Resale of units
From: Melanie Mindlin (
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 2020 08:45:08 -0800 (PST)
Hi Jay and Carol,

First of all, I agree with Martie; people primarily concerned with the 
amenities of the home are probably not the best new members for your Cohousing 
community.  Lots of people looking for housing enjoy visiting homes—it doesn’t 
mean they are serious about buying into your special community.

Our community has found re-sale of units to be one of the most challenging 
issues.  Most people are in favor of many rules and procedures for reselling to 
ensure that we get a quality new resident who knows what they’re getting into 
and really wants to do all the things necessary for a successful community.  
Then it’s time for them to re-sell, and it changes to "how can I take care of 
this burden as quickly and easily as possible?”  The expectations of the 
community around educating and getting to know the prospective buyer are not 
high on their list of priorities, and for some, are viewed as an impediment to 
their goals.

Our community has a policy that members must give the community a 30 day notice 
of their intention to sell before they list the home with a realtor.  The 30 
days start when they provide a set price and a Flyer describing the home to use 
in promoting it.  During this time, the community has the option of naming the 
new buyer if they are willing to meet the price.  So far the prices set for 
this process have been reasonable, rather than the price that allows for 
downward negotiation.  In addition, we have re-sold many homes without using a 
realtor and saved everyone the cost of their commission.  

Our policy says that any member of the community wishing to change homes has 
first priority, and this has happened on several occasions.  We have also sold 
a number of homes to friends of members. We contact everyone on our “interested 
list”, and we advertise on the CohoUS website, but we have not yet had any 
units sell to people found in this way because they are mostly from out of the 
area and not prepared to buy on short notice.

Recently, one of our members has purchased a couple of the homes when they came 
up for sale and rented them to people who were interested in experiencing our 
community before deciding to buy.  Renting for a trial period has been very 
successful on the two occasions it has been done, and we hope the current trial 
rental will also result in a successful transfer to a community member who is 
already integrated and knows they want to live with us.  

Sales to people who had not previously lived here have been less successful, as 
the new members have been surprised by the amount of work expected of them, 
have been unprepared to receive feedback, have not been able to flow with the 
tensions that are inevitable in community, feel hampered by a lack of autonomy, 
and so on.  

Our community also has policies designed to make sure the prospective members 
understand Cohousing.  We ask that people read information on Cohousing, 
conflict resolution and consensus process.  We have an orientation packet that 
is given to every prospective buyer that includes a list of these expectations. 
 They are also on our website.  We ask them to come to a dinner, a meeting and 
a “tea” specifically for them to meet some of us and ask (and be asked) 
questions.  We try to focus these on answering their questions, but sometimes 
they don’t even know what to ask and seek information about the house and 
infrastructure instead of the important social issues that will determine their 
compatibility with the community.  

Best of luck with your process.

> On Nov 3, 2020, at 3:16 AM, cohousing-l-request [at] wrote:
> Hi!
> I am applying for membership in a cohousing community and, as part of the
> admission process, I have been asked to research how various cohousing
> communities handle the resale of units. What are the procedures and
> policies that cohousing communities have put in place to handle the
> turnover of community members and the integration of new members?
> Many thanks for help in understanding the subtleties in this transition
> process.
> Bee Jay
> On Sat, Oct 31, 2020 at 1:41 PM Martie Weatherly <mhweatherly [at] 
> <mailto:mhweatherly [at]>>
> wrote:
>> You sell the community before you sell the house. Whether on a tour or at
>> an information meeting, you sell the characteristics of cohousing - caring
>> for your neighbors, working and playing together, making decisions
>> together, why the houses are clustered, the use of the common house, etc.
>> If people are more interested in having their dream home, they probably
>> don't see the value of cohousing.
>> If they see the value of cohousing, the house is not the most important
>> thing.
>> Martie Weatherly
>> Liberty Village
>> Frederick MD
>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: CJ Q <homeschoolvideo [at] <mailto:homeschoolvideo [at] 
>>> Sent: Oct 28, 2020 11:32 AM
>>> To: cohousing-l [at] <mailto:cohousing-l [at]>
>>> Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Contents of Cohousing - attracting buyers
>>> Hi all,
>>> I was wondering how is the best way to show a house.  Seems like some of
>>> the people who are interested in cohousing, come to see the neighborhood
>>> and want out for small reasons - no fire place, not enough storage in the
>>> house, don't like the view of the storage barns, porches messy (i.e. lived
>>> in), or they don't like the price.
>>> I'm wondering how do you get someone up to speed if they weren't around
>> for
>>> all the meetings and preparation to build the community? All suggestions
>>> and thoughts are welcome and you can always just email me if you like.
>>> Thanks in advance!
>>> Carol
>>> Emerson Commons, Crozet, Virginia
>>> house for sale or rent
>>> homeschoolvideo [at] <mailto:homeschoolvideo [at]>
>>> ___________

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