RE: Membership control in resales
From: Rob Sandelin (Exchange) (
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 1995 09:42:14 -0600
1. How many units have transfered in your community?
Three so far in the last 3 years. 2 homes, 1 lot.

2. How do units transfer in your community?  Do you have a group 
membership process, or is the seller of a unit responsible for finding a 
new buyer?
Yes there is a group membership process, which we do not show to the banks, 
it is not in the CC&R's, but in a "community guide" which we give interested 
prospects.  So far, all the units transferred thus far have done so to 
people who have been involved, come to meetings, dinners etc. We have one 
very large unit which was forclosed on and is on the regular real estate 
market. So far, anyone who has come out and answered a general real estate 
ad for the property has not come back.  The realtor is very aware and 
supportive of the community aspect and discloses this to everyone who comes, 
and has found it immediately scares almost everyone away from the property.

3. Is your membership transfer process an informal agreement, or is it 
written into your CC&R's and bylaws?
It is written into the CC&Rs that the owner or agent much provide the board 
with the buyer, escrow company, and selling agents phone and address within 
15? days before closing.  This is boiler plate from the condo act in our 
state, it allows the board to give assessment notices to all involved.

4. What has worked well about your resale process, and what would you
The biggest problem we have with resale is document management.  The banks 
want all the documents, including any internal covenents and policies when 
deciding on a mortgage.  We had a recent problem that the seller gave the 
bank a two year old copy of internal agreements, several of which had been 
removed or otherwise changed.  It took a fair amount of my time to explain 
it all to the bank.  We also have two ownership forms, which frankly few of 
the members understand and the banks didn't either, again until I explained 
it.  I think it would be wise to make a unit sale checklist for owners 
selling their units so they know what documents they need, where to get 
them, what process they need to follow.

So far, we have not been able to sell the forclosed unit on the real estate 
market, and its configuration and size and price make it difficult to sell 
to the cohousing market. The owner (a very untrustable hard money lender) is 
getting impatient and wants to get his profits out of this property.He is 
placing his own ads in the real estate section of the paper and makes no 
mention of the community in either his ads or when he talks with prospects 
who call him.  It makes me nervous that this property is owned by such a 
dubious character who has a very bad reputation but there is nothing I can 
do about it but hope for the best.  We do have display materials at the 
entrance to orientate folks to the community, and I hope that will safe 
guard us from someone buying in who would be a non-cohousing interested 
neighbor.  The last folks who came out to look at the property met a bunch 
of us, and then never came back.

Theres a lesson in here somewhere, but damned if I know what it is.  If a 
property gets forclosed on, you are at the mercy of the bank, whose primary 
interest is going to be getting rid of the property as soon as possible. 
 Since the member who got forclosed on had such a bad debt record and bad 
communication with the community, I have no idea how we could have avoided 
the situation we are in - Nobody would loan this guy the time of day, much 
less pay the 20K he was in arrears.

So, in your thoughts, consider the foreclosure scenario as well as willing 
sellers and maybe you will come up with some insight which we didn't have.

Rob Sandelin

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