Some things to consider when preparing your condominium for sale
Preparing your condominium for sale takes a lot of time, effort and planning. You need to consider everything from the recent history and trends of the marketplace, how the real market is currently behaving, the value of your unit, the value of the location around your building, as well as the thoughts and motivation of potential purchasers. That’s a great deal of knowledge to know. You are going to need an agent to help. But here are some things to help you get started.
What are the main differences between selling a condo and a house?
Putting a condo apartment unit up for sale is a lot like putting a house for sale, nevertheless, there are some differences. When it comes to freehold (the opposite of condo), you own the property so you can choose where to put the yard sign and the lockbox. This isn’t really the case with a condominium. The condominium board or property management company will dictate where you’re permitted to put the lockbox – in the majority of Waterloo Region condo buildings, lockboxes are not permitted anywhere on the property – so you have to get creative or have the showing agent pick up the keys from you. Also, you’re not allowed to have a For Sale sign anywhere in/on common area. That means you have to put the sign in a window or out on the median, if there is one. Last but not least, the apartment board may not allow for open houses. Open houses are admittedly hard to manage when you are selling a unit in a high rise building.
As you can see, when you’re in control of only one part of a whole, things are much harder to manage.
The Status Certificate
In Waterloo Region, it is usually the buyer’s responsibility to order the Status Certificate (and then have his/her lawyer review it). The Status Certificate contains information about the financial health of the building.
In other cities, the seller provides the Status Certificate and to me that makes a lot more sense. It means that the sale can move along more quickly, smoothly and efficiently, due to the fact that it’s something the potential purchaser doesn’t need to request, wait for, and then finally review. The Status Certificate can conceivably be kept ready for anybody interested in putting in an offer – saving as many as ten or more days of waiting.
Five things to know when you are selling a condo
Preparing to show and sell
Keep your unit in picture perfect shape. Your unit should look like the marketing photos your agent arranged. If buyers feel that they have been a victim of “bait and switch” tactics, they are not going to be happy.
Put your valuables away
Put your valuables away and I don’t mean the sock drawer or the freezer. You are allowing complete strangers into your home. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Rules and regulations
Buyers will ask questions that you might not be ready for. Try in advance to anticipate those questions. They will likely want to know much of the information that is contained within the Status Certificate documents, hence another good reason for ordering it in advance. Besides the financial information, the Status Certificate also contains the rules and regulations for the building.
Selling with tenants
If the property is tenanted, you have to give 24 hours notification to your tenants prior to all showings. In some cases, investors are looking for tenanted residences. In other cases, you will be required to sell your unit without tenants. Either way, just like selling a house, it is best that the residents are not at home for showings.
Setting the stage
Apartment units are normally much smaller than houses but many of the same rules apply:
- Flat surfaces sell homes
- Open things up. Let things flow
- Open the curtains
- Turn on all the lights
- Paint the whole place one neutral colour
- Make it move in ready
- Every room should have a purpose
- Keep the decor simple
- Think from your buyer’s point of view
There are updates buyers will notice, and updates they won’t. Sometimes it is the little things that date a place. Things like paint colour, lighting, switches and outlets. These are relatively cheap fixes.