As in previous years, a growing number of homebuyers in the high-end segment of the local residential market in 2019 opted not to disclose the actual sale price of their home with the parish clerk of court.
Instead, they recorded just a nominal sale price of $100 or less “and other valuable considerations” on conveyance documents.
It’s a way to keep the actual sale price out of the public record and it’s perfectly legal, according to local real estate attorneys, who say Louisiana law does not affirmatively state that an accurate sale price must be listed in publicly recorded sale documents.
It’s a major annoyance to appraisers and brokers, however, who complain that keeping the sale price out of the public record robs the market of precious data—the “comps” or sale prices of comparable nearby properties that are used by professionals, buyers and sellers to determine value.
“It’s been going on for several years but it’s gradually getting worse,” says Jerry Del Rio of Del Rio Real Estate Inc. “People are becoming more knowledgeable about it so they’re doing it more often.”
Del Rio sold two houses last year in the Country Club of Louisiana to buyers who opted not to record the actual sale price of the transaction. Though neither of the homes would have been among the 10 most expensive, both would have been close, with asking prices of $1 million or more.
See the full story from the latest edition of Business Report to learn of four homebuyers who tried to keep the prices they paid hush-hush.