Is Selling a Condo Different
from Selling a House?

The simple answer to this question about selling a condo is - not really. Aside from a different form of Agreement of Purchase and Sale and a somewhat different listing contract, from a seller's perspective, there's really no difference between a condo sale and a freehold. And open houses can be held on any property - freehold or condominium.

You list your condo for sale with your realty agent or begin to market it privately, if that's your preference. Along with information regarding interior unit improvements and upgrades, common element details such as recreation facilities, social rooms, storage lockers, underground or surface parking (owned or exclusive use), security systems and the amount of the monthly condominium fee and what's included in it, will also be required for the listing. If the building has a concierge service, they'll need to be advised of the listing and arrangements made for granting agents access to your unit and common element facilities.

If your condo is a townhouse, your agent will need to know if the driveway and rear patio area, for example, are owned or exclusive use. And no matter the condo style, buyers will often want to know if any restrictions exist with respect to having pets.

When selling a condo, the buyer will ask you to supply them with a Status Certificate

The apartment or townhouse is marketed in the usual manner. And when an offer is registered, your agent will present it to you for consideration. Your lawyer's work, however, is a little different, but that's for them to deal with.

A Status Certificate (SC) is a document from the property management for your condo. It's a report card on the financial and legal health of the condominium corporation of which your unit is a part. The buyer's lawyer will have the opportunity to review this package prior to their client removing a condition pertaining to their satisfying themselves that all is in order. This is standard procedure for every condo sale.

To save everyone a lot of time and possible frustration, it's prudent to order an SC when you first list the unit. By doing so, much time may be saved after an offer has been accepted. Plus your agent will have advance opportunity to explore any challenges and seek answers for questions presented in the SC package during the early stages of the marketing period.

To learn more about selling a condo from a buyer's perspective, explore this page. Even though most of the articles contained on this website pertain to freehold property, and some are written from a buyer's perspective, the advice offered may still be applicable to any type of property. For further general guidance, visit the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO).

If you're pondering selling a condo - with or without an agent - check out my book The Happy Agent. It includes an entire chapter on condominiums. Learn how to effectively evaluate and prepare it for market, how to advertise and handle showings and open houses like a pro, how to successfully negotiate an offer - and when it's time to throw in the towel and hire a professional.

When you consider the huge savings in real estate commission, the investment of a pittance of your time and money could prove quite worthwhile. At the very least, you'll be encouraged to try it alone. Remember - knowledge is power.

Available virtually everywhere print and e-books are sold.

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