"If your association can see your backyard from space, you should probably be able to see association documents before you buy your home."   John Oliver HOA Segment - April 2023

Buying a home in a common interest community (condo, co-op, townhome, single family, attached, detached, etc.) should not be a gamble.   Homeowners should be prepared to perform appropriate due diligence and invest the time and money required BEFORE purchasing to understand the details of what is most likely their largest asset.

Resale certificate fees are capped at $275 by Washington state statute.  Additional fees are invalid / illegal.

WUCIOA (RCW 64.90) allows for periodic inflationary adjustments to the $275 maximum.  RCW 64.34 does not.

The Washington State legislature was decisive when it increased the maximum resale certificate fee from $150 to $275 via SB 5224 which became effective July 24, 2011There is no ambiguity: $275 is intended to include all costs to provide a resale certificate.  Despite unambiguous statutory requirements, many management companies charge owners fees in excess of $275:

1) fees for "processing" ($20 to $50)

2) fees for "rush processing" (generally over $100)

3) fees for meeting minutes


Your association's management contract likely includes language about handling unit resale and transfer of ownership without disclosing a fee schedule for resale certificates.  Here's an example:

We may process Resale Certificates, as applicable to the Association, as well as certain financial forms and questionnaires necessary to complete loan packages for prospective purchasers. Such costs shall be assessed to the Owner or Buyer as appropriate and shall not constitute a charge to the Association.

The Illinois Supreme Court decision in Channon v. Westward Management makes things interesting.

As an example, California, Illinois, Texas and Washington State all have different statutes requiring sellers to furnish resale certificates to potential purchasers.  A key difference is that TX in 207.003(c) (but not in 82.157) and WA limit absolute resale fees to sellers, whereas CA Civil Code and the ILCS require "reasonable" fees.  There are obvious statutory similarities related to legislative intent and whether "protections" are primarily intended to only purchasers or to both purchasers and sellers.

Long story short, upholding limits on fees charged to sellers, even when the statutes appear to cap such fees, is harder said than done.

Washington State Resale Requirements

Resale certificate contents are governed by state statute.

Washington State Resale Certificate Requirements
WA State Resale Certificate Requirements