What to Look Out for in a Condo Realtor
Everyone always talks about what to look for in your future condo unit – but what about your condo realtor?
If you ask us, our dreamy condo realtor would be tall, dark, and handsome, with a knowledgeable air about him and an in-depth understanding of the Alberta real estate market…
Wait a minute.
We’re talking about dream condo realtors, aren’t we?
Well, that’s a bit of a different conversation, isn’t it?
Can’t believe we’ve made this mistake again…so embarrassing. 😅
Without further adieu, then: five things to look for in your condo realtor when buying or selling your condo unit!
Five Traits of a Dreamy Dream Condo Realtor
1. Find a Condo Realtor Who’s a Condo Realtor
One of the best first steps you can take when buying or selling your condo unit is to find a realtor who specializes in condo real estate in your local area or market. Of course, there are plenty of realtors who “also sell condos” or have “lots of experience working with condos,” but trust us – you want somebody for whom condo real estate is their bread and butter – their beginning, middle, and end.
There’s a good reason behind that preference, too. The condo real estate market is a different beast than the single-family home one. There are particular things to look out for. Specific questions to ask. Unique concerns to consider. A realtor with precise knowledge and involvement in the condo real estate space will know these peculiarities, while one less familiar with the territory may gloss over them or miss them altogether.
2. Find a Condo Realtor Who Can Explain the Advantages (and Drawbacks) of Amenities
So, you’ve found a realtor who specializes in condos. That’s step one, great job! Next is making sure that the condo realtor you’ve found is worth their salt – and you can sort that out by simply asking about amenities.
Getting a true sense of what various amenities bring to the table is the hallmark of a solid condo realtor. Sure, anyone can tell you that living in a building with an indoor swimming pool sounds like a fantastic time. But a keenly experience condo realtor will also remind you that, hey, it’s worth considering how the maintenance and upkeep of that sort of thing might impact your condo fees at the end of the day.
3. Get Them to Tell You About the Condo’s Property Management Company
Whether you’re selling your condo or buying a new property, a solid condo real estate agent can tell you everything there is to know about the building’s condo management company and some.
This is a crucial consideration because when it comes to condo living, a building’s condo management company can have an outsized influence on the experience of living there, no matter how great the rest of the building might be. Therefore, your condo realtor should be able to tell you about their first-hand experience with the condo management company. This should cover the basics of acquiring condo documents, communication (or lack thereof), the breadth of its property portfolio to a general sense of the relationships it builds and fosters with board members and condo owners.
4. Have the Condo Realtor Give You the Rundown on Finances
When you buy a condo, you purchase much more than four walls. Instead, you’re essentially investing in a business headed up by a corporation, complete with a board of directors, a president – and most importantly, a treasurer.
This is where your condo real estate agent comes in. Regardless if you’re buying or selling, they should be able to give you a good rundown on the financial details of the condo unit in question. This includes the apparent considerations like monthly condo fees, but should also cover details like the state of the reserve fund, when the last reserve fund study was done, any major (read: expensive) renovation or repair projects on the horizon, whether that condo has a history of special levies, and more.
There’s so much more to a condo’s financial story than simply the monthly mortgage payment and condo fees – and your condo realtor should be able to tell you about it in pinpoint-accurate detail.
5. Get the Rundown on Bylaws and Documents
Lastly, your dream (that’s dream, not dreamy!) condo real estate agent should be able to give you a clear sense of the bylaws and documentation status of the unit you’re looking at buying or selling. When you mention an estoppel, for example, they should be able to tell you whether or not you can get one for that unit and what it would cost – and not ask what you’d like to see covered on that pass/fail certificate confirming a lack of monies owed on the unit.
Your condo realtor should also be able to tell you a bit about what that condo’s documentation system is like – whether it uses an online portal or has some other sort of system in place. All of these factors tend to speak in a larger sense to the approach of the condo’s corporation and management company – and are valuable information to understand in their own right, too.
Hopefully, this helps you find your dream condo realtor as you look to buy or sell your condo unit – and hopefully, they’re even a bit dreamy at the end of the day, too! 😉 Want to learn more about buying or selling your condo? Catalyst Condo Management can help. So give us a call today!