Why Does a District of Columbia Resale Certificate and Package Matter When You Buy a Home?



Resale packages tell the buyer and seller important information about both the association and the individual unit being purchased. They are an important tool for protecting both sides of the purchase transaction. Buyers know whether or not the home they are buying is under any violations from the association. The seller is being transparent and making sure the buyer knows all of the association fees and assessments before the closing is complete. 
 
Why Does a District of Columbia Resale Certificate and Package Matter When You Buy a Home?  
Resale packages tell the buyer and seller important information about both the association and the individual unit being purchased. They are an important tool for protecting both sides of the purchase transaction. Buyers know whether or not the home they are buying is under any violations from the association. The seller is being transparent and making sure the buyer knows all of the association fees and assessments before the closing is complete.

What does the Washington, D.C. law say about resale packages?
The District of Columbia Condominium Act is the source of info about area condo laws. It defines what goes into a resale package, who is responsible for ordering it, what it can cost and how long it should take to get. The Act requires that a resale certificate be provided to the buyer of a unit within 10 business days of the contract for purchase being signed. The statement must include any planned capital expenditures, the amount in the association’s reserve fund, the most current financial statements for the association, the current budget, any lawsuits or judgments pending against the association and association insurance information. It must also include a statement that any architectural modifications made to the home are not in violation of association policy. Failure to provide this information to the buyer within the 10 business days gives the buyer the right to cancel the contract. The buyer also has three days to review the documents, and cancel the contract if they don’t like what they see.
 
At what point in the purchase process does the resale package come into play?
Generally speaking, the resale package is ordered by either the buyer or seller after the purchase contract is signed. Sometimes, the seller will have much of the information, such as governing documents, available and share that with the buyer ahead of the contract being signed. Some realtors and listing agents know to contact the property management company and ask for things like monthly fee amounts so that they can let clients know as they show the property. They don’t have access to all of the information about the unit, like account balances, though.
 
To learn more about resale packages, what information they include and how to obtain one, check out our interview with resale expert Marlayna Bohrman.