When selling a condominium, you are selling two things – your unit and your percentage of ownership of common area usually called “common interest.” Buyers will be asking about the budget, special assessments, repairs to common area, and how much money is in reserve to cover these repairs. They will be asking about rules and regulations, the management company and the board of trustees. Here are some important things to remember:
Marketing your property
Your agent should determine what types of buyers are most likely to buy in your complex by learning who the current unit owners are that already live there. No sense trying to market to downsizing buyers in a complex whose floor plans have four full levels of living, for example.
Your agent should encourage you to make any needed updates, as selling a “low maintenance” lifestyle is quite difficult when buyers open the door to a unit that is dated and needs a lot of work – kind of defeats the purpose, wouldn’t you say ? Not all of these updates are expensive and a good agent will make suggestions that help you maximize your “bang for the buck.” This is especially important for all those condominiums built in the 1988 era that have that museum quality by today’s standards.
Your agent should have in hand a current budget as well as a set of recorded condominium documents so that the buyer’s attorney can review them quickly so the sale can proceed. The “condo docs” include the master deed, the declaration of trust and the rules and regulations. Most are written in a language only an attorney can understand, so the buyer will be relying on their attorney to “translate” who is responsible for what as well as who actually owns what (association or unit owner).
Also, an Association summary sheet (or condo questionnaire) should also be available quickly to send to the lender to be sure the condominium passes muster from an underwriting standpoint. Lenders need to know the number of rentals as this will influence the buyer’s mortgage rate and whether the condominium is an FHA- or Fannie Mae-approved complex. Understanding the underwriting process for condominiums is key to the transaction in the new world of mortgage lending and only an experienced condominium agent will have the right tools to get the job done as it is far more complicated than a single family-home.
At home inspection, the agent must know which repairs the unit owner is responsible for and which must be requested from the management company. This is an often complicated task as it can be quite technical in nature and each complex’s documents can be different with respect to who owns what.
Finally, your agent must remember to request your 6D Certificate (showing you have no monies owed to the association) on a timely basis for closing. This is usually produced by the management company and each has specific requirements as far as timing, necessity for a bank check, and the associated fees necessary to obtain it.
If you need an agent to market your home, call me – I live in a condominium, am a trustee, do the budget and interact with management companies every day…and have been selling real estate now for 20-plus years. I can get you results!
Realtor, ABR, SRES
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