Read Before Placing Your South Florida Condo On The Market
Get The Documents Ready Before Listing Your Property
As a seller you want to minimize the buyer’s contractual opportunities to back out of an executed contract as much as possible. You are entering into a written agreement with another party and oftentimes you will be executing the “Far Bar As Is 5” real estate purchase and sale contract if you are selling your property in the tri-county South Florida real estate marketplace. The buyers utilizing this particular contract generally have the following protections to cancel the transaction: 3 days from receipt (specifically the resale marketplace – 15 days for new construction) to review the condo docs and financials; an inspection period; a financing contingency period and the appraisal contingency.
Do not make the critical mistake of not having the condominium documents and financials at the ready prior to your property going live online for showing requests. When you receive an offer and accept to enter into contract with a buyer, you should be providing them with the above on the same day you are executing the agreement. Providing these documents from the beginning will prevent you from running into a situation wherein the inspections, financing contingency and appraisal contingency have all been cleared and you then have a cancellation on your hands anyway. The lender or buyer can review the condo documents a few days or weeks prior to closing and if your condo association does not meet the lender’s guidelines as suitable for financing or the buyers come across some language in the bylaws they’re not comfortable with they can decide to back out of the deal. You’ve just lost precious time in the marketplace and missed out on other possible buyers and now you’re back to square one again in the process.
Have these at the ready for your listing agent, so that he/she can present them to the buyer’s realtor immediately upon executing a contract or sometimes even prior to if the other side wants to make sure they’re okay with the condominium’s rules and regulations and current financial standing. The list:
- declaration of condominium
- articles of incorporation of the association
- bylaws and rules of the association
- copy of the most recent year-end financial information
- frequently asked questions and answers document
- governance form
If you are not already in possession of any of the above documents you can obtain them from your condominium association.
Check With Your Condo Association Regarding Showing Restrictions
It happens unnecessarily and if your agent is not up to snuff on possible showing restrictions within your condominium building, you will lose out on possible showings. The more showings you have the more likely you are to receive higher offers and reduce your sales cycle time. The less time you have your property on the market, the less carrying costs you will have on the property you’re trying to sell…increasing your net profit from the sale.
My main point here is for you to communicate with your listing agent any showing restrictions from the condo association so that he / she is conveying that same information to the agents working with potential buyers. You do not want to have a situation wherein a buyer and his / her agent show up to see the property without having access and they walk away in frustration without rescheduling.
Questions to ask your association:
- Are there restricted showing times and days that I am able to have my unit shown to potential buyers?
- Does the building allow for electronic lock boxes or traditional lock boxes for showings?
- If there is secured access to the building do I need to have administration / management have a note on file allowing realtors entrance with their clients so they are not turned away by security upon arrival?
- If there is gated access to the property without a manned attendant how will realtors and their clients gain access to the development to tour my property?
I have been in the driver’s seat with customers in the past on scheduled showings to tour several properties and some of the listing agents were not specific on access details to gated complexes. When I called them and they did not answer, we were off to the next property and unfortunately more often than not the customers did not want to bother circling back to take a look at those units.
Know What Is Included In Your Monthly Condo Assessment Payment
Disclose this information to your agent. Your realtor should be verifying this crucial information with the condominium association prior to listing your property for sale but you should have this information at the ready for him / her as well. It’s all about providing as much relevant information to the buyers so that there are no surprises after being under contract. The fewer surprises there are from this perspective, the less likelihood of having unnecessary cancellations due to non-disclosure.
What is included in your monthly condominium payment to the association?
Whether or not cable is included may make a difference to someone. Is water included? Alarm system monitoring? Are the monthly payments you make paying a portion into a reserve fund for future repairs / replacements of the common areas? Is there a special assessment coming down the line that the condo association has made you aware of? If you’re not aware of any pending special assessments it’s always important to check with the association anyway as there may be something proposed that hasn’t taken effect yet but may come into play within a few days or weeks…
Be Open With Your Knowledge
Disclose. Disclose. Disclose.
Be in the know. The more your agent / buyer / buyer’s agent know, the less obscurity and the greater the chances of a smooth transaction and closing. Below are some highlights of questions that pertain to the “Seller’s Property Disclosure – Condominium” from the approved Florida Realtors addendum utilized along with the “Far Bar As Is 5” contract that your listing agent should be having you fill out prior to taking the property live on the internet / MLS:
- is there any proposed change to the association’s governing documents?
- is there any proposed plan to materially alter the common elements?
- is there any existing or threatened legal action by or against the association?
- has the association ever been, or is it currently, involved in litigation or a claim over construction defects or defective building products?
- to your knowledge, is there any discussion of a conversion of the condominium to something else?
- to your knowledge, is there any effort by an investor or investor group to purchase units in the complex?
- is any portion of the association’s property located in a special flood hazard area?
- has an increase in fess or assessments been approved but not yet implemented?
- are there any rental restrictions by the association?
- are there any pet restrictions by the association?
Oscar Rodriguez with Esslinger Wooten Maxwell Realty International
37 years a resident of the Sunshine State.
I grew up in South Florida. I currently reside in Fort Lauderdale and the majority of my business is in Pembroke Pines and “The Venice of America”.
Take a look at EWM Realty International’s profile here.
My personal track record is online here.
Thanks for the read.