Most people are familiar with moving. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a person will move houses just over 11 times throughout their lifetime. But, when your home is part of a homeowners' association (HOA), even the moving pros can be left wondering what to do. With more than 40 years of HOA experience, we've got the expert advice you need successfully move out of your HOA home.
Before You List Your Home
If you own your home, then that means you’re a current member of your association and will have some added responsibilities when selling. To make sure you’re doing your part, try following the steps below before you list your home for sale.
Talk With Your HOA
It’s always a good idea, and sometimes necessary depending on where you live, to inform your HOA that you’re planning on selling your home. Check your governing documents for any procedural processes, but if you’re unsure, reach out to your HOA board or community association manager (CAM) to start the conversation. These resources will help answer questions and can give you a head start on the requirements specific to your HOA.
Check Your HOA's Selling Requirements
Depending on your HOA rules and state laws, there may be different requirements for selling your home when it’s part of an HOA. Some may require a home inspection, transfer documents, or other paperwork before transferring ownership. Additionally, it’s always good to check on your HOA account details before selling. You’ll likely need to make sure any fees are paid to ensure your home is free and clear to sell.
Ask About Selling Fees
According to the Community Associations Institute (CAI), over 70% of HOA's have a transfer fee when a home is sold. These fees go towards paying for community services and improvements and can either be a flat fee or percentage of the sale price. Typically, this fee is paid by the buyer, but it can vary.
When You Are Selling Your Home
After you’ve done your research about what it’ll take to sell your HOA home, there are a few more things to keep in mind throughout the selling process.
Make Sure Your Association Account Is in Good Standing
If you owe your HOA money for fees, fines, or dues, then your home may already have a lien placed on it. Owing your HOA money could complicate selling your home and, in some cases, prevent you from moving out. It's always better to pay up before you sell. While it may be possible to sell your home regardless, any amount owed will likely be paid directly to the HOA out of the proceeds of your home sale.
Disclose Your Association to Potential Buyers
Potential buyers need to know about your HOA so they can make an informed decision when buying. Some may request governing documents to get to know community rules and regulations, and some states and communities may have additional requirements about HOA disclosures. Likewise, some loans may also require specific information, such as monthly dues and reserve fund amounts, before approving a potential buyer's mortgage.
Get All of Your Documents Ready
Work closely with your HOA and realtor to make sure all necessary documents are ready to go on the closing day. Missing any needed paperwork could delay the process and scare off potential buyers. Some required documents may include:
- Resale Packages
- Transfer Documents
- Home Inspections
Even when you’re saying goodbye to your HOA, there are likely some rules you need to follow closely. Below are a few considerations that will help your move go smoothly.
Check for Community Moving Hours
Many communities will have quiet hours or specific times where residents can move in or out, especially if you live in a condo building or apartment. Check your community hours to be safe and reach out to your board or CAM if you have questions.
Arrange Any Needed Elevator, Building, or Gate Access
If your community includes elevators, doors, or gates that you’ll need to access for your move, then make plans ahead of time with your board or facility manager. Make sure you don’t break guidelines or safety regulations by parking the moving truck in a fire lane or propping open any security doors or gates without getting permission first.
Shopping for a New HOA Home?
Are you looking to buy a new home that is part of an HOA community? We've got the information you need to get started. Check out our article, "The Ultimate HOA Home Buying Guide" to learn more.