How to Overcome Common Challenges to Selling a Condo

Selling your home can present obstacles for anyone, but selling a condo often has unique challenges. Stringent HOA rules, shared walls, and special lending woes are among the reasons you need to work with a realtor or independent buyer who understands condo sales.

While selling a condo can be a headache, you can create smoother conditions with the right planning. Come to the table prepared… and you may have multiple offers in no time. Here are five common challenges to selling a condo fast, and how to beat them like a pro.

1. Lack of Amenities

For potential buyers who are in the market for a condo, the conveniences of a condo complex may be high on their priority list. They’re looking for a lifestyle. If your condo complex is fairly simple (no swimming pool or gym in sight), the lack of amenities can become a hurdle. You need to get creative when it comes to marketing your property (hint: you may have more benefits to offer than you thought).

Maybe because your complex is small, the HOA payments are super low. Perhaps your HOA handles water payments and keeps up on landscaping. Are they flexible with allowing you to decorate your balcony however you want? Drum up some amenities and benefits to advertise, even if you don’t have any big ticket items in your community. Even something like a secure mail room or extra storage could become a major selling point to the right buyer.

2. Neighbor Issues

Condo living means shared walls. This is a challenge that single family home owners don’t face. Do your neighbors like to play music loud on the weekends? You have a few options. First, consider soundproofing or talking to your HOA about soundproofing (which affects the structure, and may be under their purview) before you list your property. That’s not the cheapest option, but it’s the best solution to your issue.

You could address the problem with the HOA, which certainly has noise violation processes that would threaten to slap the other owner with a fine if they don’t keep it down. Finally, consider marketing your condo carefully so as to attract younger buyers or folks in the market for a starter home who may not mind the occasional disturbance next door as much as older buyers.

3. High Owner to Tenant Ratio

Your unit might be great, but if a lot of the owners in the building rent out their condos — your potential buyers could struggle to get funding. Lenders prefer communities where most of the condos are owner occupied, because they believe people will take better care of their units and the overall property.

The solution? Disclose the ratio right up front, so you don’t end up with an escrow that falls through. Or, even better, seek out an all cash buyer. Someone who doesn’t rely on a traditional lender won’t have to worry about how many unit are renter occupied versus owner occupied.

4. Small Square Footage

Another issue to selling a condo is that these units have smaller square footage than even small single family homes. Can you sell this option to buyers who are on the fence about simple living? You can often overcome this challenge with careful and strategic staging. Make your rooms look larger by de-cluttering, moving furniture to the perimeters, and painting the walls a light neutral color. And accentuate and decorate any patio or balcony space you have to make it look inviting and usable.

5. Tricky Pricing

If your neighbor with the same floorplan sells their condo for a certain price, you may assume yours will go for the same amount. That’s not always so. Coming up with good “comps” requires assessing the upgrades, flooring, and other details of comparable condos in the area. You can’t really sell on square footage, so comparing by more minute details is more important than ever — and takes more time and energy. It’s an easy to overcome challenge to be sure, but pricing a condo can be less-than-simple.

Don’t want to deal with any of these issues? See if California Family Homebuyers is interested in your Sacramento condo! Even if we’re not, we may be able to connect you with the right buyer. Give us a call today!

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