Plastered all over the news these days are stats regarding the Calgary residential real estate market. It’s hot, it’s quick and home owners are realizing substantial appreciations in their property values. You, as a condo owner, may be thinking now is a good time to take advantage of this situation. There are several areas you need to be aware of and prepare for in terms of marketing your condo to prospective buyers compared to an owner of a single family home.
Most condo buyers and sellers are aware that certain condominium documents are required when a condo is sold. What most people don’t realize is that the items to be included in this package, and the right of a buyer to receive them, is mandated by Alberta Law. If you are selling your condo, what do you need to provide to the buyer, how do you obtain them and what is the cost?
Most condominium buildings hire a management company to look after the day to day running of the condo corporation, under the direction of the board of directors. This management company is also responsible to maintain all the documents pertaining to the corporation. The management company, must, upon written request from an owner, provide the following documents:
- Bylaws of the corporation
- Financial statements
- Monthly balance sheet
- Budget and fee schedule
- Reserve fund study and plan
- Amount in the reserve fund
- Details of any special assessments or judgements against the corporation
- AGM minutes and last 12 months of board minutes
- Percentage of owner occupied units
- Insurance certificate
- Management agreement
Be aware, the management company will not provide these items for free! The cost for an entire package can range in price from $100 – $700! This cost is the owners responsibility and these documents must be provide to any buyer. Keep in mind, an informed buyer will most likely make an offer subject to the receipt and approval of these documents. It is always easier to have these documents ready to go for a buyer once an offer is accepted.
There is also valuable information for you, the seller, in these documents. The bylaws will dictate if you can market your property by way of a for sale sign. Many condominiums will not allow signs of any kind. So how are you going to let people know your property is for sale? Will a Realtor be able to place a lock box on the property to gain access to your property for showings? Information regarding issues like these can be found in the bylaws, or by checking with the management company. If your ability to market the property yourself is limited by the bylaws, you may want to employ the services of a Realtor who has a comprehensive marketing plan that deals specifically with condominiums.
Another major issue buyers are looking for pertains to special assessments. Are there any coming, are any payments outstanding or has a special assessment been amortized over a period of time, in essence increasing the monthly condo fee? Special assessments can have a major impact on the marketability and market value of your property. Don’t let there be any surprises waiting for you!
In order to capitalize on your equity and investment and to avoid any pitfalls, an experienced condominium Realtor will be able to guide and assist you in achieving a successful sale of your condominium.