As an exclusive buyer agent working in downtown Boston and throughout the Greater Boston area, a large percentage of my clients are interested in purchasing a condo. They know that they are not only buying the condo that they are going to be living in, but also become part of the wonderful world of condo associations.
Some sellers and their agents are very good - they know answers to every question that is asked by buyers and their buyer agent not only about their unit, but also the condo association. Other sellers let potential deals go through their fingers because they don't answers to key questions about the condo assn that impact not only the desirability of living in a condo assn, but also the ability to get financing.
Stringent guidelines for condo loans have been implemented and, depending upon the program that the buyer has been pre-approved for, the buyer may not be able to get financing for a condo because of the condo assn.
Therefore, sellers, it is even more important to have accurate and up-to-date answers for these questions to help get and keep deals together. Here are a few of the most important ones:
- How many units are in the condo association? How many are owner-occupied?
- Does more than one person own more than 10% of the total units?
- Is there commerical space in the building? What percentage of the building is commerical space? Are there any restrictions on what type of business is permitted
- Do you know of any active lawsuits between the condo assn / condo trustees and other parties?
- How much money is in the condominium reserve account? Is it more than 10% of the annual budget for the condo assn?
- Are there any projects planned for the building? If so, will they be covered through reserve funds, special assessments or a combination?
- For newer developments - Is the condo assn still within developer control? If not, has it been a year since the condo assn was handed over to the residents?
in the commercial space?
A good buyer agent will help their clients "pre-screen" properties that are not going to meet their needs or ability to get financing, but sellers should also inquire about the financing package when an offer is made to prevent a false-start that is not going to benefit anyone.