Re: Using Realtors with cohousing communities in pre-construction
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Sat, 19 Sep 2020 14:09:20 -0700 (PDT)
Hello Sarah —

There are some realtors on this list who have sold cohousing homes. Some of 
them actually live in cohousing as well.  I don’t know about pre-construction 
sales.  They would have the best view on how this could work.

From my experience … 

I was hired by the Developer of Takoma Village and Eastern Village to handle 
the outreach, marketing and sales for these two communities.  I live at Takoma 
Village.  We started moving in in 2000.   Eastern Village, just down the road 
from TVC, move-in stared in 2004.  

TVC was 75%  sold through by groundbreaking.  The other 25% sold very quickly 
once the dirt movers arrived.

EVC sold through even faster.  I was placing a contract every 1.5 days for a 
while.  BUT … right at the end the developers got spooked for some reason that 
I still don’t understand to this day and decided to hire a real estate agent.  
Ein mess.  For one thing, if he merely talked to a prospect that the community 
brought in … he got a commission.  Even if he brought in completely new people 
it was up to me and the community to do all the orientation for new folks.  
Orientation included helping people decide if cohousing was for them and not 
just a nice place to live w a 20 mins walk from the metro station.  He didn’t 
even write the contract.  I did that because we had a template for the sale 
that included information about cohousing.  He tried really hard to learn about 
cohousing but it really wasn’t his thing.  He was a nice guy but from the 
beginning it was more work than helpful.  

Now the above is  my experience.  It’s not the only one nor is it definitive of 
the experience using real estate agents.

Other experiences?

Best --

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

It may be that when we no longer know what to do,
we have come to our real work
and when we no longer know which way to go,
we have begun our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.

–Wendell Berry, “Our Real Work”

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> On Sep 18, 2020, at 12:53 PM, Alpenglow CoHousing <info [at] 
>> wrote:
> Hello,
> We at Alpenglow CoHousing in Ridgway Colorado are writing to see if any
> other forming communities in pre-construction have used realtors to help
> sell "units."  If so, what do you see as the advantages and sticking points?
> We are concerned about being able to be involved in prospective members
> brought in by realtors--particularly any legal constraints through the Fair
> Housing Act, etc.
> We also do not know how realtors work, create contracts when there are no
> actual units built to sell.  We do not yet have our preliminary plat
> approval either.
> We need to sell quite a few more memberships but Covid and its consequences
> have really slowed down interest.  This has increased our thinking of
> working with realtors.
> Please share your thoughts and experiences!
> With gratitude and in community,  Sarah M
> -- 
> Alpenglow is an intentional neighborhood being built in Ridgway, Colorado
> where residents can live simply, caring for one another and sharing
> resources in beautiful, environmentally friendly homes around our Common
> House. For more information, please find us at
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