Buyers are becoming increasingly sophisticated about condominium ownership. Most recognize that condos are subtantially different than the proverbial small house with a white picket fence.
Condominium sellers, in turn, should gear their efforts to the special needs of this market.
For those sellers who retain a broker, it is important that the individual you select has a good knowledge of both your neighborhood and the condominium concept. Find a broker who routinely handles condominiums and, if possible, one who is specifically familiar with your building.
In large developments or conversions, sellers may find they are offering units even as the developer continues to sell out. In this situation, it may be worthwhile to ask if the marketing team - often an outside agency hired at reduced commission - would handle your unit also.
If you elect to sell by yourself, or with brokers through an open listing, try to anticipate the buyers's interests. What, for example, is the status of the condominium association? Take a look at past budgets. Have assessments gone up regularly? Rising assessments are not uncommon or unexpected. Special assessments are another matter.
Has your association had to raise money for routine costs such as heating or specific projects such as roof repairs? If so, why were these items not anticipated in the budget?
It is probably that at some point during the year your unit or project is particularly attractive. If you are selling out-of-season it pays to assemble picture of the past year showing how your condominium looked. Take pictures of your unit, the pool, tennis courts, flower beds, etc. If you are in a resort area, get pictures and brochures of nearby activities.
Find out from your association who lives in the building. If most people are elderly or without children your unit may not be a good buy for a young family. Also, ask how many units are rented. Many buyers, and some investors, prefer a property with a clear majority of owner-occupied units.
Tell your neighbors you are selling and ask if you can introduce serious buyers. This gives your buyers a chance to meet potential neighbors and to see other units and living styles.
A good market for condos can be right in your building. Since other owners are already familiar with the building they may wish to acquire a second unit as an investment. Sellers, too, should consider the idea of renting if their incomes and cash needs permit.