Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Vent: How can I sell my condo??

dogmelissa
September 18th, 2005, 02:58 PM
If any of you recall from some previous posts, I've been in the process of trying to sell my condo since mid-July.
First there were just no offers/no action. I ended up losing a townhouse I wanted to buy because mine didn't sell in time to get it.
Then on labour day weekend I had a flurry of action, and 3 offers over the weekend. The first 2 offers were very low and/or extremely quick possession (as in, I'd have to pay them to buy my house, and then pay to put my stuff in storage and my cats in a kennel while I found something else to live in). They ended up pulling out for different reasons. Third offer was *very* nice ($1000 less than my list price), had possession Halloween, and everything seemed great. I accepted. Conditions being that their house sells, and that my condo documents meet their approval. So I started looking for places to live, assuming that everything would be ok.
Sent a fax to the condo management company requesting documents that I needed--condo board meeting minutes, management agreement, etc. I got back 3 documents, when I needed about 10. Stupid people over there don't look at what you send them--they only give you what you checked off on their document request form, even though I sent them a full list of what I needed. More than half of what I needed wasn't ON their form; specifically, it had listed "current condo meeting minutes" when I needed the previous 12 months! I sent an email, the lady there phoned, screamed at me, insulted me and my realtor and basically made me very very mad. I don't understand how they don't have options to get things that are on a STANDARD condo purchase agreement. Whatever. My realtor took care of it and got the documents late last week.
I found a house (yes, a full-fledged house!) that I wanted. Discussed it with my bf and we were going to put an offer in this weekend. We were just crawling out of bed to go meet my realtor to put in that offer, when she called. Turns out that the people who wanted to buy my house have now changed their mind because the condo board meetings talked about parking problems and noise problems. Specifically, we've had a few residents who park in visitor parking all the time (they have 2 cars and one assigned spot), and people who come for parties who park up and down the roads instead of in parking stalls at all. As far as noise, I have no idea what they're talking about, but I'm guessing that it's all in the building that has that parties--which is NOT the building I live in! So to make a long story short, my condo is no longer conditionally sold. I have no other offers, and have had very little action overall. So now I can't put in an offer on the house I want, because there's not much chance that my place is going to sell before Halloween, as it hasn't yet since July. Chances are that someone else is going to buy the house I want and then I'll be stuck buying some little garbage hole townhouse and having to put up with another condo board because it's all I can find.
I'm really really depressed about this. So what do I do? Any advice??
I guess mostly this is just venting... there's not much anyone can do.
Thanks for reading.
Melissa

Prin
September 18th, 2005, 03:18 PM
If you really want to get rid of it, you couldn't lower the price a bit? I know here in Montreal, condos were way too quickly constructed and now have a huge vacancy rate, thus are not reselling very quickly at all... Not a very good condo market anymore...

raingirl
September 18th, 2005, 03:24 PM
What are the reasons for people not being interested in your condo (have you been given any?). Is it being offered too high? Check MLS.ca and see what condos in your area are going for. I did a search for condos in Airdrie, and only 12 showed up (is your's there? If not, that's not a good thing for your agent! You should bug him/her to get you on MLS if you are not.)

There has to be a reason people aren't putting offers in. Is the area bad? How old is the condo? What are the fees like? What's the decor like?

I don't know if it makes a difference, but most people I know don't like to buy houses/condos that have/had cats, even if they own cats. My step-uncle is a real estate agent, and he told my parents when they moved that statistics show 75% of people turn down even looking at/thinking about a place that has cats. Weird huh?

dogmelissa
September 18th, 2005, 03:24 PM
Can't lower the price, or I start losing money on it. Condos market here is still growing. Lots of people selling their houses to buy condos. Problem is that there's still lots of people buying used houses, too, cause there's lots of people coming from other cities... so everything goes really quick. Average time to sell is 56 days in Calgary, 58 days in Airdrie (where I am). My place has been on the market 62 days now.
Guess I'm just stuck.

Puppyluv
September 18th, 2005, 03:29 PM
oooo the real estate battle. I feel your pain :grouphug:
My family has been stuck in it for the past year and a half; what with my dad helping me buy a condo last year, and now him helping my brother buy one. And then the now-empty nesters selling their house and buying a new one. We're fighting it on all sides.
Question though, when you say "condo docs meet their approval" do you just mean they read them and decide if they liek it or not? Usually once the offer is made, you can only back out if it fails the inspection. Although even then, there are ways to back out if you really want to.
Good luck though

dogmelissa
September 18th, 2005, 03:37 PM
It's not listed too high. The complex is still under construction, but units like mine aren't even being built for at least a year. When I first listed, there was one identical to mine that was just being finished at for a person to buy and live in it would have been $121,900. For a person to buy it to rent it out (because the GST rate differs), it would have cost $124,900. Mine is listed at $123,900. That other unit is sold now, so there's no other choice in this complex for this kind of unit.
Yes my condo is up on MLS. You can look at the listing if you want: it's MLS # C3179602. My unit was complete last September; I've only been here a year. Most of the other condos in Airdrie--at least the ones in a similar price range--are for apartment-type buildings built by a company who is notorious for building garbage. Mine is a town-house style (though I have something like a bungalow), and I have a full basement.
The area is great; right next to two schools, the golf course, easy access to highway, but still a quiet area. It's right next to a giant soccer park!
A 3-bedroom townhouse in the building next to mine sold 2 weeks before I listed mine--at it's asking price, within 12 days of being listed. They can't build the 3 bedroom ones fast enough to keep up with the demand for them.

Reasons I've had for not getting offers: commission is too low (I'm only paying half commission, so realtors who bring in clients don't even bother to show them), they have a large dog (against the condo bylaws, no exceptions), or people were "looking for something bigger". I had one offer that came in where the people tried to basically tell me that all the carpets needed to be replaced "because I had cats"--which is a lame excuse, but was just insulting that they were saying that ~600 sq ft of carpet is worth $4000. I could do the whole area in laminate (I priced it out!) for a little over $700. So yes, I understand people saying stupid things about houses that have cats. I also had one offer come in where they were REALLY upset about the fact that there's only one assigned parking stall and they have 2 cars.

Basically what it comes down to is that you can't buy a 2-bedroom condo with a basement that's less than 20 years old in Airdrie, at this price. I know, I've looked, and there's nothing better.

dogmelissa
September 18th, 2005, 03:41 PM
Yes, they can read the documents and if they don't like it, they can pull out. It is something that happens in Calgary on all used condos--it's a condition in the purchase agreement. Same as home inspection. They get the documents, go through them and if they don't like something, they can say buh-bye. Because my condo is only a year old, they didn't want to pay for a home inspection, because they're sure that nothing will be found. So the only condition was the sale of their house and their approval of the documents.

Puppyluv
September 18th, 2005, 03:41 PM
I guess just give it some time. I know it doesn't help now. But the place I bought was on the market for ages. Then the owner reduced the price, and all of a sudden people wanted it.

dogmelissa
September 18th, 2005, 03:43 PM
The place I want won't be on the market for ages. It's already been reduced in price in just over a month.
And again; I can't reduce the price of mine, or I start losing money. I priced it where I did so that I can get my downpayment back, pay the realtor fees, lawyer fees, mortgage fees. I'm making literally zero profit on this.

Cinnabear
September 18th, 2005, 03:59 PM
I'm so sorry to say 2 bedrooms and 1 parking stall is a big disadvantage. It is a nice looking condo. Is it a end unit? When you have open houses do use encouraging smells ie apple spice or home baked goodies. Good Luck

dogmelissa
September 18th, 2005, 04:06 PM
No, it's not an end unit. The ones in this building were already sold when I bought, and anyways, they were $5000 more and all you get is a tiny little window--which looks across 5' of grass to another building exactly like this one. Plus more heating costs because you lose more of your heat out the sides.
I'm done with open houses; I've had 2 (one Saturday and another full weekend) and I had a grand total of one person show up.

I've tried the fresh-baked bread approach, tried the cloves/cinammon on the stove approach. It doesn't appear to be the smell that makes people not buy. It's been a fight just to get them in the door--mostly because (from what I can tell) realtors are greedy. Why would they bring them to my house, which is only offering $2000 to them if their client buys, when they can go down to one of the piece of crap ones next to the CPR tracks (that has no basement) and get $4000 for their people buying one of those??? Doesn't seem to matter to realtors that their people get a better house, better value, and are actually HAPPY with a place, if they make more money selling them a crappy one that they'll hate.

Maybe I'm bitter... but it's been a huge struggle and I'm tired of it. I'm going to lose the house I want and there's nothing I can do about it.

Puppyluv
September 18th, 2005, 04:11 PM
I'm not suggesting that you lower the price, i know that's not really an option. But have you had it evaluated? How similar are the eval prices and the selling price? People tend to know general eval prices of a location, so if it's far off they wont even come and look

dogmelissa
September 18th, 2005, 04:24 PM
Who is going to evaluate it? There really is nothing comparable to look at. My realtor hosted a realtor's tour; 25 realtors from Calgary, Airdrie & area came through. ALL of them agreed that it was priced exactly where it should be. Some said that after seeing it, it was actually worth more than I'd listed it at.
In this community, this is the only condo complex. The rest of the community is single-family houses. They start at $180,000 for a 1200 sq ft house with no garage. The 1100 sq ft, 3 bedroom townhouse in the building next door (no garage) sold at $132,000, within 12 days. There is also a 1010 sq ft townhouse (3 bedroom) with a single attached garage across from me for sale, listed at $149,000. The builder is no longer building these units because they are having an extremely hard time selling them. Units like mine went pretty quickly, and units like the 1100 sq ft one are going so fast they can't keep up.
What difference would it make to have it evaluated? Banks are usually $5000-$10000 too high, which would put mine somewhere around $129,000 if I had a bank look at it. Since it won't sell at $123,900, what are the chances it'll sell higher? My property value shows my place worth $119,000. Everyone who's been looking knows that list prices are generally $5000-$8000 above value to cover fees. More if the owner has made improvements. I don't think I'm asking too much, and people who think I am don't deserve to have my house.

Prin
September 18th, 2005, 04:33 PM
What about doing the laminate floors? I say that because we are among the people who would say it needed new flooring after having cats... My man is horribly allergic to cats... All of the really old houses we saw with new floors always seemed more livable than the carpet ones...Not to say yours is old, just that carpets are for a very select type of person. Most people prefer wood or tile...

Puppyluv
September 18th, 2005, 04:36 PM
My property value shows my place worth $119,000. Everyone who's been looking knows that list prices are generally $5000-$8000 above value to cover fees. More if the owner has made improvements. I don't think I'm asking too much, and people who think I am don't deserve to have my house.

I disagree, the people buying could care less what you've spent, they only care what they have to spend.
As for the eval, I was thinking of an independent body, but if you're pretty sure about the value, there's no point.

raingirl
September 18th, 2005, 05:40 PM
First of all..your MLS listing. THere are no outside pictures of the building or unit. BIG NO NO from what my step-uncle said (when my parents sold their house)! I would get an outdoor pic up there ASAP! Second...I know your listing price is where it is, so you break even, but there were 4 other units in the same or close price range, with 2 bedroom, 2 baths, and 2 parking spaces. The ones with similar amenities to yours are about 10 + grand lower.

PLus, your MLS listing doesn't even tell you what type of condo it is, and the description is REALLY weak. Is there AC? If it's a condo bungalow, what is the lot size? What are the condo fees monthly?

JaydeDoggie
September 18th, 2005, 08:30 PM
I know its frustrating ...
Its too bad that no one is showing upi at te open houses. how are they being advertised? is your realotr doing all that he/she can to get the word out about the open hosues?
Once you get them in your place, it's really nice. Furniture placement seems to be good ... bit sparce if anything... ONLY thing I would suggest for staging is in the bathroom ... its a bit dark and closed in, or looks that way from the pics.

You need to ask your realtor if this is a good time to be selling your property .. if the market is not hot right now, ... lowering your price might be the only way to get your place sold, if you want it sold before the next expected hot period.
Its not great advice ,I realize this ... just my experience/opinion

dogmelissa
September 18th, 2005, 10:12 PM
What about doing the laminate floors? I say that because we are among the people who would say it needed new flooring after having cats... My man is horribly allergic to cats... All of the really old houses we saw with new floors always seemed more livable than the carpet ones...Not to say yours is old, just that carpets are for a very select type of person. Most people prefer wood or tile...

If I put in laminate flooring, then my price is going UP $1000 or more. That's all I'm going to say to that.

dogmelissa
September 18th, 2005, 10:16 PM
First of all..your MLS listing. THere are no outside pictures of the building or unit. BIG NO NO from what my step-uncle said (when my parents sold their house)! I would get an outdoor pic up there ASAP! Second...I know your listing price is where it is, so you break even, but there were 4 other units in the same or close price range, with 2 bedroom, 2 baths, and 2 parking spaces. The ones with similar amenities to yours are about 10 + grand lower.

PLus, your MLS listing doesn't even tell you what type of condo it is, and the description is REALLY weak. Is there AC? If it's a condo bungalow, what is the lot size? What are the condo fees monthly?

My realtor didn't take a picture of the outside of the building, because it gives the impression that my condo is 2-storeys, which it's not.
Yes, 4 other units in the same price range, and as I said, none of them have a full basement, all are apartment-style, and are built by the crappiest builder in the area.
Similar amenities? As I said, I have a full-basement and my condo is exactly one-year old. The ones with "similar amenities" are at least 10 years old, or more.
Yes the description is weak. How do you describe my unit? It's technically an apartment-style, because there is a unit above me and on both sides, but it's like a town-house because it has a full basement. It's not technically a bungalow, but all my living area is on one level. It's not a bareland condo, I have units attached to me.
Condo fees are listed in the MLS listing that realtors see. People who phone my realtor and ask can get that information. No it doesn't have AC, nor do most of the condos in Calgary; there's usually only 2-3 days a year when it's needed so most people don't bother putting it in.

Prin
September 18th, 2005, 10:22 PM
But see from the buyer's perspective a 10 year old condo is in some ways safer because there are reserves. In new condos, if anything should happen, most likely the condo members will have to pay for it out of pocket. There are a lot of loop-holes in the buiding guarantees... That was a big deterrent for us because even though we could afford basic housing costs, but not anything huge and unexpected...

The idea of putting laminate is to raise the aesthetic value of the condo, not to raise the price...

dogmelissa
September 18th, 2005, 10:22 PM
I know its frustrating ...
Its too bad that no one is showing upi at te open houses. how are they being advertised? is your realotr doing all that he/she can to get the word out about the open hosues?
Once you get them in your place, it's really nice. Furniture placement seems to be good ... bit sparce if anything... ONLY thing I would suggest for staging is in the bathroom ... its a bit dark and closed in, or looks that way from the pics.

You need to ask your realtor if this is a good time to be selling your property .. if the market is not hot right now, ... lowering your price might be the only way to get your place sold, if you want it sold before the next expected hot period.
Its not great advice ,I realize this ... just my experience/opinion

I have complained that my realtor isn't doing much. That being said, for both open houses, there were ads in the paper, and the signs on the street. For the first one, she had 4 phone calls of realtors/people who wanted to see (she didn't list the address in the paper) and then none of them showed up. The second one listed the address, and that's the one where one person showed up.
Yes, furniture is a bit sparse, but that's all I have and all I need. I'm certainly not going to buy furniture to put in my house just to have something there. Not that you were suggesting that, but I think the amount I have is about right for the kind of people who would be living here (like me).
As for the bathroom... yes, it's a bad picture. It's really not dark nor closed in-looking, the picture just isn't great. Nothing I can do about that, I suppose.

Problem is... this IS the "hot period" for selling. It is the best possible time to sell my house; weather is pretty decent so people don't mind getting in their car (or even walking over!) to see my place. It's not so cold that they have to warm up their cars for 10 minutes (with gas over $1/L) to come and see it. Kids are back in school, so everyone is back from vacations. This is the busiest time of year for home-building and buying (and I know cause I work in the industry!).
As for lowering my price... again, it's just not possible, unless I want to start losing money on the property. And I didn't BUY a house in the first place to lose money on it.
Thanks for the thoughts, but.... well, I'm just kinda stuck.

dogmelissa
September 18th, 2005, 10:27 PM
But see from the buyer's perspective a 10 year old condo is in some ways safer because there are reserves. In new condos, if anything should happen, most likely the condo members will have to pay for it out of pocket. There are a lot of loop-holes in the buiding guarantees... That was a big deterrent for us because even though we could afford basic housing costs, but not anything huge and unexpected...

The idea of putting laminate is to raise the aesthetic value of the condo, not to raise the price...

This building is covered under new-home warranty for another 4 years. Should anything happen, the reserve fund is happily still building and doesn't get touched because it's most likely a warranty issue. The kinds of issues that you're talking about that have loop-holes... feel free to share an example, because I've read the warranty on these buildings and I'm not sure what could possibly go wrong that wouldn't be covered under warranty.

If I'm putting laminate flooring in, I'm either going to do it to enjoy it for at least a few months, or I'm doing it to raise the VALUE of the property, which increases the price. I'm certainly not going to drop $700 on laminate flooring and then sell it 2 weeks later at the same price I've listed it at now--I might as well just take $700 out of my pocket now and burn it. I don't have that kind of money just laying around, and if I'm going to spend it, I'm going to get it back out of the sale of my house. If people don't like the carpet--which can be power-washed, leaving no trace of the cats--then THEY can pay to have laminate put down. Other people's allergies are not my problem.

Puppyluv
September 18th, 2005, 10:30 PM
I think one of the hardest things about selling is coming to terms with the fact that very rarely will other people see the same value in your home as you do. You see all the time and money that went into it, they don't. It took my mom forever to agree to list their house at the price they finally did, because to her it was worth so much more. They have put hundreds of thousands of dollars into the house over the years. They JUST re-roofed it about a month ago, but none of those are reasons to raise the asking price, only reasons for buyers to want the house at the base price.
I'm not saying to offer your condo for less than its worth, but don't refuse to not make a profit. Turning a profit in real estate is not always possible. Especially with out of city condos.

dogmelissa
September 18th, 2005, 10:37 PM
I think one of the hardest things about selling is coming to terms with the fact that very rarely will other people see the same value in your home as you do. You see all the time and money that went into it, they don't. It took my mom forever to agree to list their house at the price they finally did, because to her it was worth so much more. They have put hundreds of thousands of dollars into the house over the years. They JUST re-roofed it about a month ago, but none of those are reasons to raise the asking price, only reasons for buyers to want the house at the base price.
I'm not saying to offer your condo for less than its worth, but don't refuse to not make a profit. Turning a profit in real estate is not always possible. Especially with out of city condos.

I'm not trying to make a profit, I'm trying to break even!! I've listed my house at a price that gets me my downpayment back (to the penny, not a cent more), pays my realtor fees, pays my lawyer fees and pays my mortgage pay-out penalty. If I can't get that amount of money, then I would be better off just staying where I am.
Airdrie isn't Calgary, but the market here is hotter than the Calgary market. Prices are going up faster than in Calgary. Used to be that the identical house in Calgary would cost anywhere from $20k-$40k more, now they're about $10k difference. Condos? You can't find a new condo in Calgary for the price I'm asking, unless you're looking for a 1-bedroom apartment with a total of 650 sq ft. I'm offering 891 sq ft developed and the same in a full undeveloped basement. If people don't see the value in this, then they're insane. In Calgary and surrounding areas, it IS always possible to turn a profit, or at the very least, break even. Unless you bought a Pointe of View, which mine is not.

dogmelissa
September 18th, 2005, 10:47 PM
Look, everyone. Thank you for your input, but here's the thing: I can't lower my price, and I can't put any money into making this place more "sell-able". If it doesn't sell then I'm just going to be stuck driving 100km everyday up and down a very scary highway everyday to work. If I survive the winter, I will try listing it again in the spring.

Thank you for your input, but there's nothing any of you can do, unless one of you wants to buy it.

Good night,
Melissa

StaceyB
September 18th, 2005, 11:00 PM
This may sound silly but if other places are selling at a higher price that would be equivilant or less I would take your place off the market for a week and re-list at a higher price with a pic of the outside/inside and description(I tend to overlook ones that I can't see a pic of. If you don't think that your realtor is doing the best job possible find a new one. Honestly if I saw a house listed that was lower priced and no picture than others that would be equal. It would make me wonder what was wrong with it.

dogmelissa
September 18th, 2005, 11:30 PM
This may sound silly but if other places are selling at a higher price that would be equivilant or less I would take your place off the market for a week and re-list at a higher price with a pic of the outside/inside and description(I tend to overlook ones that I can't see a pic of. If you don't think that your realtor is doing the best job possible find a new one. Honestly if I saw a house listed that was lower priced and no picture than others that would be equal. It would make me wonder what was wrong with it.

There are pictures of the inside. The outside, as I've mentioned, could be deceiving. I had people come in that didn't even realize there wasn't an upper floor, even though the description CLEARLY says it's all on one level, with a basement. They said "can you hear your neighbours?" and I said, "the only time I hear them is if the lady upstairs drops something" and they said "someone lives upstairs??"
Taking my place off the market, for anytime less than a couple months, is unlikely to do anything. Re-listing at a higher price is CERTAINLY not going to help. People tend to look at the fact that it says "891 sq ft" and don't even think about the fact that it's got a basement, and they go running over to the apartments down the street, even when mine is listed at the same price. Listing it higher would just make people laugh at me.
No, my realtor isn't doing the best job possible--at least I don't think she is. But if I go with another realtor, then I'll need to pay full commissions, and my price on my house would need to go up $4000, and then it's just ridiculously priced, when people can buy a 3-bedroom, 2-storey + basement in the same complex for the price I'd have to list mine at. Sure, they'd have to wait 8 months, but people don't think about that most of the time.
My house is currently NOT listed lower and with no pictures. It's listed right at what is fair (I've been told it's GREAT value), and has pictures of every room on my main floor on the listing.

Thanks for the suggestions, but it's just not worth it.
Melissa

Cinnabear
September 18th, 2005, 11:35 PM
Maybe it's time to get forceful with your realtor about selling it. And talk to them face to face. Constantly call them so then they would want to sell instead of hearing you all the time. What does your contract say about how they should be selling it. Maybe tell your realtor if they don't push to sell that you would be having conversations with people about who they should hire. Is there somewhere that you can leave negative feedback about your realtor?

Prin
September 18th, 2005, 11:44 PM
You don't include the basement in the square footage? I know it's misleading, but when we were looking, the basements were always included. One even said 4 bedrooms and when we got there, there was one and 3 others in the unfinished basement... :rolleyes: It's not nice, but everybody does it...


Oh and by loophole, I was referring to what I had read here in Qc. We were looking at a new condo last year, and it was covered by the general building warranty thing (APCHQ new construction warranty), and I went to the website to read the fine print, and it basically said that it is void if the builders themselves had a warranty program-- even if it is a smaller warranty than the APCHQ warranty. So if the builders say, for example, "We have a limited warranty and it is limited to the roof," then if anything breaks other than the roof, you're screwed. That's how it is in Qc, but I'm not sure if it is similar over there. Just be careful with the fine print.

dogmelissa
September 18th, 2005, 11:44 PM
Maybe it's time to get forceful with your realtor about selling it. And talk to them face to face. Constantly call them so then they would want to sell instead of hearing you all the time. What does your contract say about how they should be selling it. Maybe tell your realtor if they don't push to sell that you would be having conversations with people about who they should hire. Is there somewhere that you can leave negative feedback about your realtor?

I've talked to my realtor, and my realtor's boss. It was actually her boss who managed to get the house conditionally sold over the labour day weekend when my "real" realtor was away.
I've talked to my realtor about how I don't think it's going to sell, how I don't know if she's doing enough, and she says simply that other realtors don't want to come because I'm not paying full commissions. She is fully aware that if she doesn't sell it by the end of September, she doesn't get a penny--because my contract with her expires then. If my contract expires, the house will be off the market for at least 90 days, otherwise if it sells, I still have to pay her commissions, even if she didn't sell it.
It doesn't appear to be the realtor's fault. If she was standing on the street corner telling people NOT to come to the Open House, then I'd blame her, but she's not. We've had lots of showings. Well... not lots, but enough. A couple every week at least. And no offers.
No other realtor could get this done. And it's not worth paying $8000 to find out (at least not to me).

dogmelissa
September 18th, 2005, 11:51 PM
You don't include the basement in the square footage? I know it's misleading, but when we were looking, the basements were always included. One even said 4 bedrooms and when we got there, there was one and 3 others in the unfinished basement... :rolleyes: It's not nice, but everybody does it...

Oh and by loophole, I was referring to what I had read here in Qc. We were looking at a new condo last year, and it was covered by the general building warranty thing (APCHQ new construction warranty), and I went to the website to read the fine print, and it basically said that it is void if the builders themselves had a warranty program-- even if it is a smaller warranty than the APCHQ warranty. So if the builders say, for example, "We have a limited warranty and it is limited to the roof," then if anything breaks other than the roof, you're screwed. That's how it is in Qc, but I'm not sure if it is similar over there. Just be careful with the fine print.


The basements in Alberta are not LEGALLY allowed to be included in square footage measurements unless they are finished, and were finished by the original builder at the time the building was constructed. We can say "full basement" but not that the total area is 1782 sq ft (891 on 2 levels). You can't even include split-levels if they were developed later. Basically, anything that's below ground-level isn't allowed to be included unless it was developed at the time of construction. The house I want to buy is listed as having only 2 bedrooms and 893 sq ft, but is really at least double that footage and has another bedroom in the basement. It is a 4-level split, and the 2 lower levels weren't developed with the original building.

As for the warranty, it's different here. Basically there is builder's warranty (if it's a good builder) for the first year, and then Alberta New Home Warranty picks up the same terms for the next 4 years. You get a total of 5 years of warranty on things like roof leaks, squeaky floors, cracked cement floors. I've read the fine print on both the builder's warranty and the AB New Home Warranty. There is very little that's NOT covered--window cracks (unless due to structural failure) and sewer back-ups are about the only two things that aren't. I guess we have a pretty good deal in Alberta. Sorry to hear that you don't in QC.

Melissa

Prin
September 18th, 2005, 11:56 PM
It's give and take- you get a warranty, we get to bloat up our listings with unfinished basements with imagination... :D

StaceyB
September 19th, 2005, 12:36 AM
Do you know where the viewers got the info to view your house, agent, listing. The listing can be bulked up w/o breaking any rules. It would also a good idea to be more creative with the description and include ideas for improvements. The description is not very detailed. I also noticed that this agent only has one other house listed. Is this normal for your area.

Puppyluv
September 19th, 2005, 07:43 AM
So what if an outdoor pic is deceiving if it gets people to at least look at the condo? Your inside photos are so generic, that the outside could be ugly or beautiful, and a lot of people don't want to waste their time.

susieqt
September 19th, 2005, 08:56 AM
I believe when you are meant to sell your condo, you will! Don't worry about the house that you want and can't have because you haven't sold your condo yet, things happen for a reason. A few years back I had my house on the market and couldn't sell it, tried for over a year and then took it off the market. Thank God I did, because last year the man across the street, asked me if I would like to trade homes with him. My house was tiny, he was by himself, so it was perfect for him. His home was large, two stories, and with a river in the backyard. It is now my house! I am so happy I didn't sell my house when I originally wanted to as I wouldn't be liviing in the house I am now in. So you see, it worked out perfectly for me, even though I was really upset, as you are now, when I wanted to selll originally. Good luck and be patient, it will work out in the end.

dogmelissa
September 19th, 2005, 10:02 AM
Do you know where the viewers got the info to view your house, agent, listing. The listing can be bulked up w/o breaking any rules. It would also a good idea to be more creative with the description and include ideas for improvements. The description is not very detailed. I also noticed that this agent only has one other house listed. Is this normal for your area.

As far as I know, everyone who has gotten any information about my house got it from the listing. If they have a realtor, they would have gotten a little more information, such as condo fees, taxes, and measurements of the rooms. Everything else they either got from my realtor or never asked.
What else can you possibly say about my house? Rules or no rules, there's just not that much to describe.
My realtor has quite a few houses listed, most in Calgary. She doesn't have a lot compared to say, a Re/Max realtor, because she works for a small realty office. She also is the salesperson for a new home builder (owned by the owner of the realty company), and doesn't have any problems selling those.

dogmelissa
September 19th, 2005, 10:07 AM
So what if an outdoor pic is deceiving if it gets people to at least look at the condo? Your inside photos are so generic, that the outside could be ugly or beautiful, and a lot of people don't want to waste their time.

The inside photos aren't generic. They show exactly what's there. They aren't pictures of empty rooms as I've seen in some listings (no furniture). They are a good representation of how big each room is--everyone has a couch and can figure out if it would be enough space for them.

An outside picture won't do any good. If people think it's a two-storey, then they'll be really disappointed when they realize it's not. Plus since it's a condo, they can't do anything to the outside regardless of whether they like the way it looks or not, so it doesn't really matter. People who buy condos don't buy them because they like the outside of the building!
Plus if you search on Airdrie condos, there is one across the lane from me listed at 149,900, and my building looks exactly the same, minus the garage. And that one has been listed for one day less than mine and hasn't sold. As far as I know, they've had less activity I've had because those units are not a good value for the price.

dogmelissa
September 19th, 2005, 10:20 AM
I believe when you are meant to sell your condo, you will! Don't worry about the house that you want and can't have because you haven't sold your condo yet, things happen for a reason. A few years back I had my house on the market and couldn't sell it, tried for over a year and then took it off the market. Thank God I did, because last year the man across the street, asked me if I would like to trade homes with him. My house was tiny, he was by himself, so it was perfect for him. His home was large, two stories, and with a river in the backyard. It is now my house! I am so happy I didn't sell my house when I originally wanted to as I wouldn't be liviing in the house I am now in. So you see, it worked out perfectly for me, even though I was really upset, as you are now, when I wanted to selll originally. Good luck and be patient, it will work out in the end.

Thank you. I've been through this "things happen for a reason" thing a million times. I've also viewed at least a dozen houses and none of them felt right, or even remotely right, like the one I want. I don't want to move because I don't like my house, I want to move because driving 100 km everyday is NOT smart or safe. If I could pick up my condo and move it to Calgary, I would, but obviously that's not an option. If I can't sell my condo NOW, I'm going to be "settling" when I buy something else later. Plus the longer I wait, the harder it is to buy something, because prices just keep going up. Technically the value of my place goes up, too, but if I'm looking at next summer for selling my house, then there are going to be new units like mine going up for sale and no one is going to buy a used one when they can buy a new one. I'll be limited to selling mine BELOW what it would cost for a new one, which means that I'd end up losing money, and with increased prices where I want to buy, then I can't buy anything.
I've been trying to be patient, but when I lose over 2 hours in driving time and spend $45 a week on gas, not to mention risking my life every time I get on the highway, patience wears very thin very quickly. My pets are suffering because I'm only home for 4 hours a day before I go to bed--and my dog has separation anxiety!! My cats are matted because I'm so exhausted after I get home, cook dinner and walk the dog that I don't brush them. I'm very depressed, and despise getting out of bed in the morning because I know I'm facing an hour drive in the dark on the highway. Pretty soon it'll be winter and I'll never see the sun at all!!
The house I found is the RIGHT house for me. I could be happy there for many years. It has big windows and trees in the front yard so my cats can look at the birds. It has a yard for them to go out in when the weather is nice. It's close to work, so I can even go home at lunch and see my dog. The house is ME. And to try to find another one like it in Calgary is going to be next to impossible.

Writing4Fun
September 19th, 2005, 12:31 PM
Hubby and I are both of the firm belief that a person should work to live, not live to work. He also commutes an hour each way, but he refuses to move closer to his job because a) he hates the area and b) housing is rediculously expensive there. Jobs come and go. For all we know, he could lose this job within a year and wind up finding something on the other side of the city. Home is where the heart is, not where the job is. ;)

BTW, when we moved here 6 1/2 years ago, we lost $9000 on the sale of our other house. :eek: Yup, we were ticked. But we got over it, because we love the area, love our house, and are very happy here.

Best of luck to you, whatever your final decision is. :)

Prin
September 19th, 2005, 12:45 PM
People who buy condos don't buy them because they like the outside of the building! The thing is, what you are doing right now to sell it is not working. If condos are selling in just over a month and yours hasn't you have to try new things. Forget what you think people want and try other things. For example put a picture of the outside up and when people call, make sure the realtor is clear such that people only waste a phone call, not a visit if they are really looking for a 2 storey. Why not change the listing and see what happens? If it works less, change it back. No harm in trying.


a person should work to live, not live to work
If everybody believed that, the world would be a happier, less stressful place to live. We're like you, we moved FAR away from the city. We have toads and groundhogs and the river is at the end of my street. Compared to our apartment in a really busy part of Montreal, this place is so relaxed and peaceful. I wouldn't have it any other way. (It's just easier is you have a nice enough car for the commute. With CD, sunroof and a/c. :D)

StaceyB
September 19th, 2005, 01:07 PM
It sounds like you may need to detach yourself from this home and view it more like just an item for sale. As others have said, if this way is not working for you then you may need to change it. There is so much more that can be said in the listing to make it sound like a place that deserves a look. You are spending too much time worrying about upsetting viewers. If someone is upset because they thought this and that, shouldn't matter to you. How many people are not giving it a chance because they don't know exactly what it has to offer. The look of the outside is the first thing that people look at when buying.

savannah
September 20th, 2005, 09:00 AM
Dogmelissa, i hear your frustrations! I am also trying to sell my house, so i know what you are going through. Having open houses and viewings are very stressful, making sure the house is always clean and looking perfect, not being able to cook dinner because people love to come to view houses after work, meaning dinner time.
I do hear what you are saying about putting laminate flooring and increasing the asking price to be equal to what you paid to put it in. I don't know if it is a good idea to do it or not, but sometimes people cant see through the carpet, and how they *easily* can replace it themselves. They want it done before they buy a house, so sometimes it does make sense to do it yourself. We did that with our basement. We put in new carpet in the basement, as we were not about to hardwood floor it (come on, it's only a basement). Now our basement looks so great, i can't even believe what a difference it made. We really had to think long and hard before we did decide to recarpet it, and only did so because the carpet looked 20 years old. I don't know why we even lived with it!
The house we put in a conditional offer for, is in a high demand neighbourhood, and a great house. The lady had it on the market for 2 months without any offers. And you know why.... People could not see the potential the house had. All people saw were ugly wallpaper, 70's furniture, old carpet etc. We know that all of this is only cosmetic problems, and are fixable. We know we can remove the wallpaper, add a fresh coat of paint, remove the carpet and refinish the hardwood floors and then the house is as good as new. I think many people just don't see potential houses have.
Good luck with what you do decide.
I know i am about ready to throw in the towel and call it quits, and our house has only been on the market for a few days!

dogmelissa
September 22nd, 2005, 12:54 PM
Savannah,

Thank you for your thoughtful post. As for putting in laminate... regardless of whether I change the price, I just don't have time. My contract with my realtor is up at the end of the month and I don't have a lot of time to do anything. The lady who owns the realty company mentioned to me that they might do a guaranteed sale of my house (ie, they buy it) so that I don't have to go conditional on my sale on an offer. I am trying to find that out today or tomorrow, as the house I want has just been reduced in price--again! I'm getting extremely nervous that it's going to be bought by someone else!!
I don't understand why people have so much trouble looking past things like carpet or furniture, or wall-colours. I guess people like to have things DONE for them, rather than having to put in the effort to do it themselves (or get it done). I suppose they'd probably like me to paint my house in their choice of colours before they commit to a sale, too?? It's extremely frustrating.

Anyways... after the weekend I'll have a better idea what's going on.

Thanks Savannah, I don't feel so alone anymore.
Melissa

dogmelissa
September 22nd, 2005, 01:03 PM
I've said time and time again that if I could pick up my condo and move it to Calgary, I would. I love my house, and I don't have a single complaint about the neighbourhood, or the building (other than the condo board). I just spend 90% of my time in the city, and I've lost friends because they don't want to drive all the way to see me, and I get frustrated always having to go to them. I haven't seen my own sister in months for the same reason.
Bigger problem; my bf & I are at a point where we want to live together. If he moved in with me now, there wouldn't be enough room for both of us, plus then it'd be 2 people driving an hour each way to work. He has different hours than I do, so that'd be two cars going 100km every day. We'd spend more on gas than on anything else--possibly more than my mortgage costs now!
The house we found is one that works for us in space, location & neighbourhood. No, it's not perfect, but it'll do until we have a reason to move to a bigger house. It puts me closer to work, and even if I lose my job tomorrow, it puts me in the city, and I'd rather drive an hour across the city to work than out of the city.

At this point, I'm willing to take a hit on the sale of my house, but not that much. I have less than $10,000 equity in it, and it's hard to justify selling it for less than I paid for it when realty is increasing. My boyfriend would freak, and I frankly can't afford to have to pay fees out of my pocket and still buy something else or even have money in my bank account for groceries, car repairs or pet care.
Home is where the heart is, but my heart isn't, and never has been, in Airdrie. I need to be in Calgary, but I also need enough money to take care of myself, so...

Anyways, I should get back to work.
Melissa

love my dogs
September 22nd, 2005, 01:38 PM
dogmellisa try not to worry (I know....easier said than done).

When we listed our house this past winter/spring, it seemed like it would never sell. We had at least 6 open houses, and showings at least 2-3 times per week. I was soooo frustrated because every time we had an open house, or a showing, I had to clean the house, pack up the dogs and go driving around while my house was being shown. (I quickly learned there should be no evidence of animal occupants).

People would come back and look again and again, (like....how many times do they need to see it right?)

After 2 months on the market, we finally had 1 offer that was so insulting we did not even answer it.
Then with about 2 weeks left on our realtor contract, we had another lame offer, with lots of conditions. It just so happened that right at that time, we had a blockage in the septic system. I was so scared the buyers would be scared off, and the buyers were very apprehensive because they had never owned a septic tank before.
Anyway, in the end we did sell a day short of the 90 day contract, and the closing was another 60 days after that.

That's real estate for you!

But don't worry, just keep doing your best, and using whatever tips you can get.....it will sell.

savannah
September 23rd, 2005, 01:56 PM
Dogmelissa,
i hope you had luck with the realty company! That would be awesome! Let us know how that goes.

I must admit, that with the house that we put in a conditional offer, i was very discouraged about buying a house that had wallpaper on every single wall in the house, and no vents/furnace/ac, and she was asking a pretty penny. But i was able to see past that, and we settled on a price that we both felt comfortable with. The house might not even be mine unless we sell our house in the next month, so i am not counting my chickens before they hatch. And as it feels right now, our house is never going to sell.

dogmelissa
October 5th, 2005, 02:40 PM
After a really horrible week last week, where I had car trouble on a cold day, and while attempting to get home got a call from my realtor about a showing, the person who went through when my house was a mess and my barking, poopy dog was at home put in a verbal offer. She asked how much new units were selling for and took off realty fees and came in with that offer. Oh, and she wanted to assume the mortgage.
Details: No new units being built for at least a year, so price that was given will go up before they're available. My list price ($123,900) included realty fees, and taking them out would have put me at $119,600. My realty contract expired Sept 30, which is why the woman was saying to take off fees--my realtor had agreed to waive them. However, the price for the new units is $121,200 so taking off the realty fees put her offer at $116,900. I did some math... I put $5700 down and have paid off a little over $5000 in principle in the year I've been there, for a total of over $10,000 invested. Her offer would give me about $7000 back, so I'd be losing over $3000. And somehow neither her nor my realtor could understand this number. We called the lady with the offer on the weekend to try to negotiate something, and asked her why she wanted to assume the mortgage (which meant that I have to pay more on my new property), and she got really upset and said she wasn't interested anymore. So fine, we resigned ourselves to not selling.
Tuesday morning I get a call from my realtor... this same lady has called her and asked to go see other units in the complex--new, more expensive units. Realtor called me to find out why we hadn't worked out a deal on the weekend. I told her what happened and what my bottom line was, and my logic for it. She agreed that I should NOT be losing money on it and said she'd try to talk this lady into taking it. Called me back an hour later and said we had a deal. Assumable mortgage at $119,000. Basically means that I come out about $1000 short of what I've put in, but at this point I'm just happy it's done. I'd rather lose $1000 now then lose $1000 later PLUS the cost of marketing it myself (for example welist.com = $225).
So we're waiting on paperwork to go through and for official word on whether or not she qualifies to assume my mortgage. Once that happens (about a week), we're going to put an offer in on the house we want in Calgary. I'm a little nervous about it being a long weekend and the possibility of someone else putting in an offer, so we might put in an offer before the weekend and put it conditional on my house selling, which should be a sure thing. Not sure... opinions?

Thanks for the support and for listening... I must get back to work.
Melissa

BMDLuver
October 5th, 2005, 03:13 PM
We've bought two other properties conditional on sale and had no problems doing so. It depends on if another offer comes in and at that time you still have 72 hours to remove the condition so I would put a conditional offer on if it were me. :D

dogmelissa
October 5th, 2005, 06:12 PM
That's not my real concern. The last property I put an offer in on (conditional) fell apart because my place didn't sell. The people that owned that place were VERY insistent that they only allow me 24 hours to remove that condition, though it didn't matter as they didn't get any other offers until after my deal fell apart (they also didn't want to change the possession date when my place didn't sell). I do not want the same thing to happen here; where I get my heart set on a certain house, pay for the home inspection, get financing organized and then my house doesn't sell and I am out time, effort and money, plus dissapointed that I can't have what I want.
Also, in Calgary, it seems that 48 hours is a pretty typical window for removal of that condition, and it's going to take at least 4 days to find out if she even can GET my mortgage, so if an offer comes in right away after mine, I'm stuck. I'm just nervous. Probably worrying about nothing, but I'm still nervous.