Re: communities that handle property buys and sells internally?
From: Edwin Simmers (
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2019 22:12:37 -0700 (PDT)
Original Question: Do communities that handle their real estate transactions 
for buyers and sellers internally allow owners to have an agent represent them?

Yes, buyers and sellers of real estate always have the right to retain an 
advisor (agent, attorney, etc.) when negotiating a real estate purchase and 
sale. Who would want to be involved in such a significant matter if they 
weren’t allowed trusted assistance, at their own expense of course?

Alan O. also asks how transactions are handled where communities handle their 
real estate transactions “internally.”

At first I thought Alan might be referring to a cohousing development not 
organized as a condominium (where you actually own real estate) but rather as a 
co-op (where you only own shares in a corporation that owns the real estate or 
leases the real estate from someone else).

So Alan clarifies that he’s speaking of communities handle the real estate 
transactions and ‘collect” reduced commissions that would otherwise be paid to 
real estate agents. He wants to know if this is common and if sellers can use 
their own agents.

My experience is the same as other writers who’ve never heard of a cohousing 
community that’s actually paid part of a commission for facilitating a real 
estate transaction. Maybe in one of those huge thousand-home retirement 
communities where the developer has a sales office on site, but not here.

Cohousing communities have better ways to get money during a real estate 
transaction. Most states allow an association to charge the seller for 
preparation of various financial and structural disclosures required to be 
furnished to a prospective buyer. Some condominiums even assess move-in and 
move-out fees. And you can be sure that any bank financing the purchase will 
insist that all community dues and assessments for the unit are paid in full!
As Katie McCamant says, in most states the actual documents of sale are handled 
by a "closing agent” that is often employed by a title insurance company, the 
cost of which is often shared by buyer and seller. Once buyer and seller have 
reached a mutual agreement and financing is secured, the deal’s ready for 
closing. Still, some people just feel better having a real estate agent or 
broker help them with the sale, or consulting with an attorney. Everyone’s 
comfort level is different and no one should hesitate to ask for help.

Ed Simmers

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