Why is the seller asked to pay the CondoCert fee of $599 for our single residence home run by an HOA? I agree to pay the HOA fee.

Asked by critterkeeper250, Greer, SC Fri Jun 15, 2012

This is day three of a signed contract to buy our home. The home inspection has not been completed and these buyers have already nickle and dimed us to death. What if they back out? I am out $599 to the Condocert company? Any savy advice to keep escrow on track but protect myself from wasting $599

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Robert Boerner’s answer
Robert Boern…, Agent, El Cajon, CA
Sat Jun 16, 2012
While everything can be negotiated, it is important to note that the seller is required to provide certain HOA documents to the buyer during a transaction in California. Within the last year or two, Civil Code was modified to more clearly address this subject.

Assuming the buyer has an inspection period, the seller must provide CC&Rs, By-Laws, association's financial records, reserve analysis, and other related items as part of the disclosure process. If requested by the buyer, the most recent 12 months of HOA meeting minutes must also be included.

If these documents are not provided to the buyer during the inspection period, the buyer MAY not have to meet the contract's timeline for inspection contingency removal. The standard contract calls for the inspection contingency to be removed within 17 of acceptance OR 5 days after all required reports and disclosures are provided to buyer.

The Civil Code revision also addressed the high fees some HOA management companies are charging for providing the documents.
0 votes
John Juarez, Agent, Fremont, CA
Fri Jun 15, 2012
If you agreed in your contract to pay the fee, it is too late to change your mind. You, with the help of your agent should have been aware of this when the offer was first presented to you. You had the opportunity to counter that provision of the offer before you agreed to accept the offer.

Check with the HOA cert company. If the cert is generic and can be used for a subsequent transaction, then move forward unless you want to see the buyer cancel because of your refusal to follow the agreement. If this deal subsequently falls apart, make sure you negotiate the next offer to have the buyer pay for the cert fee and you can use the existing cert and recover your cost.

What are your time limitations? Is it possible for you to wait until the inspections are done to order the cert? Once your buyer has inspections done, the buyer will have an investment in the property and be less willing to cancel.

Signing a contract without reading it and understanding it is risky. If your agent neglected to point out paragraph in which you agreed to pay for the HOA cert, maybe you should have a little chat with his/her broker.
1 vote
Kari Shea, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Jun 18, 2012

First, is your home in SC or CA? The laws of each state dictate how the contracts are written, etc.

As for your question, Robert has this right.

A note to add, if the buyers walk you have paid for the HOA docs and should not have to pay anything else until closing. You can use the HOA docs to give to the next buyer as the current buyer should rightfully return them.

Best of luck,

Mark & Kari Shea
Shea Real Estate
0 votes
critterkeepe…, Home Buyer, Greer, SC
Sat Jun 16, 2012
It seems from the answers here that there should be a choice however, I was presented the second page and when I asked about the seller paying everything at the bottom of page two I was told that is what is expected here in San Diego county. " The seller always pays the boxes at the bottom of page two"? I realize anything is negotiable but if the "norm" is that sellers pay these charges I felt I would be at a disadvantage saying you pay half of these fees. I was prepared for $250-$300 but not $599.
0 votes
Cory La Scala, Agent, San Diego, CA
Fri Jun 15, 2012
First, read your contract; you won't pay for anything you didn't agree to in writing. This is a question for your agent. If your agent isn't working for you, contact your agent's broker. Time is of the essence with your contract, so please don't wait for answers here!

Warm Regards,

Cory La Scala, REALTOR
Independence Realty
0 votes
Hector Gaste…, Agent, Coronado, CA
Fri Jun 15, 2012
Dear Critterkeeper250,

Everything is negotiable in the purchase transaction. When I represent the buyer I write it in the contract that the seller pay for all the HOA and transfer fees, when I represent the seller I counter so that the buyer pays for it.

If your agent did not defend you on that issue it looks like you are stuck, I recommend you read the fully executed purchase agreement and everything that you have signed to make sure what you have to do/contribute to the transaction. Based on what you say, looks like you are stuck with $599. Is $599 worth jeopardizing the escrow? That is up to you, did you really like the offer?

I really take pride in negotiating everything on behalf of my clients, explain every line we are signing.

Some agents do Real Estate as a part-time job, some agents don't understand contracts, some are just eager to get into escrow and collect their commission, and there are some agents like me that are very detail oriented that always defend their clients best interests. There is a pie chart to be made for sure and I can't tell you how the percentages would be, but I hope it helps.

The way I look at it, I want for my clients to be my best referral source, I feel that if a client does not refer me 3 transactions I did not earn their business, would you reward your existing Realtor with more business? I constantly ask myself if I am earning repeat business from my clients and the results speak for themselves, to this day, I have not spent a dime this century in advertising myself on newspapers, internet, magazines, etc. because my clients do the marketing for myself. I hope this helps, I hope you got a very good deal for yourself as the market has turned in favor of the sellers.

BTW, that is a very good question.

Hector R. Gastelum
Realty Executives Dillon
REALTOR #01382940
efax 619-270-2516
0 votes
Rod Sandy, Agent, San Diego, CA
Fri Jun 15, 2012
I agree with Sinead ...
Your agent should be answering this question... they know the full contract and how it was written better than anyone...

-- Rod --
The Powers HomeSelling Team

Powers RealEstateTeam@gmail.com
Serving San Diego Families for 30 Years!
0 votes
Sinead McAll…, Agent, Oceanside, CA
Fri Jun 15, 2012
What does your contract say? On page two there is a specific column that states who is to pay for the HOA docs....

PS Your agent should be answering this question!!!
0 votes
These hoas are screwing the homeowners. What they do doesn't justify the exorbitant fees. They just know that no one will cancel the sale over the these fees, so they charge whatever they think they can get away with. The professional companies should be reigned in by the condo association voters to charge only reasonable fees for this service which is needed to sell/buy the property.
Flag Mon Mar 24, 2014
Agent says it seems high but that is what the Management company requires. The board of directors must not have looked at that line...
Flag Fri Jun 15, 2012
The seller is to pay HOA transfer fee. It seems that this fee goes beyond a transfer.
Flag Fri Jun 15, 2012
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