5 Tips for Selling a Condo
Selling a condo isn’t necessarily like selling a home. You can avoid unexpected hurdles by planning ahead.
Are condos hard to sell? Whether your condo is your home or an investment property, when you’re ready to sell, there could be unique challenges. Selling a condo isn’t the same as selling a single-family home, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.
These tips will help you understand how to sell a condo – from navigating condo association rules and special assessments for condos to pricing and when to list your property.
1. Determine what time of year is best to sell your condo
A large factor in your condominium sale will be when it’s best to do so. Traditional wisdom usually says that spring is the best season to sell, but those rules may or may not apply.1 It all depends on the property’s location and local attractions.
If your home is in a tourist destination, it may be better to sell your condo right before vacation season hits.1 That may be true if:
- Your place is near a ski resort
- You own a beachfront condo
- You own a lakeside condo
Your real estate agent can help you determine the appropriate time to list your condo if seasonal conditions may impact its sale.
2. Check your condo association’s rules and special assessments
If you’re like most condo owners, you probably pay monthly or yearly fees to your condo association. These fees typically cover general maintenance of the building’s exterior and communal spaces. It’s important to disclose these fees to potential buyers – it’s something they must include in their budget.
But there may be other condo association rules that impact the sale of your property. For example:
Condo association rules may require the board to interview and pre-approve potential buyers.2
The rules also may outline special assessments – that is, a charge that condo owners must pay for a property renovation if the reserve of association fees runs low.3 The amount depends on the type of repair needed.
If you put your condo on the market when a special assessment payment date is looming, it may become the buyer’s responsibility to pay the fee if they take possession of the property before the due date. Depending on your state’s disclosure laws, you may be required to tell potential buyers about the assessment.
That might not be a deal-breaker if the special assessment is $500 or even $1,000. But some buyers may not be in the market to pay an extra $10,000 for a new roof.
3. Consider making small updates that can add value
Even with a small budget, there are several upgrades that can be done to add value to your condo. One of the simplest, most cost-effective improvements is paint.4 Rooms that have been freshly painted look clean and updated. When selecting paint colors, take into consideration that neutrals appeal to most people.
Another update to help your condo look appealing is removing any existing popcorn ceiling.4 Dedicating some time to remove this dated look can help add dollar signs to the value of your home. However, older ceilings could contain asbestos, so before starting this project, have yours tested by a professional.
If you have a little more money in your upgrade budget, upgrading lighting or bathroom fixtures is always a smart move.4 New lighting can make a room seem larger and brighter. Updated bathroom fixtures can pull your bathroom out of the past. If you’re looking to update larger fixtures, consider hiring a professional. You can learn more about when it’s appropriate to do-it-yourself or hire a professional.
4. Find out how much your condo is worth, and price accordingly
Finding the right list price for your place is essential. Price it too low and you won’t make a profit. Price it too high and you may turn away otherwise interested buyers.
Though you can see how much other units in your building have sold for, a real estate agent who specializes in condo sales can help make sure you aren’t overlooking factors that increase the value of your particular unit. For example:
- End units may be more desirable because they’re often quieter than middle units.1
- Detached or standalone units may fetch a higher price.
Your agent can also help you establish the asking price (what you list the property for) and your bottom line price (the lowest price you’ll accept).
5. Highlight your condo’s best features
Consider all the selling points of your property. For instance, potential condo buyers often are interested in a low-maintenance home, so your marketing materials should spotlight the maintenance your association handles on the condo owner’s behalf.
Detail the amenities your condo offers, too, such as access to:
- Pool or hot tub
- A fitness center
- Co-working spaces
- Rooftop terraces or patios
- Covered or garage parking
Your listing should highlight other attractive features, such as your unit’s proximity to restaurants, bars and local attractions; the lifestyle at your condominium; and, of course, the view. One of the best features of any condo is the ease of living there; keep in mind how you can showcase that lifestyle versus a single-family home. If you have top-of-the-line appliances, a newly remodeled kitchen or brand-new HVAC system, don’t forget to emphasize those features as well.
How long should you keep a condo before selling?
If you’re wondering, “How long should I wait before I sell my condo?”, there isn’t a magic amount of time. It depends on your unique situation, why you bought the condo, your goals and market conditions. If you bought the condo as an investment, you may want to sell at the top of the market, but it’s not always easy to get the timing right. If the property is simply no longer suitable for you, it could be time to let go anyway.
Just remember, when in doubt, enlist the help of a real estate agent with experience selling condos. Their specialization can help ensure your property makes a lasting first impression and that you comply with state disclosure regulations. Between these tips and the guidance of a trusted agent, your condo should sell in no time.