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April 19, 2012

Mastermind for April 18th. Condo Listings and Information Gathering

by mark mclean

Mastermind rocks! As you know, we meet every Wednesday in the lobby of Bosley Real Estate’s Queen West Office. In the beginning it was just our little team but it has since grown to include many agents from our other offices. It is amazing to connect with our counterparts and we always love to welcome new faces.  So, if you slept in or just couldn’t get it together, you missed a great discussion about listing condos. The conversation seemed timely as a recent article in The Star reported some interesting stats on condo prices. See the article in full here. 

It seems to be a common occurence. Agents miss information on condo listings fairly regularly. Maybe it is because it is easier to take information from other listings than to call up the management office. As I wrote in a previous post, that can land you in seriously hot water. Read the story here. . We had several very interesting anecdotes about condo buying experiences.  One agent relayed a story about doing some checking on a listing that a client of hers was interested in. The listing stated that the price included a locker, but after many phone calls to the management office, it seemed that the unit didn’t have a locker even though the seller assured the listing agent that there was one. As insignificant as it sounds, lockers are an important, and costly, part of condo ownership today, especially when storage space is at a premium in small spaces. Another agent talked about how parking spaces seem to be getting smaller and that recently a buyer client of hers couldn’t fit his car into the underground spot of a building he was interested in. We heard a story about a buyer client who was forced to buy out a rental furnace contract and another client who, after moving into a new condo, discovered that the previous owner had signed a 10 year third-party maintenance package on a furnace and hot water tank. Finally we heard many examples of other agents listing maintenance fees and their inclusions incorrectly.

The take away from this discussion seems that you really can’t leave any stone unturned. It is important to spend the same amount of time checking the facts on condos as you should on freehold properties. Don’t assume that any previous listings in a building contain accurate information.  From our discussion, we reminded ourselves that when you list a condo it is important to ask the owner to look at the parking spot, check out the locker (even take measurements) and find out if there are any third-party contracts that would fall outside the regular maintenance fee.  While you are at it, why not check out the amenities? Does the building have guest parking? In Toronto, condo sales are responsible for over 60% of property traded. It seems like taking a few simple steps will go along way to limiting liability and creating a smooth selling process.

Have a great week!

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