August 27, 2018
There is no doubt the expertise of REALTORS® makes the homebuying process less daunting. Homebuyers take comfort in knowing the REALTORS® they are working with have access to accurate information regarding potential new homes.
Often overlooked in the MLS is the HOA information. The fee should be in a buyer’s calculations, along with the amenities covered. In no way accusing sellers of possibly having inaccurate knowledge of the fees and coverage, REALTORS® are encouraged to directly confirm the information with the homeowners association. Association Executive Helen Bozman explains, “A scenario that has surfaced recently is a seller who has been living in the house for over 10 years and has had the HOA fee automatically deducted from her bank account. She was not aware of a change in the amount and gave the REALTOR® the incorrect information.” No malice intended in this situation, but it serves as a good example of the importance of verifying with the homeowners association.
In the MLS, there are several fields that reference HOA fees.
The first is simply a Yes/No field that the Agent is to use to specify whether or not the property owner is even responsible for an HOA Fee.
Lastly, the Agent would need to be sure and include any of the following items/services that the fees go towards. The entire list is as follows: All Utilities, Garbage Service, Gated Entry, Greenbelt, Insurance, Maintenance, Partial Utilities, Pool, Rec Facility, Security Service, Taxes, Taxes & Insurance.
It is also worth noting that if “Yes” is chosen in the first of these fields, the other two then become Required in order for the Agent to submit the listing.