“The number one failure in the industry is not educating homebuyers,” says Colby Shear, Managing Director of Community Association Consulting, LLC. “I can’t tell you how many new owners over the years cited ‘The agent said’ or ‘the seller told me.’ No matter how many laws the states put into place to regulate HOAs, until educating potential purchasers BEFORE the end of their Due Diligence period is over becomes mandatory, we are fighting an uphill battle. I want to end buyer’s remorse. I want to ensure that all buyers know well before the signing of the closing papers what their maintenance responsibilities are, what the Association is responsible for, and what the Association’s financial position is. Learning all of this during the Due Diligence period may save a purchaser from a negative home buying experience or set the stage for a great one. If they find the community really isn’t for them, most purchasers would prefer to be out a couple of hundred dollars for home and association inspections rather than complete the purchase and be unhappy because they were uninformed. Unanticipated assessment increases, special or specific assessments, as well as unknown vehicle and parking restrictions (just to name a few) can be devastating to a new owner.”
What about all those owners already happily (or unhappily) in a community association? “We offer a variety of services to Boards and Homeowners alike. From consulting on procedural issues to dispute resolutions, our services all have the goals of educating the members and simplifying the association living experience. Second to purchaser DD, our next most sought-after service is consulting with HOAs to do the things their management company doesn't have time. From writing Design Guidelines to a community guidebook that unites and simplifies the governing documents for a community. We work with the management company, if applicable, to ensure an easy to understand document that can be given to current and future homeowners alike. If conflict can be avoided altogether, that’s for the best, but when it does arise, settling it amicably with everyone’s best interest in mind is ideal. I am not a management company, nor am I an attorney. I only offer my extensive professional knowledge in the field to try to bring together homeowners, potential homeowners, boards and management. Please go to www.caconsulting.net to learn more about all of the services we offer and to contact me directly.”
For 20 years Colby Shear has worked in the homeowner, condo & townhome owner association field. Fifteen of those were in direct management of community associations, three as Executive Director of Management Services for a large management company, and three more on the Declarant/Developer side of the business. Colby holds the Certified Manager of Community Associations from the Community Association Managers International Certification Board, as well as the Association Management Specialist certification and the Professional Community Association Manager designation from the Community Associations Institute.