MOST CONDO MANAGEMENT COMPANIES HAVE THESE PACKAGES EASILY AVAILABLE ON EITHER THE CONDO ASSOCIATION/COMMUNITY WEBSITE OR THE MANAGEMENT COMPANY'S WEBSITE. THE REQUIRED DOCS (SEE BELOW) SHOULD ALL BE INCLUDED IN ONE PACKAGE, MINUS THE MOST CURRENT FINANCIAL STATEMENT.
IF YOU CAN'T FIND AN EASILY DOWNLOADABLE PACKAGE ONLINE, EMAIL OR CALL THE CONDO MANAGER/MANAGEMENT OFFICE AND FORMALLY REQUEST THE PACKAGE BE EMAILED TO YOU. STILL NO LUCK? YOU MAY NEED TO PAY A FEE FOR AN ENVELOPE WITH A LARGE STACK OF COPIES IN IT. THIS IS BECOMING RARE AND ARCHAIC... BUT THERE ARE STILL SOME MANAGEMENT COMPANIES THAT DON'T KNOW HOW TO SCAN AND CREATE A PDF DOCUMENT. YOU WANT THE PDFs SO THAT YOU CAN EASILY FORWARD THESE DOCUMENTS ON TO YOUR BUYER, THEIR AGENT, A TENANT, ETC.
THEY ARE PUBLIC RECORDS. IF YOU ARE STUCK WITH A LARGE STACK OF PAPER INSTEAD, YOU CAN ARRANGE TO HAVE THE MANAGER PREPARE THIS ENVELOPE (TO INCLUDE THE FINANCIALS) AND LEAVE IT THERE FOR THE BUYER TO PICK UP. THE BUYER MUST BE GIVEN TIME TO REVIEW THE CONDO DOCS. What if the buyer doesn't like what he/she learns? See bottom of this page regarding legal requirements-
Most condo associations require a buyer to APPLY to the association prior to being allowed to purchase. This means buyers will need to take the extra step and request that buyer's package from the condo association. There is no legal requirement for the seller to provide the condo application to the buyer. It's often very easy for the buyer to obtain this form or package from the condo management office, or with a quick phone call to the manager. However, we recommend the seller, once in contract with a buyer, takes the step to provide this condo application to the buyer to get the process started. This should be done as soon as there is an executed (signed by both parties in full and valid) contract.
Most management companies now have these condo application packages readily available in pdf format and easily requested and emailed, or found on the condo association website for download. Most condos require buyers to go through the application process to be approved before a sales transaction can close. This process can take 10-15 business days so it's very important that the buyer turn in their application right away. The application package most likely will include the app itself, plus the cost (usually $100) and payment method, and other details managing expectations about any needed interview and other needed information about the process.
This document shows the legal name(s) and structure of the condo association as it was first legally organized. It should also include the registered agent and principals, and management of this legal structure. It is normally a short few pages at most. If the condo doc package does not contain this document, you may be able to find it on your state's business/incorporation website.
The Bylaws may or may not be included in the Declaration of Condominium document. This is a shorter doc which outlines the association itself, how it's run, it's structure, etc. It should (but doesn't always) include all amendments made, to date. These are important documents for a buyer to review because it will outline restrictions, rules, board business and changes to the community that the buyers should be made aware of prior to a purchase.
This is usually a very long document, and will normally be as old as when the condo was first built (or re-built). Hopefully by now the condo management company has scanned these documents and made them available in pdf format. If not, and they are requiring you to buy a big pack of copies, try this: go to your county's website and look at public records. It's very possible you'll find a pdf of these condo docs you can download from there. In this document you'll find the initial builder's plans for phases of construction, zoning, layouts, and all kinds of legal documentation planning out most every aspect of the development.
This document will be the most recent year-end financial statement. This should be given, mailed to every single owner within the condo association by the beginning of the year and also must be included in the condo docs package given to the buyer whenever requested. Note: While not required, it's also recommended to REQUEST A CURRENT financial statement (most recent month-end) from the condo manager to include in this condo docs package, ESPECIALLY IF THE SALES CONTRACT IS HAPPENING IN THE LAST HALF OF THE YEAR.
This document contains all the rules and expectations of the condo association as it relates to owners, their tenants and guests. Subjects include what the responsibility of the owner is (or isn't) in regards to exterior painting, maintenance and upkeep. Parking rules and usage will be included. as well as rules of any facilities like pool, playground etc. This condo doc is VERY important to buyers as it could affect how a buyer uses the property or common areas, and possibly monthly expenses/responsibilities they may not otherwise be aware of.
More on Condo Rules
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers is another important condo document that really does answer the most asked questions! This short 1-2 pages will answer the questions that mortgage companies most often need to know before approving lending in a condo association. Items normally included in the FAQ doc will includehing: are there any lawsuits involving the condo board/association, is there a master/other association also with required membership, voting rights, etc.
Most sales contracts will stipulate that the seller provide the buyer with this condo docs package within a certain number of days after the contract has been executed. It's usually a very short period of time, as few as 3 days. This is why we recommend as soon as a seller decides to sell, take the extra step then to obtain this condo docs package.
It's important to know if the sales contract's condo docs requirement counts days in calendar days (includes weekends and holidays) or business days (no weekends or holidays). It's also important to make sure to adhere to this timeframe, otherwise you could be giving the buyer an opportunity to get out of the contract without penalty.
There are circumstances in which the buyer may not need you to provide the condo docs. They may already own other property there and have the documents, or may have obtained the documents themselves when doing their due diligence while in the initial buying stage of researching the condo association. These options will be included on most condo association addendums and/or sales contracts.
Because condo associations are very powerful business entities, we recommend NOT taking this condo docs step lightly. Follow ALL rules and regulations of the condo association, pay all required dues and application fees timely. They have resources that can easily place liens on your property and potentially foreclose on your property for seemingly very simple things: like selling your condo to a buyer that isn't approved!!!!!
Most sales contracts give the buyer a certain amount of days to review all condo docs. If they don't like what they see (example: financials show no reserves and bad management, or documents show a massive lawsuit against the association, or maybe they don't allow work vehicles and the buyer has a work vehicle!)... they can terminate the contract without penalty within a certain amount of days. It's important to read the contract carefully and know what the legal requirements and stipulations are, if the number of days means "calendar days" or "business days", and to remain organized in the process and follow the calendar and contract carefully.
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