having as much information as possible is always positive!
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