Buying or Selling a Condo? - Why You Need a Condo Specialist - How buyers and sellers choose an agent to assist them with their real estate transaction is important. They need guidance with the process. They need market knowledge and expertise. They need someone they can trust and someone who is sensitive to what they are looking for in a home. They need someone who will work hard.
This sounds simple enough, but when considering the sale or purchase of a condo, there is a lot more to be taken into account. It can mean the difference between a smooth transaction or no transaction at all. There are nuances to the condominium market that only an agent who is experienced and specializes in condos understands - things that can make a big difference to buyers and sellers.
Availability of condominium financing is important to buyers and sellers. What buyers and sellers need to understand is that lenders have special criteria that go above and beyond the criteria to lend on single family homes. Lenders typically require higher downpayments, lending for condos at lower LTVs. Lenders look closely at the financial viability of the condominium community, requiring the completion of a condo questionnaire by the management company, if there is one, or an officer on the condo's board. The lender is looking at items such as:
- sufficient reserves
- that condo fee delinquencies don't exceed specified percentages
- that the number of rentals doesn' exceed specified percentages
- whether the control of the condo has been turned over to the homeowners in the community
- percentage of completed units and potential for additional annexation
A Realtor can be helpful to Sellers in conveying to buyers that financing is readily available, and how a condominium community's financial viability impacts the financing available. Realtors become an important liason in the proper completion of the condo questionnaire for the lender, essential to moving the loan through processing to approval - and to settlement. Because financing is critical to any transaction, and there being more requirements when financing condos, it is especially important to sellers that their Realtor can effectively communicate with the Lender and ensure that accurate information is provided to the Lender that results in the Lender being confident in the community's strength and viability. If a community has FHA approval, the Realtor can help the buyer to understand how those additional lending requirements further speak to the community's viability.
For Buyers, a Realtor who specializes in condominiums is invaluable in coordinating the process with the lender to ensure that the buyer goes to settlement. Using a local lender is often advisable when purchasing a condo as they will have more localized knowledge of the community. A local lender will not only ensure that the condo meets standardized condo approval criteria, but will have further confidence in the community as a result of their localized knowledge.
Financial Viability of the Community -
Financial viability of the community can be communicated to Buyers by the Realtor to help the buyer feel comfortable with their investment. The buyer will be informed that a condominium resale package will be provided for them to further review financials, community covenants and restrictions, and structure of the condominium association.
For Sellers, the Realtor's knowledge of the community's financial viability and being able to communicate that knowledge with the buyer as well as knowing the process to obtain the condominium resale package are additional invaluable tools that help with the condo sale.
Community Amenities and Condo Fees -
For Buyers, it's very important for buyers to understand the amenities of the community and how the community is managed - the value of the amenities with relation to the fees or any assessments, whether current or anticipated. A Realtor that is knowledgeable about condo sales and that community will be able to assist a buyer with that understanding and help them to be comfortable with that aspect of condomonium ownership.
Sellers benefit from the Realtor's ability to convey that information and help the buyer be confident in their investment.
I specialize in Southern Maryland Condominiums and can assist with all aspects of condominium sales for buyers and sellers -
Please contact me for more information on Calvert County real estate and Saint Mary's County real estate.
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