Before you plan or book an estate or moving sale you should contact your Home Owner's Association. Our contract requires our clients to sign saying they are in compliance with their current HOA rules and regulations in regard to an estate sale and that any rules stated will be shared with us in order to conduct the sale. However, are still finding issues with the communication between the homeowner and their Home Owner's Association. No one wants to spend a week setting, pricing, advertising and working a sale only to be shut down shortly after it begins.
This does not mean you should read over your HOA packet you were given when you bought your home. My last client read her manual that stated that she was allowed 2 garage sales or yard sales a year and was completely satisfied that a moving sale was permitted. She was wrong. The board had revised their restrictions in regard to estate sales since her signing of her regulations to absolutely no estate or moving sales in their community. Although we had previously conducted sales in that community, they went unnoticed and were not penalized. The charge was 500.00 dollars for the sale and they told the homeowner 500.00 an hour unless we shut down. The homeowner questioned the legality of a revision that was never presented to her and the fact that she had only signed one in which she was in concordance with and was told that they provided updates on their Facebook page. It hardly seems fair that monetary obligations would simply be presented on a social networking site and not officially mailed to the recipients home address. We contacted a lawyer to question this practice and they too confirmed that because Home Owner's Associations hold public meetings and vote on rules and regulations that it holds home owners accountable for all updated rules regardless of their efforts to contact the effected individuals.
We finished the sale with a 500.00 fine without any signage (which greatly decreased traffic). We were also approached several times in heated arguments between board members and the homeowner in which some information was not in the revised HOA document we found on the internet such as 500. dollars an hour fine. Even when the home owner refused to pay the fine she was told they would place the fine on the next homeowner.
In conclusion, notifying your HOA board before your sale is necessary as your HOA packet may not be up to date even though your neighbor may have had an estate sale the week before. HOA rules and regulations are binding by law and they can and will fine you for breaking them. Although liens and foreclosures take time, they can proceed with legal action if they choose to. Get involved in your HOA meetings and demand a vote for a moving sale to be allowed in your community even if it states no signage. Most families need to liquidate some personal property upon selling their home.
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