Realtors and sellers, we are going to show you how to stand out among most of the other condo sellers. There are basically two most frustrating areas for condo buyers and their agents. Initially, gathering information about the condo to make a decision to buy or not. Next, is the mortgage lender able to approve the condominium complex? This article will provide condo listing agents and sellers with an advantage in these areas.
Condo for Sale Story
A very common issue with condo listings is for buyers and buyer’s agents to determine if the property is a condo or townhouse. This process can actually get drawn out for a while as the buyer side is gathering information. Hint: the information we provide below, a true professional will obtain up-front, but here is a recent story to avoid.
The listing agent lists the property in the category of condo/townhouse. Hmm, which is it? Then, the property is actually called “Generic Name Townhouse.” Ok, pretty cut and dry. It is a townhouse, right? There’s more. The online MLS listing says it is a townhouse several times and everyone swore it is a townhouse. There you go, it is a townhouse.
But, the story turns south later! The appraisal and title work comes back. The appraisal shows units in the same building are condos. The title work says condo. Now, everything gets reversed to quickly obtain a condo questionnaire, change lending programs, correct the appraisal, and more. All of this could have been avoided if the seller’s agent followed this process we describe. Even though this was originally presented as a townhouse, a quick look at the deed would reveal the true identity. The first word in the master deed was “condominium.” That would have saved the buyer a ton of headaches.
Now, let’s talk about how to avoid this story and stand out as a condo listing agent.
Realtor Checklist to List a Condo For Sale
As a listing agent who is looking to provide top-level service to their condo seller, creating a condo package would put an agent over the top! Below are 15 items to gather to give a condo seller an advantage.
- HOA official name
- HOA contact name, phone, & email
- Condo questionnaire process or site
- Condo questionnaire cost
- Schedule of HOA dues & what it covers
- Any legal issues?
- HOA turned over to the owners?
- Is it a condotel or condotel-like?
- Any special assessment?
- Master insurance policies – do they cover “walls in”?
- Condo project budget
- Minutes from the previous meeting
- Master deed – Recorded at Register of Deeds
- CCR’s/declarations and by-laws – Recorded at Register of Deeds
- Agency approvals
Condo Questionnaire Tips
So, above we have given sellers and their realtors a solid list that will create an awesome package for buyers. Let’s face it, sellers should want to make buying their condo as easy as possible. One area that covers a majority of this list is the condo questionnaire form. Each lender has their own version, but they typically ask the same questions. Additionally, many associations now offer their own already completed condo questionnaire. This is extremely helpful.
Completing the Condo Questionnaire
After completing steps 1 – 5 of the condo for sale list, see if a condo questionnaire could be completed at no charge. If not, the seller could consider paying for one. That is a judgment call. But, even if a buyer’s lender has their own form, a completed questionnaire would help a buyer know if the condo would be approved early on. Items 6 – 9 are typically answered on this form plus other key information.
Gathering the Condo Documentation
Items 10 – 14 are the additional documents to include with the questionnaire. These items are typically very accessible from either the seller, online or the HOA. But, gathering these before the listing is much better than a buyer and their lender trying to do it during the mortgage process. Remember our story above! So, obtain these items and put them in a nice package for buyers that view your condo unit. Furthermore, turn the condo package into a .pdf so that it may be emailed. Keep in mind, this may be right many documents so try to make it a smaller, condensed .pdf for ease of sharing.
Condo Approvals – FHA, VA, and Fannie Mae
As you can tell, mortgage lenders not only require buyer approval but also condo approval. A possible short cut for sellers is when the condominium project is already approved with lending agencies. Each lending agency has its own list of approved condos. Yes, that means an already approved condo for sale!
Assuming that a condo for sale is on one of these agency approved lists, mention that in the listing as a possible lending option.
Real Estate Agent Advantage
Maybe this sounds like a lot of work. Unnecessary even. Won’t the buyer, buyer’s agent, and mortgage lender get this done? So, why do it? Because this will allow the listing agent to:
- Win the condo listing over other realtors
- Provide seller an advantage over other condo sellers
- Make it easier for the buyer to make a decision
- Shorten closing time
- Avoid many issues later in the process
Yes, it is more work but for the above 5 reasons, the listing agent will stand out among others for their seller. Plus, it will make the agent’s life a lot easier!
The end result of the story above? — It did not close! Therefore, take the advice in this article and know what you are selling, make it easier on the buyers, and sell quicker. Shoot, even market yourself as the condo selling expert!
Guess what? This list will also help buyers’ agents. Most condo listings will hardly provide any of the documentation, so it will often be on the buyer’s agent to gather information for the buyer. Now, you know what to request. Have other questions? Contact your OVM Financial loan officer today!