Re: Involvement in Closing of Home Sales
From: Julie Gallagher (
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2017 14:18:09 -0700 (PDT)
My thought about putting it into the sale contract wasn't so much to
educate the buyer as to have the buyer affirmatively sign something saying
they agree to be governed by the By-Laws and the policies adopted by the
HOA. Then, if later down the road, the buyer is refusing to comply with a
significant community requirement, there would be something to point to to
say, "you signed this, agreeing to follow the rules." (Not that it would
have much in the way of teeth to enforce, but enforcement is a different
issue.) To me, that's stronger than saying, "we have a Declaration and
By-Laws saying residents have to comply with the rules, which you may or
may not have read."

We haven't had a problem yet that this is trying to solve. You may have
guessed that I'm an attorney, so I'm kind of hung up on legal documents and
whether people are obligated to follow them. I fully agree, Ann, that it's
critical to educate buyers in advance, which is something we don't have a
formal process for. Our immediate situation is that a resident has listed
her home with a realtor, after two years of "sort of" marketing it through
the cohousing website and our community website. (Our houses are difficult
to sell because of our location.) The first potential buyers the realtor
showed it to were an elderly couple who looked rather frail. Since then,
she has come to a potluck and hopefully become more familiar with the
community. But she has also taken a group of other realtors through the
house to encourage them to show it to their clients. The owner doesn't want
community members to come on too strong about cohousing and possibly scare
buyers away.


On Thu, Jun 15, 2017 at 4:03 PM, Ann Zabaldo <zabaldo [at]> wrote:

> Hello Bob —
> You are TOTALLY correct — you can NOT depend on an agent or the seller to
> educate the buyer.  You are singing my tune.
> Education has to be done long before there is a sales contract.  That is
> why at Takoma Village in DC we have robust Resale and Orientation pods
> (committees) to educate the potential buyer and to facilitate the sale of
> the home.  We eliminate real estate agents saving the home owner an average
> of $20,000 per sale.  But more importantly,  we get new neighbors who are
> aware of the expectations of living here.
> Julie’s original post, however, was about putting language into the sales
> contract advising the buyer that he/she is buying into cohousing.  How does
> that educate the potential buyer?  It can throw up a red flag if he/she
> reads the contract closely enough.  Then, hopefully, someone other than the
> agent is answering the questions.  That’s the best case scenario.  If you
> want to depend on the sales contract alone to educate the buyer then you’d
> have to include all your policies in the contract including workshare.
> Best --
> Ann Zabaldo
> Takoma Village Cohousing
> Washington, DC
> Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
> Falls Church, VA
> 202.546.4654
> As long as you have two or fewer … your ducks are always in a row.  The
> Covert Comic
> > On Jun 14, 2017, at 12:05 PM, Bob Leigh <bobleigh [at]> wrote:
> >
> >
> > It's not enough to expect the seller or real estate agent to educate the
> buyer. At Cornerstone, we found out the hard way when an agent told a buyer
> that all the landscape work was handled by the HoA. The buyer found out
> _after_ buying, what that meant was all of us pitch in to do it.
> >
> > Bob Leigh
> > Cornerstone Village Cohousing
> > Cambridge MA
> >
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