Re: Involvement in Closing of Home Sales
From: David Heimann (
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2017 08:00:10 -0700 (PDT)
Hello Julie and everyone,

We (JP Cohousing) have a procedure called "clearness" (similar to the Quaker meaning of the term), which takes place when a prospective buyer is serious considering making the commitment to buy. In clearness, a committee of three or so residents meets with the buyer(s) to go over the following questions:

1. Do you have any questions about read the Community Values and do you accept them?

2. Do you understand the Condo Documents, including the Prospective Living Here Guide? Do you have any questions? Will you abide by JPC policies?

3. Do you understand and agree to abide by and use the Consensus Process?

4. Do all the adult members of your household understand that Cohousing is a participatory process which included attending general meetings, joining a committee and performing 4 hours/month of work tasks related to JP Cohousing?

5. Living in JP Cohousing means making community a priority in your life. Is this something you are willing and able to do?

6. We would like to share some examples of how we operate as a community, and ask for relevant examples from your current life.

        7. What do you have to offer the JP Cohousing community?

        8. What are you prepared to give up to live in community?

        9. Do you have any other questions that we can answer at this time?

This includes acknowledging and agreeing to the condo documents, but also goes much further into establishing that the buyer understands and accepts (or better yet looks forward to) what they are getting into.

While clearness is not a process that approves or disapproves a purchase, it is a process that makes sure that everyone, particularly the buyer(s), goes into the purchase and moving in with all eyes open.

David Heimann
Jamaica Plain Cohousing

Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2017 10:30:30 -0700
From: drmaryann49 [at]
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Involvement in Closing of Home Sales
Message-ID: <B03A1EFB-1DCE-4C46-9D10-586FEBDBE993 [at]>
Content-Type: text/plain;       charset=utf-8

We have a list of documents that we provide to the title company to share with the buyer, including previous year-end financial statements, current year budget, Bylaws, CC&Rs, reserve fund summary, policy and procedure manual (Villagers Guide) and a letter acknowledging receipt of these.

We have a very active Marketing Committee who introduces potential members to the community, talks about living here, often shows available units, etc. So these documents are not the first time purchasers should have heard about these items which are also required by state law.

Mary Ann
Manzanita Village, Prescott, AZ

?Energy creates energy. It is by spending myself that I become rich? - Sarah Bernhardt

Mary Ann Clark drmaryann49 [at]
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On Jun 15, 2017, at 2:18 PM, Julie Gallagher <jgall63 [at]> wrote:

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.


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