B-167376, AUG. 1, 1969

B-167376: Aug 1, 1969

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VERIFIED THAT THE CUSTOM OF THE AREA WAS FOR SELLERS NOT TO PAY THE PURCHASER'S SETTLEMENT COST. RICHARD L.POTTERTON WAS AUTHORIZED A CHANGE OF PERMANENT DUTY STATION FROM WASHINGTON. THE VOUCHER FOR $458.50 COVERS SETTLEMENT COSTS IN CONNECTION WITH A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION WHICH ARE BY CUSTOM IN THE AREA WHERE THE RESIDENCE WAS SOLD CONSIDERED TO BE PURCHASER'S COSTS BUT IN THIS CASE THE CONTRACT PROVIDED THAT THEY WOULD BE BORNE BY THE SELLER. THE FACT THAT THE PRACTICE OF A SELLER ASSUMING THE PURCHASER'S CLOSING COSTS BY CONTRACT IS QUITE COMMON DOES NOT RAISE IT TO THE STATUS OF A CUSTOM. 1968. * * *" IT APPEARS THAT THE PAYMENT BY THE SELLER OF THE SETTLEMENT COSTS IN THIS CASE WAS A DEVIATION FROM THE USUAL PRACTICE OF THE PURCHASER TO PAY THE SETTLEMENT COSTS.

B-167376, AUG. 1, 1969

CIVIL PAY - TRANSFER - REAL ESTATE COSTS DECISION TO DISBURSING OFFICER OF NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY DISALLOWING PAYMENT FOR SETTLEMENT COSTS INCIDENT TO SALE OF RESIDENCE IN FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA ON TRANSFER FROM WASHINGTON TO FORT GEORGE G. MEADE. ALTHOUGH SALES CONTRACT REQUIRED EMPLOYEE SELLER TO PAY SETTLEMENT COSTS THE NORTHERN VIRGINIA BOARD OF REALTORS, INC., VERIFIED THAT THE CUSTOM OF THE AREA WAS FOR SELLERS NOT TO PAY THE PURCHASER'S SETTLEMENT COST. THEREFORE NO BASIS EXISTS FOR REIMBURSEMENT.

TO MAJOR J. E. INGLES:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR MEMORANDUM OF APRIL 30, 1969, SERIAL: D5/0746F, WITH ENCLOSURES, FORWARDED HERE BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE ON JUNE 26, 1969, PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 69-16, REQUESTING OUR DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT MAY BE MADE OF $458.50 REPRESENTING SETTLEMENT COSTS PAID BY AN EMPLOYEE OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY INCIDENT TO THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE AT OLD DUTY STATION.

BY LETTER ORDERS 1466, DATED MAY 8, 1968, MR. RICHARD L.POTTERTON WAS AUTHORIZED A CHANGE OF PERMANENT DUTY STATION FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO FT. GEORGE G. MEADE, MARYLAND. THE VOUCHER FOR $458.50 COVERS SETTLEMENT COSTS IN CONNECTION WITH A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION WHICH ARE BY CUSTOM IN THE AREA WHERE THE RESIDENCE WAS SOLD CONSIDERED TO BE PURCHASER'S COSTS BUT IN THIS CASE THE CONTRACT PROVIDED THAT THEY WOULD BE BORNE BY THE SELLER, MR. POTTERTON. IN B-165202, SEPTEMBER 30, 1968, WE STATED THE FOLLOWING:

"NOTWITHSTANDING REAL ESTATE MARKET CONDITIONS MAY RESULT IN THE SELLER ASSUMING THE PURCHASER'S CLOSING COSTS, THE SELLER MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED UNLESS IT APPEARS THAT IT WOULD BE UNUSUAL FOR THE PURCHASER TO PAY HIS OWN CLOSING COSTS. B-164604, JULY 29, 1968. THE FACT THAT THE PRACTICE OF A SELLER ASSUMING THE PURCHASER'S CLOSING COSTS BY CONTRACT IS QUITE COMMON DOES NOT RAISE IT TO THE STATUS OF A CUSTOM. B-164181, JULY 22, 1968. * * *"

IT APPEARS THAT THE PAYMENT BY THE SELLER OF THE SETTLEMENT COSTS IN THIS CASE WAS A DEVIATION FROM THE USUAL PRACTICE OF THE PURCHASER TO PAY THE SETTLEMENT COSTS. THIS IS VERIFIED BY A LETTER IN THE RECORD FROM THE NORTHERN VIRGINIA BOARD OF REALTORS, INC., WHEREIN THEY STATE THAT IT IS THE CUSTOM FOR SELLERS NOT TO PAY THE PURCHASER'S SETTLEMENT COSTS. THEREFORE, NO BASIS EXISTS FOR ALLOWANCE OF THE AMOUNT IN QUESTION. THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETAINED HERE, MAY NOT BE PAID.