Re: Transfer fee when a unit turns over
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2021 17:01:44 -0700 (PDT)
We’ve had no success using realtors. People have tried it but the people they 
bring aren’t interested. And just doing tours 3-4 times  a year and keeping a 
notification list seems to do it. Units sell quickly. During the recession, 
they didn’t but when I looked at the vacancy rate in the neighborhood, ours was 
the same as theirs.

I think people would donate because Alicia and Ann are very persuasive. And 
have no doubts that this is what people should do. It communicates.


> On Mar 31, 2021, at 7:36 PM, Patricia Lautner <lautnerp [at]> wrote:
> Thanks very much for this information.
> Some of us were worried that if it was voluntary, people wouldn’t make the
> payment. But at Takoma Village, that’s not really the case is it? Sometimes
> our sellers do use a realtor but we have a deal with two local realtors who
> work in conjunction with the community on open houses etc., and only charge
> the seller 3% because members do a lot of the work. If that were the case
> at your community, do you think your sellers would still make a
> contribution?
> On Wed, Mar 31, 2021 at 6:40 PM Sharon Villines via Cohousing-L <
> cohousing-l [at]> wrote:
>>> On Mar 30, 2021, at 9:56 PM, Patricia Lautner <lautnerp [at]>
>> wrote:
>>> Do any of the communities on this list have either a transfer fee written
>>> into your condo docs where a seller is obligated to pay back to
>>> the community a percentage of the sale price when they leave the
>> community,
>>> or have a gifting culture where a large gift gets made when a cohousing
>>> unit sells?
>> Our resales and rental pod organized themselves in 2013-14 when it became
>> clear that a number of units would be turning over in the next year or so.
>> They designed a schedule of tours and orientations so we have a list of
>> waiting people who have been oriented at a basic level.
>> As part of that process, they explain to the owners that the work they do
>> would cost them 7% of the sales price if they had to hire a real estate
>> agent. since that amount on selling units would be in range
>> $28,000-$38,000. As a result everyone (I think maybe one didn’t) has given
>> several thousand dollars to the special projects fund $5,000-$15,000.
>> Over the last 6 years that has added up to $100,000+, so we actually have
>> a capital improvements and special projects fund.
>> The donation is very nice and helps with the feelings of loss when people
>> leave — we feel appreciated not just abandoned. And it is a recognition
>> that the amount they received in exchange for their unit resulted from the
>> work of all of us. The improvements we have made and the financial
>> stability of the community is the work of everyone. And integrating new
>> owners is a lot of work that is left for us to do.
>> We were not able to even get a discussion on establishing Transfer Fee
>> Policy of 1% or 2%.
>> Sharon
>> ----
>> Sharon Villines
>> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
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