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How to Sell a Condo by Owner

by Elle Di Jensen

Getting the help of a real estate agent when you decide to sell your condo is one way to go, but you'll pay out a portion of the sales price in agent's fees if you choose that path. Consider selling the condo yourself. You'll have to trade some time and effort for those fees, but it can be worth it to save about 6 percent of the sales price and get a larger check at closing.

Examine your home and inventory the features and positive aspects. Also list improvements that need to be made.

Make the improvements. These are usually cosmetic things like holes in walls, replacing thread-bare carpeting, tearing out peeling wallpaper or painting.

Estimate your condo's value and set a selling price. Use the real estate section from the newspaper and current realtors' magazines that list condos for sale to find ones similar to yours in size and location to set your price.

Contact your homeowners association to find out what bylaws are in place regarding selling your condo.

Post "For Sale By Owner" sign in a highly visible area in front of your condo.

Compile an information sheet on your house listing the location, features from your inventory list and price.

Publish ads in local newspapers' real estate sections using information from your fact sheet.

Create fliers with information from your ad/fact sheet. Post them on bulletin boards and in local neighborhoods.

Obtain a copy of your homeowner association bylaws and financial statements, collectively known as HOA documents, from the association's main office. You'll be required to give this to your prospective buyer as a condition of the contract; the contract will be contingent on the buyer's approval of the information contained the documents. The buyer's lender also may request to review the HOA documents, depending on her loan type.

Schedule appointments to show your home to prospective buyers who contact you.

Fill out basic information on a supply of contracts and disclosure forms so you have them ready for a buyer's signature when you get an offer. Provide the buyer with a copy of the signed contract.

Collect the agreed upon deposit from the buyer, known as the "binder" or "earnest money."

Cooperate with the title company or law firm handling the closing to provide information they need such as the name of your mortgage company or a copy of the deed to your home.

Set a closing date with the title company or law firm once your buyer has gotten loan approval or otherwise retains the funds to make the purchase. This is when the sale will be finalized, the deed will be transferred to the buyer and you'll receive the proceeds from the sale.

Items you will need
  • Real estate contract
  • Disclosure forms
  • Sale signs

Tips

  • Consider holding an open house at least one weekend while your condo is for sale. Advertise the open house in local papers and post signs on busy streets nearby to let people know about your event.
  • The earnest money amount is typically a percentage of the sale price, but can be any amount that is agreed upon by both the buyer and the seller.
  • Be prepared to negotiate to arrive at a sales price. Depending on the market, how quickly you need to sell your condo and how the appraisal comes in, you may have to compromise on the price.

References

Photo Credits

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