When it comes to the Edmonton real estate market, there are plenty of things to know, especially since it is constantly changing. The market for single family homes is always slightly different than the condo market, which keeps buyers and sellers constantly on their toes. If you have experience selling a detached house in Edmonton, but haven't yet delved into the process of selling a condo, here are five significant ways the process differs.
1. Signage Marketing: Less Curb Appeal
Since a condominium unit is a part of a building, it is difficult to attract buyers from the street. The rules in condominiums will often restrict the seller from placing a sign in front of the building, and yet, even if you can put a sign out, it probably won't identify your specific condo. You also don't have control over curb appeal since the curb appeal really applies to the building or complex as a whole. If you were hoping to just stick a sign out front, you’ll have to find another way of advertising that your condo is for sale.
2. You Have Less Freedom with Your Asking Price
When it comes to pricing a condominium versus pricing a detached home, there are some specific pieces of market information that a seller and their real estate agent must pay attention to. First and foremost, the seller should be made aware of any other units that are currently for sale in the building, as well as any recent sales that occurred. If other residents in your building or surrounding buildings have recently sold their condos, you’ll find that they may have created a benchmark price. This can significantly restrict your asking price, so it’s important to know the going rate for other condos in your area and price your condo appropriately.
3. Timing Your Sale is Key
Although it's very possible to have a number of homes for sale in the same neighbourhood at any given time, it's much less likely that these homes are as comparable to one another as what occurs in the case of a condominium complex. When selling a condo, therefore, it may be best to go on the market when there is less competition within your building – that is, no other "same or similar" units on the market. If your condo is the only one on your building currently on the market, you will be better able to make it distinguishable it from other residences in the area without competing on price alone.
4. Financing: Appealing to a Younger Age Group
Without making too many generalizations, it's beneficial to consider the type of demographic your condo appeals to most. If it happens to be a small one-bedroom condo near a university, it could just be the case that a younger person, perhaps a student, would be interested in buying it. First-time homebuyers generally aren't able to afford a detached house, and many opt for a condominium for their first purchase. This means that it's much more likely that financing be involved in the purchase of the condominium, which is a factor that the seller should expect. It's also common that a first time buyer will require mortgage insurance, and there have been instances where insurance has been denied for entire complexes, which removes a big section of the "buyer pool."
5. Due Diligence: Document Everything
While abiding by the rules and regulations of the condo management company during the process of the sale, the seller must also make all relevant documentation available to any potential buyers. This is a major difference when selling a condo versus selling a detached home, for the buyer must undertake careful and rigorous due-diligence. Understanding the history of the building, any additional warranty, as well as any work that may be planned for the near future will certainly help to inform the buyer, and can lead to a much smoother sale. Depending on the company that manages your complex, ordering condo documents can be an expensive and lengthy process, an agent can help you determine which documents you need and when they should be ordered.
Having sold plenty of Edmonton condos, it's easy to confirm that the process can be extremely rewarding for both the seller and the buyer. As a seller, the more you experience you have in the condo market, the more you'll begin to understand how different the process is than selling a detached home. You'll likely see, however, that you can reap the same benefits and, with the help of an experienced real estate agent, get a great price for your condo. If you're thinking of selling your condo, we'd love to help. Contact us anytime.