Re: Communities that handle property buys and sells
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2019 21:43:13 -0700 (PDT)
Tom — that is our experience at Takoma Village using a Title Company - lawyers 
staff and own the company.   

By providing a pool of educated and informed buyers, coupled w/ the FSBO 
process and using a Title Company, our Resale and Rental POD brings efficiency 
and savings in money and time to the process.  Sellers happily donate to the 
community for providing this service.  A Real Estate agent charging only 1% of 
a $400,000 home is still $4.000 and you still have to pay the cost of a 
settlement agent of some sort.  And while RAs reducing their fees and providing 
a service to the Seller/Buyer is most generous — I realize some of them live in 
the cohousing community they are serving as well - none of that 1% accrues to 
the community which is why people want to move to cohousing in the first place. 

My vision is that the residents and the cohousing community as a whole are 
acknowledged as a part of the exchange of real estate.  In a cohousing 
community, in every real estate transaction there are three entities involved:  
The Seller, the Buyer and the Community.   For the TVC community, our first 
goal is finding prospective members who have made an informed decision about 
moving here — meaning they learned enough about TVC that they can say that TVC 
is a fit for them.  An important way of acknowledging the Community’s role is a 
commitment of money.  Put some skin in the game …

BTW — this weekend was our 15th & 16th resale.  Under cloudy, cold skies, and 
enough rain to break our drought about 30+ people showed up.  For one of the 
units, there were 4 active submissions w/ escalation clauses.  Our Resale and 
Rental POD provided all 4.  I don’t yet know the results of whose  contract was 
accepted but all of them came through our process of tours, meetings, social 
events at which we emphasize the importance of fun, participation, and work 
share.  Whichever one is our new neighbor I have confidence he/she/they will be 
comfortable here at TVC.  The other sale is sadly an estate sale.  (I’m missing 
my neighbor.)  Because there is a large outstanding mortgage I don’t believe 
TVC will see a donation yet our R&R process will net a person who will be a fit 
for us.  And that’s a huge gain.

Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC
Member, Board of Directors
Mid Atlantic Cohousing
Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
Falls Church, VA

"Handle every situation like a dog. 
If you can’t eat it or play with it, 
Just pee on it and walk away.” –Author Unknown

> On Oct 23, 2019, at 11:47 PM, Thomas Lofft <tlofft [at]> wrote:
> Katie McCamant wrote:
> Home sales are regulated differently in every state. Some require an 
> attorney, or closing attorney, and others don't.  In my community, Nevada 
> City Cohousing in Nor Cal, we have seen homes sales in a variety of formats, 
> but never with the community in the middle. I just closed on a new home in my 
> community without either a real estate agent or an attorney. It was a sale 
> between two original members, so we worked out a contract and took it over to 
> the title company for the closing...all went very smoothly even as we worked 
> thru a rent back.
> We have also found a couple of local relators that will facilitate the 
> contract and closing for a reduced fee of 1/2 - 1 % (instead of the typical 
> 6% split between the seller and buyer agents), but that is only if seller and 
> buyer have already fully agreed on price and terms and are ready to go into 
> contract, with no complications.
> And then I have neighbors that decided it was worthwhile to have their own 
> realtor representing their interest, with the buyer having their own realtor 
> like a more tradition sale.
> If you talk with realtors and loan brokers that have worked with cohousers, 
> they generally say we are pain-in-the-butt clients: asking tons of questions, 
> wanting to look at every possible option in detail, and then expecting 
> discounts on standard fees. Buyers have often complained that trying to work 
> with a cohousing seller without a realtor nearly killed the deal (and who 
> knows how many it did kill).
> Katie
> --
> Kathryn McCamant, President
> CoHousing Solutions
> Nevada City, CA 95959
> T.530.478.1970  C.916.798.4755
> Katie et al.: Although you may not realize it, if you had a title company 
> handle your settlement, I believe that invariably there was an attorney at 
> the helm. I have practiced real estate in several states and every title 
> company was typically owned and managed by an attorney. The title company 
> typically reviews and interprets the contract, prepares the settlement 
> calculations for the lender and tax authorities and also issues your title 
> insurance policy to insure against title defects and assures that your deed 
> and mortgage agreements are filed in proper order to assure continuity of 
> title and security for your lender.
> Tom Lofft
> Liberty Village, MD
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