Developers Spiking Homeowner Contracts With Hidden Resale Fee Covenants

Last April, Techdirt pointed out that a financial firm in Texas was trying to attach “private transfer fees” to homes, so that developers would get a little bit of each sale as it passed among owners in the years to come. It sounded crazy then–imagine having to pay royalties on clothes or furniture whenever you resold them–but the firm is aggressively expanding its plan and has signed up more than 5,000 developers across the country, reports the New York Times. If you buy a new house in the next decade, look for a “resale fee” covenant hidden in a separate document that might not be included in your closing papers or even require a signature.

The Times says that one goal of including these resale fees is to pool them into new securities that can be sold on Wall Street. They could offer new revenue to struggling developers, but the real winner is the Texas financial firm masterminding this scheme, Freehold Capital Partners:

Someone selling a home for $500,000, for example, would have to pay the original developer $5,000. If the home sold again two years later for $750,000, the second seller would have to pony up $7,500 to the developer, and so on. Even if a home declines in value, the seller still must pay the 1 percent fee. Freehold gets a cut of the resale fee; if the fees are securitized, it retains a percentage of the cash generated from the securitization.

Freehold’s principals and lawyers have been aggressive in sales pitches to developers, but have declined to give details on their clients, securitization efforts or the company itself. Freehold moved its corporate office from Round Rock, Tex., to New York this year as it stepped up efforts to securitize the resale fees.

Update: If you want to stay on top of this issue and throw your voice in with others who are against such private transfer fees, check out

“Resale Fees That Only Developers Could Love” [New York Times] (Thanks to gstitz!)
“Developers Trying To Treat Houses Like Copyright; Want A Cut Of Every Future Resale” [Techdirt]


Edit Your Comment

  1. FatLynn says:

    Hidden in a separate document? What type of document is binding against your home without you knowing about it?

    These people should be drawn and quartered.

    • nbs2 says:

      Perhaps in the HOA docs? I suspect these communities are the type that end up in the hands on of an HOA board, so throw in a little comment about that, and while you will get the document before you go to closing, all you do is sign to acknowledge receipt – acceptance is implied when you continue to proceed through the transaction. And with the number of HOA problems that have been showing up, we see how many folks actually read their HOA docs.

      • Sir Winston Thriller says:

        Interesting. When we bought our house, the law firm neglected to include HOA documents for us to sign. A year later, our HOA billed us $1200 for the previous year, $1200 for the upcoming year, and a penalty of $200 for not paying the previous year. We went to court and since we did not see the documents or sign them, the court found for us. I do not like HOAs.

        • sonneillon says:

          You got out of your HOA?

          I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

          • Griking says:

            I’m legitimately happy that he was able to get out of the HOA that he didn’t know that he was a a part of but I’m also kind of curious about how his neighbors feel about this and if they have any recourse. The neighbors all pay an annual fee to live in a neighborhood that is supposed to have guaranteed living conditions. If this guy now decided to paint his house candy stripe red God forbid mow his lawn in the wrong direction people are going to be livid.

            • Difdi says:

              An HOA is ultimately a civilly contractual obligation. They are supposed to present the HOA agreement for your signature as a prerequisite to purchasing the house there. If they fail to do so, and you don’t sign prior to closing the deal, then the deal is closed and you’re not a member of the HOA.

              From a legal standpoint, such a person would be trespassing if they went onto/into any area held by the community and paid for solely by HOA dues. Examples might include a swimming pool, a park, a laundry facility, etc. But unless and until they sign onto the HOA agreement, it’s not legally enforceable upon them. What the neighbors think is pretty much legally irrelevant. Of course, if people only acted within the law, we wouldn’t need police…

    • uber_mensch says:
      • Anonymously says:

        “A homeowner that pays $245,000 instead of $250,000, and agrees to pay 1% at the time of a future sale, will likely save more in interest payments than the total transfer fee”

        If paying 1% is so great, why not make it 10% or 100%? Are they subsidizing the interest?

        • syzygy says:

          I just like that the sentence you quoted basically means, “Hey, we’re only stealing a little bit from you, and *every future owner of this home*, don’t make such a big deal out of it!”

      • Buckus says:

        Myth: This makes any sense whatsoever.

        Reality: Only for the developers and the Wall-Street types who will securitize and trade this around like funny money. The homeowner is merely a pawn in this game.

      • Anonymously says:

        “Myth: Transfer fees steal equity.
        Truth: This myth is particularly flawed. If John paid $245,000 for home with a transfer fee and sold it for $370,000 John has made the same as Bill, who paid $250,000 for a home without a transfer fee and sold it for $375,000.00.”

        So in the first case the fee causes a loss of 2% but in the second case it only causes a loss of .99%? To compare apples-to-apples, the transfer fee house would sell for $367,500.

        Or if you hold value constant, the house sells for $240,100, then $235,298, then $230,592…etc.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        LOL at that myth page. The developers aren’t going to sell the house to you for less. They are going to charge the same price for it and then charge you the 1% fee on top of it. They may SAY they are selling it to you for less than it would normally cost, but they most likely aren’t.

      • soj4life says:

        private transfer fees have not been around for years. Now public transfer fees have been because they are just a sales tax that funds budgets.

      • Rickdude says:

        Amazing. Their entire premise seems to be

        1- You’ll probably pay less for a house with a fee attached so it’s good for you.

        2- We get money for trying to deflate the value of the home.

    • Ximoxion says:

      I don’t understand how subsequent home owners could possibly even be held responsible for said fee on a contract that a previous owner signed.

      This is 100% a private tax. This is something that the government would possibly do as a tax to benefit the greater good (if you could see it that way) To allow a private firm to do this and pocket the difference themselves won’t fly. If anything, this would be denied to the private firm and enacted for the state, if it even happened at all.

    • Difdi says:

      Horse whipped. It IS Texas after all.

  2. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Aside from being a purely scum practice, there are so many gaping holes in which companies that like this would use to make so much more money. For instance, what if the original developer has been purchased by a different developer? Does this mean that one developer that has feasibly bought out three different companies throughout the years is now entitled to the resale fees of the properties originally developed by the companies it swallowed?

    • Ximoxion says:

      How the heck would I have to owe any original builder the increase in value that I may put on in the form of an addition or home improvement? Are we killing a sub-industry?

  3. Southern says:

    Sounds like something the government would do in addition to their “Sales tax” that has to be paid every time the house changes hands..

    This won’t fly. Espeically as a seperate document that doesn’t even have to be signed.

  4. Bativac says:

    I don’t think I’ll ever buy a new home. I am amazed at the ways people come up with to make money without doing anything.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      You’re aware that this is a fee for home in no longer new.

      • sagodjur says:

        But the owner/seller pays the fee, which means the purchaser of the then new house would be the first to pay the fee when they sold the house to the second owner.

        • myCatCracksMeUp says:

          Yes – but the second owner would also have to pay if/when they sold the house.

          So you could buy one of these houses from a person who’s lived there for a while and still have to give the original developer money when you sold later the house.

          This sucks and should not be allowed.

      • Scuba Steve says:

        They’re new now, they’ll be resales in about 10 years when these people default on their mortgages and can’t find anyone willing to pay the extra resale fee when it comes time to sell.

        • c!tizen says:

          Though I’m finding trouble understanding exactly why they’ll default in 10 years (are all homeowners now irresponsible or overly susceptible to shady lending practices?), but this brings up and interesting point….

          Say someone buys a house with this clause hidden in the paperwork somewhere. That person then defaults on the loan, the bank seizes the house and then sells it as a foreclosure. Is the bank, who is now the default owner/seller responsible for paying this back to the developer?

          Either way, this is a crappy move Mr. Developer guys.

          • shepd says:

            Yes, the bank would be on the hook. I expect few banks would finance such a home without a large downpayment due to this fact. I know where I am a bank would be absolutely loathe to get involved in something like this without a decent downpayment.

    • FrugalFreak says:

      Reminds me of “Wall Street’s Gecko.

  5. FrugalFreak says:

    BAN THEM NOW! all we need is another collapse after we recover from securities scam that falls apart.

  6. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    Wow. Greed and desperation truly know no bounds.

    This ought to get houses selling again, eh?

    Gives a whole new meaning to ‘Don’t Mess With Texas’.

    • grapedog says:

      I live in Texas, it’s a silly saying. All the people here TALK a big game about personal freedom, and owning guns, but they’re a bunch of fucking tin cowboys.

      • sullivanftw says:

        All hat and no cattle

        • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

          Love this saying. I am from Texas and total rofl when people think Texans are a bunch of outlaws. How in the hell did Texas get such a reputation. Uneducated redneck does not=badass cowboy.

          • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

            Um, I totally sounded like an uneducated redneck. Oops :-)

          • grapedog says:

            At one point Texas was actually cool and rebellious… but that has long since passed. I don’t care how many cowboy hats, guns, or confederate flags I see. Texas is just as full of shit and piss as every other state in the union except per Rhode Island. I never see Rhode Islanders talking tall, they just keep kicking ass quietly. Cheers to you Rhode Island!

    • Consumeristing says:

      California beats Texas easily in greed. And I’m Californian. Didn’t Texas have a law that made it impossible to speculate on housing markets?

      • grapedog says:

        I don’t know about any anti-speculating laws, that’s a good possibility. Land/Housing prices have always been cheap in the majority of Texas, so the big drop in housing prices across the country didn’t affect Texas much. Texas has plenty of land, and plenty of developing towns.

        It’s just horrible weather, I can’t wait to get out of this forsaken state, and I’ve only been living here for 4 years. 4 months to go and I’m out… can’t wait!

      • Powerlurker says:

        The Texas State Constitution prohibits home equity loans of greater than 80% LTV, effectively banning cash-out refi’s. Home equity loans were entirely banned in the state until the late 90’s.

    • Klay says:

      Yeabut the Times story was about a couple in Utah (outskirts of Salt Lake City) and a local TV station discovered the “tactic”. Texas? As far as old sayings go it was told that the Marx Brothers always tested their shows in Salt Lake City because “if it sells in Salt Lake City–it will sell anywhere”.

      • Azagthoth says:

        Ain’t it the truth, Klay. I work as a title examiner in Utah; we see a ton of these fees on Condominiums, Planned Unit Developments, Subdivisions, I’ve even set up homeowners association restrictions with resale and reinvestment fees on metes and bounds property where a few neighboring people just got together and decided to go for it themselves.

  7. dolemite says:

    Seems to be the new fad…trying to get residual sales. Console games are doing it, now homes? Next up cars/appliances?

  8. PhiTauBill says:

    Wow… seems like an issue ripe for government intervention.

    • rbb says:

      Definitely. The government is probably pissed that it did not think of it first and will probably take steps to muscle in on the racket.

  9. cookie says:

    Whenever you sign a legal document, make sure you add “without prejudice, UCC 1-308” by your signature. This invokes your right under Common Law, recognized under the Uniform Commercial Code, to prevent anyone from forcing you to honor any contract or agreement which you did not enter into knowingly, voluntarily, or intentionally – such as this “hidden covenant”. It’s like an “opt-out” clause; If you do not invoke this right with the notice as outlined above, the legal system considers you to have opted-in by default.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Are you a laywer? I assume the “IANAL” clause on a non-legal blog. If you are, say so. And whether or not you are, please provide searchable evidence of this claim.

    • Me - now with more humidity says:

      No, it doesn’t. That’s a myth. I won a judgment over someone who tried to do that to get out of a sale contact.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      Contract law does not work that way. If you sign a contract, you are obligated to follow all clauses of that contract. Yes, there are ways to get the contract set aside, but just writing something next to your name won’t do that. It is on you to read the contract and understand it. If you don’t understand something, don’t sign.

      Probably the best thing to do when signing a long contract is to initial the bottom of every page and ask for an immediate copy. That way if they try to slip something into it (addendums, etc) and they aren’t initialed, you have some leg to stand on.

      • cookie says:

        TuxthePenguin: You have misunderstood my comment. I am *NOT* at all stating that the clause will give you a “get out of jail free” card to violate a contract you signed. What I DID say is that the clause indicates the following:

        1. You agree to the contract you explicitly signed; and,
        2. You do NOT agree to any “hidden” clauses that are not “included in your closing papers or even require a signature.”

        That is to say, if something isn’t explicitly documented in a contract you sign (within the four corners of a lawful document with your signature) you did NOT agree to it – as long as you claim “without prejudice UCC 1-308”.

        For example, you sign a contract with me for me to go clean the gutters on your house for $200. I clean the gutters. Later on, I give you a bill for $300 – $200 for the work, and spring on you another $100 for a “disposal fee” which I never wrote in the contract. If you explicitly claimed UCC 1-308 on the contract, that indicates to me that you do NOT agree to anything beyond the $200, which makes my hidden $100 cost null and void.

        • TuxthePenguin says:

          Everything you have said is basic contract law. Period. Adding “hocus pocus” would have the same effect.

          1. You cannot be held to any terms of a contract which you did not agree to. If it isn’t in the contract, it isn’t binding.
          2. However, many contracts will include clauses such as “[buyer] will reimburse [seller] for reasonable incidental expenses that are both customary and traditional.” Other will use the term “material expenses” etc that require the buyer’s approval before the buyer becomes responsible for them.
          3. Lets pretend that writing your magic phrase did carry the legal weight you want – by doing that, you are making a material change to the contract. Your acceptance has introduced new terms – therefore the contract isn’t binding on the counterparty until they agree to that. In which case, he either tears up the offer or modifies the contract.

          The short of it is – read your documents. If you don’t agree, don’t sign. If they try to hoist something on you that you didn’t sign, threaten to sue. Or, in this case, refuse to pay them and tell them to sue. It really is that simple.

          • DariusC says:

            Being a contracts specialist and working with them daily, I can tell you that any agreement not on the paper is not enforceable. There is no hidden writings in contracts because if it is not at least referenced, you cannot be held to it. If these fees are not in the contract, you are not legally obligated to pay them. I think that’s common sense, isn’t it? Sorry to reply to your post Tux, It isn’t directed at you :3

    • Commenter24 says:

      I assume is is supposed to be a joke?

    • ARP says:

      No, it doesn’t. That’s myth put forth by Libertarians.

      • cookie says:

        You sir (or ma’am), are a shill.

        Any rational, intelligent human being can research UCC 1-308. Here is some starting points:
        Under Part 3, section 1-308, UCC 1-308 is entitled “Performance or Acceptance Under Reservation of Rights.”

        Then, read UCC 1-308 for yourself:
        “A party that with explicit reservation of rights performs or promises performance or assents to performance in a manner demanded or offered by the other party does not thereby prejudice the rights reserved. Such words as “without prejudice,” “under protest,” or the like are sufficient.”

        Translated, this means that a person who writes “without prejudice” or “under protest”, agrees to do something (such as under a contract), but does not give up his rights for anything else (or, does not agree to do anything else) not explicitly written down in the signed contract.

    • DH405 says:

      Did you get a law degree from a two-week correspondence course?

    • DH405 says:

      Did you get a law degree from a two-week correspondence course?

  10. smo0 says:

    Omg, this is horrible… how do we know about this when buying a house – if this is the way of the future, I hope it’s not unregulated – they need to be required to tell people about this, yes it will influence the decision to buy a home.

  11. frank64 says:

    A huge advantage in buying a home is the increase in value. Not being able to fully take advantage would decrease the value of the home, you should defiantly pay less, or negotiate it out.

    • dolemite says:

      Yup, if I saw this on a house I was considering buying, the negotiations would go something like:
      “So…$150,000 eh? Well, I assume closing costs, etc are included. How about we do $135K? Good? Ok, now I see I have to pay royalties when I sell the house. So, $120K?”

      • Bob Lu says:

        They should happily agree on you $120k offer. For a $135K (new) house, if it come with such a fee I believe the fair price will not be higher than $110k. (Not saying they won’t try to sell it for a lot more…)

  12. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    No signature required, huh? I’d like to see that held up in court.

    • RandomHookup says:

      No problem. In the same documents, you agreed to binding arbitration which has a mandatory filing fee of exactly the amount you owe us.

      • Sammich says:

        Binding arbitration clauses in sales and service contracts have been outlawed via consumer protection laws in a number of jurisdictions. So depending on the location, that is not a loophole that they could jump through.

    • grapedog says:

      that’s my thinking too, how can they hold you to some kind of binding agreement that you didn’t agree to.

      • econobiker says:

        But you opened the front door which means that you accepted our terms and conditions.

        (With many thanks to the computer software industry for that one…sneak wrap I think it is called)

  13. DanRydell says:

    No problem, this will just cause the prices of these homes to be lower relative to comparable homes.

  14. savvy9999 says:

    original developer would be LONG gone by the time this went into effect, out of business b/c they put up a shitty house made out of cancer and mold (imported from China).

    • Buckus says:

      Except it’s not the builder, it’s the financial firm collecting the monies.

    • wrjohnston91283 says:

      The developer may be gone, but if they securitize it, someone owns the rights to this revenue stream. Its going to be hard to value these revenues though, since its all dependent on when and at what price a home is sold for.

  15. Buckus says:

    Hey, I don’t owe Honda anything if I resell my car…why would Beazer/Fulton…etc, be entitled to a cut of the resale? This is ludicrious to the nth degree. If I ever see this in a house I’m thinkinga bout purchasing, the deal is off.

  16. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    IANAL, but “a separate document that might not be included in your closing papers or even require a signature.” would not seem to be legal or binding.

    • Nighthawke says:

      I agree, and the main reason why they left Texas is so they would not get shot if they tried to foist it on any homeowner, the jerks!

    • Smiling says:

      most sales of homes in communities with homeowners assocations require that you ‘approve’ the association documents/restrictions fairly early in the buying process. So you might not sign the actual documents, but you would most likely sign a document stating that you’ve been provided with a copy of the association documents/rules and are ‘happy’ with them. I’d guess that’s where these BS resale fees would be included. Most people don’t even read them unless they have a specific interest in whether they can keep a boat in the yard/how many pets they can have/what sort of fence they’re allowed/etc.

  17. Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

    I’d like to see the list of states that have outlawed or regulated this. I swear I’d rather live in a tent than pay an idiot “resale fee”.

  18. Skellbasher says:

    This makes some of the ludicrous homeowner’s association documents seem benign.

    I hope that laws gets passed against this type of thing. What a sham.

  19. frank64 says:

    How many hire a lawyer to close on a house? I guess everyone should for reasons such as this. If you closed through a reputable home town bank their lawyer should should tell you about it. Extremely skummy, and I hope some politicians shame them out if it or make it illegal. I hate gov involvement, but more than that I hate that we actually need it.

  20. tgrwillki says:

    Sounds like the way around this is to sell a pen for $500,000 with the rights to buy a house for $0.01 included.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      Exactly. Or buy the “house” for a few thousand dollars, the land for $100k and the mineral rights for another $300k.

      Yeah, a lawyer would make short work of a document that was no presented during closing, given to the buyer or signed by the buyer.

      • Smiling says:

        that would only work if you had cash to buy the house …. which I know some people do. Try getting a mortgage otherwise, on something that’s not ‘worth’ what you’re borrowing against it.

  21. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    I, for one, welcome our new securitized obligation overlords, and the risk-free derivatives, collateralized debt obligations, and trading that will surely follow on Wall Street.

  22. Tim says:

    What else would you expect from a country that considers home ownership an essential part of the “dream” and has thousands rules, regulation, legislation and standards to enforce the idea?

    Yeah … isn’t home ownership great?

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      No kidding. I hated owning a home. The hidden costs ate us alive. It wasn’t worth it. I’d rather pay a lot more for a nice apartment or condo upfront and no t have to worry about all the crap that comes with a house.

      Crap like this makes me glad that I have no intentions of being a home owner again in the next 10-15 years.

      • Anonymously says:

        We bought a manufactured home for about $5K and put about $10K into it in the 3 past years. I’m hopeful that we’ve raised the resale value by a least a portion of that.

        We’re paying $1,200 less per month in rent vs a mortgage, and invest the difference. We also save about $4K per year in property taxes vs a site-built house.

        It works out really well for us.

        One *huge* downside is that if the owner of the land decides to sell and evict everyone, it is really expensive to move the house. Another is that people are constantly nagging us to buy a “real” house.

    • econobiker says:

      I want to own a metal ware house building and put a single wide trailer inside of it…

  23. u1itn0w2day says:

    It’s probably sorta like one of those universal default clauses the credit card companies use to raise your APR. I’d say it’s related to one the ‘ we reserve the right to… ‘, ‘change at anytime’, ‘our discretion’ fine hidden print get out jail free clauses.

    Again read what you sign and ask for clarification on any word, sentence, paragraph and/or clause that gives them ‘the right to…’.

    I still don’t see if you did NOT agree to it or sign off how this can withstand the courts.

  24. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    This would suggest that they still have a claim to the property. This then may also mean that they have a liability as well. Could this leave the developer open to damages should an owner discover a deficiency in the property at a much later date. Say the insulation subcontractor cut corners and you discover it. Thousands of dollars later can you get it back from the builder?

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      That’s what I’m thinking. This is just another admission that they built it and are responsible for it.

      The tv handyman Mike Holmes would love this clause because he’s gotten new home fix your builder screw up several times.

    • econobiker says:

      Builders won’t own the security as they will sell it off to take the money and run…

  25. Anonymously says:

    Dear developers: Get your hand out of the pie, there’s too many in there already. Build houses, not communities, and quit crying about having to make roads.

  26. u1itn0w2day says:

    Gangsters do this everyday demanding money for nothing.

    So what happens when the house is legally sold and all the finances have been ‘settled’ without this protection money- is a collection agency coming after the technicality fee, will your credit be affected or will the sale be voided?

  27. UnicornMaster says:

    A) How is this even legal.
    B) Can I put this in my contract when I sell my home, that every subsequent sale results in a commission for me. Bingo. I win!

    It’s crap like this that just proves a truly free market doesn’t work. There’s always going to be some A-hole trying to unethically profit off other people.

  28. all4jcvette says:

    This needs to be made illegal ASAP, and these firms to have their business licenses yanked.

  29. MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

    Oh goody, a new financial tool to “securitize”, and a new “advantage” for the purchasers! Those are always good things for Joe Public…just look at credit default swaps and interest-only mortgages!

  30. NeverLetMeDown says:

    I just don’t understand why this wouldn’t be something for which title insurance would be responsible? It’s essentially a lien on the property, so if it’s never provided at the time of closing, and the buyer isn’t aware of it, shouldn’t the title insurance company be on the hook for that?

    • rpm773 says:

      This is what I wondered, too. The seller is on the hook to pay the developer his percentage at the time of sale. But if I understand things, the contract between the seller and the buyer would have this clause in it, otherwise the developer is out of the picture when the new buyer eventually sells. What stops the buyer from telling the seller to get the clause out of the contract?

      And if the clause is not in the contract, then I’d think the title insurance would cover the buyer.

      Maybe it’s ultimately the cash-hungry developers who are getting screwed by this Freehold firm.

  31. drburk says:

    Let’s set our anger aside and deal with the real issue; how do I insert such a clause or hidden document into the documentation for my house, my parents house and my friends houses so the money comes to me? Maybe I could word in such a way as to deduct the fee from the Realtors commission.

  32. common_sense84 says:

    “The Times says that one goal of including these resale fees is to pool them into new securities that can be sold on Wall Street”

    Well, at least we can now plan for the next depression in advance. I’d say this scheme will collapse around 2025.

  33. indymps6 says:

    Regarding the binding nature of the fees…My guess is the word “covenants” in the article. The developers must be inserting the re-sale fee into the covenants of the neighborhood which are then recorded and ‘run with the land’ so to speak so they bind you and every owner subsequent (so long as the covenants remain effective). Very sneaky, sis. Not many people read the covenants carefully before they decide to build/buy a house in a given neighborhood.

  34. razremytuxbuddy says:

    These transfer fees have been outlawed in Kansas, although the statute has not yet been tested in court. KSA 58-3821

  35. BurtReynolds says:

    Yet another reason why I would pay for a good attorney rather than a real estate agent if I am buying a home.

  36. econobiker says:

    “Capital recovery fee”? Just like the phone companies have been doing for years with – “regulatory recovery fees”. Neither is good.

    And how do you agree? “Well you opened the front door of the home so you agreed to all of our terms and conditions…” taking a lesson from the computer software industry’s “sneak wrap” contract terms inside a sealed box to which you agree- when you open the box…