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The Beginner’s Guide to Selling a Condo

Today we are going to take a look at everything involved in selling a condo.

We have a team of highly experienced and successful real estate agents and we would love to put our expertise to work for you.

In this post, we’ll outline everything you need to know in order to get your condo listed and sell it for the best price. So, let’s get started.

selling-a-condo

Discover everything you need to know about selling a condo


Selling a condo? We can help!

Choose the Right Time for Selling a Condo

If you have had a job transfer or need to move to another city for other reasons, then you may not have a choice regarding choosing the right time for selling a condo. However, if you have some flexibility, then you can take the following factors into consideration when deciding when to sell your condo.

What the Real Estate Market Is Like

Is it a buyer’s or a seller’s market? When is it a better time to buy or sell your condo?

According to a CBC News post, housing prices in the Kitchener Waterloo region will continue to increase in 2020 due mainly to the lack of supply. There simply aren’t enough properties for the demand. 

As a result, if you are thinking of selling a condo, then this year will be a seller’s market.


kitchener victoria park
Source: Lupin at the English language Wikipedia / CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)

Right now the Kitchener Waterloo region is in a seller’s market

In a seller’s market, buyers have very little room to negotiate on price. So if you are selling your home, you are more likely to get the price you are asking for and in some cases, even more than your asking price. Buyers are also less likely to ask you to make subsidies such as covering closing costs or paying for a current survey.

On the other hand, in a buyer’s market, the buyer has the advantage because there are more sellers than buyers. This means that the buyers have more properties to choose from. As a result, sellers may have to lower their prices to get a buyer to choose their property over all the others on the market. This is good news for buyers but not good news for sellers.

What Time of Year It Is

Like most of southern Ontario, real estate is usually seasonal in the KW region, with very little movement in the months of December and January. Fewer people are actually looking for a condo during these months.

This fact could play to your advantage, however. If you list your condo in December and there are very few others listed, then you may be more successful than if you had waited for a busier time of year when the competition was tougher.

winter

December and January are the slowest times for real estate

How Is the Competition in Your Building

You may want to wait until there are few or no other condos for sale in your building. Because condos in the same building can be quite similar, it might be harder to sell yours if there are several others of the same quality and price as yours.

How Is the Competition in Other Buildings

The number of condos in your area in other buildings that are similar to yours can also affect how quickly you sell yours. This won’t have as big of an effect as condos for sale in your own building because your condo layout and look will be different, however, it still can have some effect.

bauer lofts

Find out how many other condos like yours are for sale in your building


Want to know how much competition you have? We can help!

Selling a Condo: Getting It Ready to Sell

Once you’ve decided on the right time for selling a condo, it’s time to get your condo ready for selling. Here are some great tips to help you with the process.

Get Rid of the Clutter

Nothing makes your condo look smaller than a lot of clutter. Space is always an issue with condo living, so you want to make your condo look as roomy as possible. 

Take a walk through your condo and get rid of anything that isn’t absolutely necessary. Remove any extra or bulky furniture or replace it with smaller pieces. You may want to switch out your king-sized bed for a double to make your bedroom seem larger.

condo bedroom

Remove your king sized bed and convert your second bedroom back into a bedroom

Stage Your Rooms Properly

You should stage each room to look like what they are supposed to look like. For example, if you have been using your second bedroom as a large walk-in closet, convert it back into a bedroom. Make your den look like a den again and put a dining room table in your dining room.

Buyers have a difficult time imagining how a space could look differently than it currently does, so make it as easy as possible for them.

Get Rid of Personal Items

Remove any highly personal items such as photographs and mementos. You want your potential buyer to imagine themselves living in your condo. You don’t want them to think that they are intruding on someone else’s personal space.

Keep Your Home Spotless

When you are selling a condo, it’s important to make sure that you keep it as clean and tidy as possible.

Don’t forget to tidy up your closets, cupboards and cabinets too. Buyers will always open up doors and take a look inside. The cleaner your home is, the easier it will be to sell it.

cleaning

While selling a condo, keep it as clean as possible

Follow the 3/4 Full Guideline

While you are selling a condo, you might want to store extra items offsite. Don’t be tempted to use your condo storage for your extra things. You want to show your buyers that there is plenty of storage space available.

For example, you could rent a storage unit for a short while and keep things that you don’t need right away in there such as:

  • Seasonal clothing
  • Extra cookware
  • Extra small appliances
  • Seasonal decorations

It’s best to keep your storage spaces, like closets and cupboards, no more than 3/4 full. Resist the urge to stock up on groceries and toiletries on sale during this time as well.

Keep your storage areas no more than 3/4 full

Consider Investing in a Professional Home Staging

You can stage your home yourself, however, there are professionals who specialize in this service. Professional staging could help you sell your condo faster and get you more money for it as well.

Make Your Condo Smell Great

In addition to keeping your condo clean, make sure that it smells great as well. Here are a few tips to follow:

Cooking: Don’t cook any strong smelling foods that linger in the air such as fish, garlic, and curries while you are selling a condo.

Pets: If you have a cat, clean out the litter box twice a day. Make sure your dog is well groomed so that he doesn’t leave a “doggie” smell around.

Smoking: Don’t do it inside. If you have smoked indoors, you might want to consider getting your condo professionally cleaned and then smoke outside.

Air Fresheners: Avoid using strong air fresheners as many people are allergic to scents and strong scents can also turn buyers off.

Carpets: You might want to get them professionally cleaned to remove any odours they might have.

If you have a cat, clean the litter box twice a day

Setting the Right Price for Selling a Condo

In general, figuring out the value of your condominium is easier than figuring the value of a house. Realtors and appraisers will figure out the price of your condo by looking at recent sales of identical or almost identical units in your building and dividing it by the square footage. They will use this price per square foot as a benchmark for valuing your condo.

For instance, if a the price per square foot for similar units in your building works out to $700 per square foot, and your condo is 800 sq ft, then the value of your condo will be $560,000.

There are a few other factors that will affect the value as well. These include:

Which Floor You Are on: Buyers will pay more for condos that are higher up in your building. The higher the floor the higher the cost per square foot.

What Your View Is Like: Buyers will pay more for a better view.

What Side You Are on: The direction that your unit faces will affect the price, whether it is south, north, east, or west facing. Also, buyers will pay more if you have a corner unit.

If Your Unit Is Large: Interesting enough, the larger the unit, the lower the cost per square foot. This means that each square foot will be less valuable as there are more of them.

Your Layout: Buyers will pay more if your unit has a layout that maximizes the usable space – ie. no large foyers or excessive hallways.


We can help you set the right price!

Keats Way condo

Buyers will pay more for corner units and units that are on higher floors

Deciding on Your Pricing Strategy

There are three main routes that you can take to develop a pricing strategy when selling a condo. They are:

  • Price it low enough to generate a bidding war
  • Price it at market value
  • Price it above market value so there is room for negotiation

Keep in mind that there are probably other units in your building that are identical to yours, so if you price it too high, buyers may just decide to wait until another unit becomes available at the price they want to pay.

In addition, because condos are typically quite similar to other condos, they don’t usually create the same emotional response that houses with historic character or charm might.

arrow lofts

If you price your condo low enough, you might generate a bidding war

Factoring in Other Features When Setting Your Price

There are a number of other factors that will affect what price you decide on when selling a condo including:

Have you done renovations to your unit? Renovations to older condo units will add much more value than renos done to newer ones.

Do you have builder upgrades? If your condo has upgrades, that will set it apart from other units even though you probably won’t get back the same amount that you put into them.

Do you have high ceilings? Buyers will pay more for condos with higher ceilings.

How much are you maintenance fees? If you monthly maintenance fees are higher than that will typically lower the selling price of your unit.

Do you have parking? If you condo is located downtown, then you can probably get somewhere between $25,000 and $50,000 more for your unit.

Arrow lofts condos

Having parking will help when selling a condo

What kind of extra storage do you have? If you have a locker en-suite, then your unit becomes much more attractive to buyers.

Do you have a balcony or terrace? Balconies and terraces can add greatly to the demand for a condo as buyers really want the outdoor space.

What kind of amenities are in your building? This can go either way for buyers. Some buyers stay away from buildings with lots of amenities because that usually increases their maintenance fees while others are looking for places that have everything they want like a pool, theatre room, gym, extra parking, etc.

What’s the Renter to Owner Ration in Your Building? Buyers prefer to purchase condos in buildings where the actual owners are living in the units.

What Kind of Reputation Does Your Building Have? Factors such as the demographics of your building, the construction quality, the effectiveness of your board of directors, and any legal issues can also affect the price when selling a condo.

condo maintenance

Balconies and terraces are a great asset when selling a condo

Marketing Your Condo

A marketing campaign for selling a condo is different from one selling a house. For example, for most condos, a sign on the front lawn won’t work as it does for a house because there is no front lawn! 

You need to work with a real estate team that understands how to properly market and sell your condo.

Choose a real estate team that:

Understands How to Photograph Your Condo: Because of the smaller size of condo, taking pictures and video can be difficult. Don’t trust an agent who is going to take photos of your unit themselves. 

To get the best possible pictures and video that captures your rooms without making them seem smaller or bigger requires a professional photographer.

Understands How to Capture Buyers’ Attention Online: Because competition may be fierce, you want work with real estate professionals who know how to use online resources to find the buyers you need.


We know how to market condos!

Work with a real estate team that can capture buyers’ attention online

Can Work Around the “No Open House” Rule: Some condo buildings don’t allow open houses, so your agent needs to be able to arrange for buyers to see your unit by appointment.

Knows How to Target and Market to Your Buyer: An experienced real estate agent will be able to profile and effectively target the perfect buyer for your condo. Typical buyers include:

  • First-time homebuyers or parents of first-time homebuyers
  • International investors
  • Newly married couples
  • Recently divorced persons
  • Seniors who want to downsize
  • Empty nesters
  • Young couples with a baby on the way

first time home buyers

First-time home buyers often purchase condos

Showing Your Condo

Here are some great tips to follow when you are showing your condo to potential buyers.

Don’t Stick Around: Make sure you leave your condo when there is a showing. Buyers will be much more relaxed and less distracted if you are not there, leaving them to concentrate on the great features of your unit.

Be Flexible: Try to make it as easy and convenient for your buyers to come for showings when they can.

Get Your Tenant Onboard: If you are renting your condo, try to encourage your tenants to keep it as neat, clean, and as de-cluttered as possible, pointing out that they will make it sell faster and will therefore be easier for them. Remember that you will need to give them 24 hours notice prior to showings.

Provide Your Agents with a FOB: Be sure to give you agents a FOB so that they can easily access all of the facilities in your building to show potential buyers.

mortgage payments

Leave your condo when there is a showing

Getting Offers

There are often conditions placed on offers when you are selling a condo. These will include:

Financing conditions: The buyer may need to confirm that their financing is in place with their lending institution.

Status certificate condition: This is a condition placed on condo offers where the buyer’s lawyer is able to take a look at your condominium documents to make sure that they are legally and financially sound.

Your real estate professional will help you decide on and negotiate any offers you receive, but it will be up to you to make the final decision about what price you are going to accept, when your closing date will be, and so on.

living room

Your agent will help you review any offers

Closing Day Considerations

Before your closing date arrives, make sure that you:

Book the elevator: Book the elevator so that you will have full access to it for your move. You will probably want to do this well in advance of closing to make sure that you get it and that there are no restrictions.

Inform your property manager: Make sure you let your property manager know that you are selling so that you can get your monthly maintenance fees cancelled.

Inform your utilities: Let your utility company and internet provider know that you are moving.

kw condo living

Selling a Condo? Trust KW Condo Living to Work with You

If you are selling a condo, contact the experienced team at KW Condo Living. Getting your condo sold is our full-time job. We offer you a professional marketing team, full-time agents, and an effective online presence to make sure your condo sells quickly and for the price you deserve.

Our strong team is what makes the difference and our commitment that:

  • Together we’re selling your home
  • Together we’ve negotiating for you
  • Together we’re making sure you feel safe and comfortable through the selling process

Contact us today, to set up an appointment.


Contact KW Condo Living Today

KW Condo Living Customers Reviews

Jodi Purdie helped my parents sell our home in the tri- cities and she was knowledgeable, trustworthy and honest. She helped and supported them through the whole process and did everything in her power to make everything run smoothly. The house sold very fast! Exactly what was needed. I would recommend her to anyone who is looking to buy or sell a house. We will definitely be using her again in the future! Thanks Jodi and Darrin Bartels

Anna Power
I would highly recommend Jason. He isn’t pushy, gives good input and is highly knowledgeable. Jason sold our home quickly and helped us buy a great new home in an awesome location on a court by schools and park with a short close and a great price. Jason’s team is also great too and helped us sort out a few wrinkles with the information flow between the bank and lawyers.

James Archibald

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