Selling a condominium or apartment, unlike single family homes, is not as easy as it seems. There are many factors to consider apart from setting the right price and gauging the market. And yes, it is still your house or home and not a “unit” as mentioned by your mortgage broker or developers. You are selling a house that you have taken great care of, lived for a while, and now you are passing that house to someone who will equally care for and enjoy it.
So, the first step to selling a condo is to take a look around the building a few months prior to putting it on the market. Since most condominiums come with common areas such as club house, lobby, gym, park, playgrounds, swimming pool or other amenities accessible to all dwellers in the complex, you want to make sure that these areas are attractive to your would-be buyers. Look to see if anything that can be done to the common areas to impress prospects. Is there a need to upgrade front lawn? Or repaint the lobby? Maybe the gym needs a fresh carpet. Whatever it is, now is the time to campaign with other dwellers to spruce up the place. Is the pool clean? If not, try this out – request the board to regularly maintain it at least until your house sale lasts. Although you have no control over what can be done to the common areas, you can do your best to bring any issue at the board meeting.
Think again. Do you want to really sell the condo you have lived for the past decade and really taken care of it to the best of your ability? If not, there are other options to explore. For example, you might be able to rent it out as condos rent easily in any type of market. Besides, the tenants get to enjoy all the incredible benefits of living in a community setting without having to spend a dime on additional perks like pool, gym or playground. Or perhaps you are selling in a bad market and there are twenty other apartments in the same complex including yours to sell. If that is the case, the competition for buyers is fierce. Renting the unit may buy you sometime before you get your asking price and at the same time earn some money. If you are moving far away, you can always hire a management company to look after the place. The choice is yours.
So, what does the buyer need to know about the apartment you are selling? Are they supposed to know that the complex is going to be hit with an exorbitant increase in HOA due to an expensive addition? Do they need to know that the termites have already crawled into your unit and the board is preparing for a complete extermination next month? Do you have to tell the buyers that a shopping mall is coming down the road? The answer is, it depends.