Real Estate & Property Law
Adjustments To Costs Shared By Buyer and Seller
At settlement it is usually necessary to make an adjustment between buyer and seller for property taxes and other expenses. The adjustments between buyer and seller are shown in Sections J and K of the HUD-1 Settlement Statement. In the example given above, the taxes, which are payable annually, had not yet been paid when the settlement occurs on July 1. The borrower will have to pay a whole year's taxes on the following December 1. However, the seller lived in the house for the first six months of the year. Thus, one half of the year's taxes are to be paid by the seller. Accordingly, lines 211 and 511 on the HUD-1 Settlement Statement would read as follows:
The borrower is given credit for this amount at the settlement and the seller will pay this amount or count it as a deduction from sums payable to the seller.
Similar adjustments are made for homeowner association dues, special assessments, and fuel and other utilities, although the billing periods for these may not always be on an annual basis. Be sure you work out these cost sharing arrangements or "prorations" with the seller before the settlement. You may wish to notify utility companies of the change in ownership and ask for a special reading on the day of settlement, with the bill for pre-settlement charges to be mailed to the seller at his or her new address or to the settlement agent. This will eliminate much confusion that can result if you are billed for utilities used when the seller owned the property.
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