If you’re in the market of buying or selling a home within an HOA, you’ll most likely come across the requirement for a resale package as part of the process. Not familiar with what a resale package is? Hopefully this article will help!
What is a Resale Package?
A resale package contains vital information to those purchasing a home in an association. Resale certificates reduce the liability for the HOA if the seller isn’t up to date on payments, thus ensuring that it’s the buyers’ responsibility, after a certain time period has passed, to pay the HOA. Resale certificates are legally required documents ensuring that buyers have full disclosure before purchasing a property.
In this article, we will explain why the homeowner pays for a resale package and why it’s part of the standard homebuying process. We’ll also discuss what to look for when purchasing a home from someone in an existing HOA.
Who Handles the Resale Package?
The property management company generally handles the completion of resale certificates, and there is almost always a fee for this service.
Who pays the fees associated with a resale package varies from state-to-state, and may even from community to community; fees associated with the resale package are often included in the closing costs. Although there is some cost involved, this process gives peace of mind and transparency to all parties involved. If it turns out that the seller is behind on their payments, the buyer can request that part of the contract be worded to include that the seller must pay all outstanding HOA fees.
This allows the buyers to be protected from hidden fees, while also guaranteeing that the HOA will receive the money that they are owed.
In short, a resale certificate is a legal document that ensures that the seller’s obligations are taken care of, the buyer knows all expectations of the community that they are joining, and the HOA knows that they will get their money.
What’s Included in a Resale Package?
The resale package has two parts – the resale certificate and the governing documents. The resale certificate (also known as a closing statement, estoppel, dues statement, paid assessment letter, 3407, or 5407) provides information about the property that you are buying and the seller’s standing in the association. It will include past due payments or unpaid violations, pending violations, and any fees that are due upon closing. It should also detail information about the community association’s current budget, planned expenditures for the upcoming year, and disclose any pending litigation.
The governing documents usually include the master deed, articles of incorporation, bylaws, and rules and regulations. Although “governing documents” refers to essentially the same basic set of information regardless of where you are, each state may vary a little in what is required to be disclosed. Your realtor, title company, and HOA management company should be knowledgeable about what is required in your state.
Although it is in your best interest to become familiar with all documents included in the resale package, here are 4 key things to look for when purchasing a home from someone in an HOA:
- Make sure that the seller is currently up to date on all fees, special assessments, and violation fines. If there are any amounts outstanding, be prepared to negotiate to get some money back in closing costs to pay the debts; otherwise, you will be responsible to pay them out of your own pocket!
- Read over the bylaws to be sure that you are not agreeing to abide by any rules that you cannot actually abide by (for example, pet issues, number of cars, ability to list as a short-term rental, etc.)
- Check the reserve study and YTD financial statement. This will tell you if there could be special assessments in the near future, or perhaps an increase in monthly/quarterly dues.
- See if the association currently has any pending litigation, whether as the defendant or the plaintiff.
As mentioned above, the homeowner has to get a resale package in order to protect both the buyer and the seller, and at the same time minimize the financial risk for the association.
The resale package exists so that all parties know what is expected up front – there is complete transparency regarding the rules, expectations, and obligations that the buyer will be expected to fulfill and abide by upon closing. It also details the seller’s financial standing within the HOA, ensuring that the HOA will be paid all outstanding monies, whether by the buyer or the seller, in a timely manner.