We just closed and got possession of our townhome.When we called the utilities to transfer the utilities to?

Asked by R B, Palo Alto, CA Wed Jun 4, 2008

our name we found that garbage and sewer are not covered by HOA, even though the listing mentioned that it was covered. We feel cheated. What can we do now?

Buyer from Palo Alto

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6
Joanna Lane, Agent, Cutchogue, NY
Wed Jun 4, 2008
You certainly have an issue to discuss with the listing agent about how they represented the property to you, but on most listing sheets there will be some small print at the bottom with a disclaimer to say the listing information is deemed to be reliable, but subject to errors and omissions.

In your shoes, my first call would be to your attorney. Why was there never a conversation about what was and was not included in the HOA fees BEFORE you closed? It's the attorney's job to interpret the Bylaws for you and to make sure you understand the minutiae of what you are getting into, before you get into it.

Which is not to excuse a possible oversight on the part of the listing agent, but at the end of the day, you cannot expect to rely 100% on a listing agent who represents the seller, whereas you can rely 100% on your own attorney who only represents you. However, (and please don't take this the wrong way), while I am sorry that you feel cheated, you do also need to take some of the responsibility yourself for relying on what is essentially an ad that is only intended to give a broad overview, rather than the very precise and detailed legal documentation that followed. The devil is in the details as they say.
1 vote
The Hagley G…, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Wed Jun 4, 2008
The listing mentioned it.....but what did the CC&Rs say? if there is a discrepency, rather than hiring an attorney, sit down with your Realtor and his/or Broker and ask questions. Getting an attorney on board early on creates anomosity. Give the Broker a chance to correct the situation if it needs to be corrected.
Web Reference:  http://www.cindihagley.com
1 vote
David Blockh…, Agent, Los Altos, CA
Wed Jun 11, 2008
RB,

Did you read the HOA documents? If you used an Agent, did he/she read it? Was the disclosure documents incomplete? If you didn't receive a complete set of documents, you might ask why. If you did and the information was in it, you are out of luck. It is the buyer's responsibility to check out everything about the property (including future use) prior to removing your property condition contingency.
Web Reference:  http://www.losaltoshomes.com
0 votes
Joanna Lane, Agent, Cutchogue, NY
Wed Jun 4, 2008
You certainly have an issue to discuss with your Realtor about how they represented the property to you, but in your shoes, my first call would be to your attorney. Why was there never a conversation about what was and was not included in the HOA fees BEFORE you closed? It's the attorney's job to make sure you understand the minutiae of what you are getting into, which is not to excuse a possible oversight on the part of the listing agent, but at the end of the day, you cannot rely on the listing agent who represents the seller to the same extent you can rely on your own attorney.
0 votes
Laura Testa, Agent, Bethel, CT
Wed Jun 4, 2008
It really is too bad that the mistake on the listing sheet wasn't caught prior to the purchase when the buyer and/or his attorney had the opportunity to review the condominium association's bylaws.
0 votes
CJ Brasiel, Agent, San Jose, CA
Wed Jun 4, 2008
RB,

The home owner association documents offered in the disclosure packet should have indicated what was covered and what was not covered. Make sure you did get a complete package. Review with your agent to make sure you received a complete packet.

If you did not receive a complete packet, I would suggest sitting down with the agent and a real estate attorney and determining your options.

Good luck,
CJ
Web Reference:  http://www.TalkToCJ.com
0 votes
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