Alan, Home Buyer in Oakland Park, FL

Why can't agents list HOA FEES ?

Asked by Alan, Oakland Park, FL Thu Jun 13, 2013

Frankly I will NOT EVEN CONTACT an agent about an advertised property with NO HOA information. I can estimate my mortgage payments, electric, water, taxes, etc but I have NO FREAKIN' IDEA of what the HOA payments since they vary so WILDLY.

And I will NOT waste my time e-mailing for info and, BTW, now getting on an agent's "list" (God help me) just to find out the monthly HOA would be larger than my mortgage payment. "Oh, but we have plenty of other properties we can show you".

Frankly Trulia shouldn't even allow posting of such an ad without that information.

(end of rant)

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Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Fri Jun 14, 2013
Terry is CORRECT!
The data displayed on Trulia and Zillow IS NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF ANY AGENT!!!!!
Trulia states that real estate information they display comes from LISTHUB.
Agents DO enter HOA fees, taxes, restrictions such as age and pets, and a whole lot of other stuff and submit it to the MLS. NOT Trulia. Not Zillow. I do not give permission for my data to appear here...yet here it is. This intellectual property created by real estate professionals is stolen by folks like Listhub and propogated to hundreds and hudreds of not thousands of websites. An agent CAN NOT check them all, nor should they attempt to. We should, and do, advise the public that what they see on sites like Trulia if the vapors of home sold long ago and illusions of home for sale. Yet, here you are.
Listhub and Trulia reserve the right to change, supress, substitute or use any stategy that suits their advertising purpose. When incorrect data is spotted, some data fields are inaccessible to agents to correct.
But Alan, what did you do? Blame the agent. Bligerantly declare, "I won't even call an agent.....blah, blah, balh..." and all along, the agent had no bearing on the data you see. Why do citizens, everytime they are disappointed, want to blame the real estate professional? Simply because we are identifiable, accessable and ready and willing to help. I don't know if 'God will help you," but there are many willing and able professionals who can and will....well maybe not now.
I have no expectation you will return to the Q&A and appologize. Then you can choose to hold Trulia's feet to the flame.
It has always been my contention real, serious and qualified buyers do not rely on aggregate real estate wabsites but have promoted themselves to the tools serious buyer use. What's amusing is everyone on Trulia thinks themselves a serious buyer as the repeatedly ask for information on Lease/options.
When you are serious and qualified, the option to CALL (if you are serious you will pick up the phone) a Boca Raton professional is always available. Yes, they will ask you important, intelligent, probing questions. You know. just like any serious professional would. Now that is a scary thought for those who are unqualified.

Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
2 votes
Firstly nobody said Terry was wrong.

Secondly, I was NOT, at least not totally blaming the agent although I confess if I WAS an agent reading the original post I guess I would feel that way as well.

Thirdly, you are coorect, when I AM serious and ready to do some real due diligence I WILL pick up the phone BUT, the reason for these sites existence is to give somebody some direction and THAT is why I use the site. But without HOA fees the financials are USELESS as a starting point.

Sorry your "contention" is incorrect.

And best of success to you as well as you have just reduced your pool of possible clients by (at least ?) 1.
Flag Fri Jun 14, 2013
Gotojoy18%40…, Home Buyer,
Fri Apr 24, 2015
I liked your answer to Annette, Alan. I also like looking at houses early. I think it's important to get familiar with the real escape landscape of an area before buying a house down the road. It is a huge investment.

I have been watching the area in Florida I plan to move to for two years on Trulia & Zillow. I have learned so much, but I haven't learned much at all about those HOA fees. It is the most frustrating part about "browsing" for houses because it's a huge consideration when budgeting for a home. I really wish we could get that information from T&Z. What's the big secret??

These agents are in the business, Alan. We're not. It's easy to blame them when we don't know what goes on behind the scene. I'm surprised at how many took such offense to your frustration. At least you know some agents to NOT contact.

I don't know any agents who would want to track down info on hundreds of houses for me for 2+ years. I feel like I'm doing them a favor using T&Z. The more info we can acquire ourselves, the easier their job will be when I'm ready to lay down the cash.
1 vote
It is very simple for Realtor to check data. Once familiar with the area.. one begins to understand the basis behind the fee's.. Beach condo fee's $500 - $5000 Inland condo's - $150 = no club house, minimal to no services... $300 - $500 = nice club house / community... $1200 - $3000 = Country Club...
Flag Tue May 26, 2015
Alan, Home Buyer, Oakland Park, FL
Thu Jun 13, 2013
To all the rest of you, thank you for your feedback !!!
1 vote
Anita Weiner, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Thu Jun 13, 2013
Why even bothering answering to vent because you can't afford a property if you had an agent you would know the fees instead of crying about it..
1 vote
What ARE you babbling about ? Often the mortgage might be "X" and the HOA might be the SAME. Or "X+++" even. You don't think that information is germane in inquiring about a property ? Would you want me bothering YOU asking about a property I should know I can't afford in the first place. Or do you have all this time to waste ? Oops, looks like I hit on something, didn't I ? LMAO

Apparently if I had an agent like you I would certainly be "crying".

Thanks for your contribution(?) !!!

No kindly shuffle off.
Flag Thu Jun 13, 2013
Gary and Kar…, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Tue May 26, 2015
It is very simple for a Realtor to check the data.

Once familiar with the area.. one begins to understand the basis behind the "monthly" fee's..
Beach condo fee's $500 - $5000
Neighborhood communities... $15 - $50 - consistent mailboxes, sidewalks, colors etc...
Inland condo's - $150 = no club house, minimal to no services...
$300 - $500 = nice club house / community...
$1200 - $3000 = Country Club...

Hope this is helpful..

Gary Youngman
25 Year "full time" Florida resident
I know the area and the market...

Have questions on a certain development -
Call 561.306.7653
Web Reference:
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Tue May 26, 2015
I can speak fiir our MLS that does have a direct feed to Trulial and such sites, the problem is Trulia and such sites do not take all the data such as HOA fees as entered in the M LS. The areas for data do not match and therefore much information such as HOA fees are not printed in Trulia. It is just as frustrating for agent who want any potential buyer to have ALL the info, not just pieces of it,.
0 votes
Not the Palm Beach MLS they use Listhub... I believe this may be changing in near term. - The "mapping" of data is not rocket science... example "HOA" this field to map should be as clear as a property address... this is NOT accidental.
Flag Tue May 26, 2015
Gary and Kar…, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Tue May 26, 2015
One further comment -

The lack of HOA posting is a small piece...

Check appliances... actually there are many essential fields either skipped or left void.

Knowing this I do go behind them and edit listing (on the major sites) to update the listing data.

I do not know of an easier solution... other than have Trulia get it accurate.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Gary and Kar…, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Tue May 26, 2015
Annette ,

"This intellectual property created by real estate professionals is stolen by folks like Listhub and propogated to hundreds and hundreds of not thousands of websites"

For clarity here... Listhub does not steal this data, it is feed to them directly by your local MLS. Trulia does not get 100% of it data from "Listhub"... In fact agency data such as Coldwell Banker "trumps" Listhub...

You are 100% correct as too the responsible party - the data is in MLS - If the data is not present on Trulia... Trulia should fix this... County Club Fees are another can of worms...

25 year full time Boca Resident -
I know the area and the market... in the digital world, very much up to date.
561.306.7653 - Get it Seen - Get it Sold
Web Reference:
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sun Jun 16, 2013
I think that's fine, Alan.
0 votes
Gary Hitchco…, Agent, Coral Springs, FL
Sat Jun 15, 2013
Glad God could help you out, he works wonders that way. HOA fees are a mandatory field in the MLS however many sites like this one don't show them. One of many reasons to have God or a good Realtor do your home search.
0 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Fri Jun 14, 2013
{Shaking head in disbelief}

Umm...if you had an agent, the agent would do that research for you. You don't like wasting your time e-mailing for info? Fine. Don't. Agents can do that.

But: You have "NO FREAKIN' IDEA" of what the HOA payments are? Sure, they vary. But often not "WILDLY." If I see a few similar types of condos listed in an area (all garden apartments, say, or high rises) and the condo fees are within a general range (example: $250-$400), then I might start with the general assumption that most likely the condo fees for a similar property are, let's say, $325, plus or minus some. I could be wrong, but I'd use that as a starting point.

Besides, what the heck are you doing contacting the listing agent? The listing agent represents the seller. Why would you (the buyer) want to do that?

Finally, as others have pointed out, Trulia may be a starting point. But for better listing information, go to or the public website of a real estate brokerage within your MLS area. That is, if you still insist on doing it yourself.
0 votes
{shaking head in disbelief}

I'm sure you're hot stuff in Virginia but if you don't think HOA/condo/whatever fees can vary wildly down here in So Fla I suggest you come down here and check it out yourself.

As for Trulia being a starting point, thanks for the info. I AM at a starting point but when the FEES I am looking for are omitted/left out/not culled by Trulia/whatever that makes my starting point useless (which IS the point of my original post anyway - not necessarily directed at agents)
Flag Fri Jun 14, 2013
Bob Brubaker, Agent, Lake Worth, FL
Fri Jun 14, 2013
Alan- Thank you for your kind words and constructive Thoughts!

Now that you have made it clear all of what don't and won't do, are
we in a better position to help with all your countless future
requests for your calculations- without real communication ?
Sorry to see you so limited in your searches on-line and your
fustrations over the Free information available too you!
Ok you have been heard!

Have a great day!

Bob Brubaker Highlight Realty Palm Beach County Fl. 561-876-6649
Web Reference:
0 votes
If you don't understand what preliminary investigation is and how it narrows down the potential requests for additional information I can't understand it FOR you.

Thanks for the sarcasm. Another one bites the dust.
Flag Fri Jun 14, 2013
allan erps,A…, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Fri Jun 14, 2013
Should include HOA fees if the Agent is diligent. However for the first several days of the listing there may be a delay until getting the exact amount is verified.
0 votes
Terry Farnsw…, Agent, Lisle, IL
Fri Jun 14, 2013
Agents don't have any control over what information is imported by sites like Trulia, and Zillow, etc.

I can't speak for every Multiple Listing Service, but with the one I use - when you indicate that there is an association fee when entering the listing, the system forces the broker to enter a value for the fee. So, as stated below - if your local MLS is set up like this, which I would assume it is - if you receive the listing information directly from an agent, you will see the full information.

Bottom line is - get the information directly from an agent - and you won't have to worry about what information the different websites neglect to include.
0 votes
Brent Selby, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Fri Jun 14, 2013

Of course Brokers can and should list HOA and Condo fees.

Your HOA fees can vary geatly from community to community depending on association budget, ammenities, insurance, security, reserves, frequency and quality of common area maintenance and residential structure maintenance and what is included such as roof, exterior, pest control, cable and any number of other factors.

Hoa fees will effect your ratios also when obtaining a mortgage as will taxes. Dont rely on past years taxes either as these will change and will be re assessed based on your new purchase price and this will factor into you ratios as well as new insurance rates.

Brent Selby
MLS Real Estate Inc
0 votes
Richard Merl…, Agent, Boston, MA
Thu Jun 13, 2013
Hoa or Poa Fee listing is standard practice in the MLS of Daytona Beach/ Volusia County. Any misprinting is truely and oversight in our market place.
0 votes
Lilia Biberm…, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Thu Jun 13, 2013
Hello Alan,

Trulia and other such websites give you incomplete and, very often, inaccurate information. Realtor accessed MLS is completely different. When, listings are imported into MLS, HOA fees are one of the required fields that need to be entered before a listing can go live. Therefore, when an real estate associate sends you a customer report from the MLS, you will see HOA fees.

If I may be of further assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me. I can provide you with as little or as much information as you desire. In fact, I can appreciate a good rant, as prior to my career as a Realtor, I gratuated with a BA in Psychology and then went on to become an Attorney. Both careers are fraught with rants. I wish you the best of luck in finding your new home.


Lilia Biberman, P.A.
Coldwell Banker,
Residential Real Estate LLC
0 votes
Jim Plotkin…, Agent, Deerfield Beach, FL
Thu Jun 13, 2013
Hi Alan,
These sites are a nice way for people to check out what is going on in the market. But it is not accurate. Please find a realtor that you like and have a professional do a search for you. I would be happy to help you in any way I can. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Jim Plotkin
Remax Complete Solutions
0 votes
Scott Miller, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Thu Jun 13, 2013
Hi Alan,

You do realize that Trulia and Zillow do not have direct feeds from our MLS, right? They are completely dependent on what agents are posting on their sites without really knowing if the info is kosher or up-to-date. No MLS will give them access, so you're getting very questionable information by searching for homes here.

You're not going to like my suggestion, and I don't think you're ranting. I'd be discouraged, too, if I were you.....but I would definitely find a good agent that works the area you need and ask for all homes that fall within your criteria. Ask to be put on an auto-notify list so you also receive all new listings within your search, too.

Trulia wants to sell ads and leads to agents. They get content and don't really question it. This is a great biz model for them and they're making money hand over fist, until agents get smart, and stop handing over their very proprietary information for FREE to Trulia/Zillow.

GOOD LUCK in your search.

Scott Miller
Realty Associates
Boca Raton, FL
0 votes
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