I was discussing with a good client of mine about student properties near The University of Western Ontario & the common mistakes or errors that some owners may not be aware of ; or; if so, sticking their heads in the sand and pleading ” there’s nothing I can do”!
Over the past 2 weeks, I have been fortunate to have helped 5 buyers who wanted to either buy a 4-6 bedroom house near Western for an investment or to have their son or daughter move in and have their friends move in as well and build some equity or cover some of the expenses of getting an education.
Two wanted a medium to a high-end condo near Western for one of their children and if they wanted a friend to move in, they could.
I have seen these mistakes before but these buyers had not and the most common comment I heard was :
“Do they really want to sell this building (condo)?”
Other than the price and condition of the properties I showed, here were the biggest drawbacks as to why we did not put in any offers or even consider putting in an offer.
- The listing Realtor never called us back! Wow, you as an owner and your Realtor has a $477,000 property and they don’t call you back? After 3 attempts? (By the way, that building is still listed for sale!)
- My clients and I arrive but can’t get in to see the rooms. The tenants say they were not notified or given enough notice. Whether the tenant is right or not, it would behoove me as a landlord or the Realtor to ensure that ALL tenants are notified and reminded before a showing, either by email, text, in person, smoke signals, notice on the door, telegram, fax, morse code or even pokemon!
- In some of the 4-6 bedroom houses, we can only see one or two bedrooms because the keys we have don’t work!
- The stated rental income is unrealistic or the comment “If fully rented, the potential rent is”. In my experience, tell it like it is, someone willing to buy your property is not dumb or lazy, and they want real numbers, no B.S.
- Will not cooperate with a Fire Marshall’s report or ESA Certificate, or, is not a legal duplex or triplex and then their Realtor or owner tries to tell me, “Don’t worry, it’s been like that for years, nobody will ever find out”. Yeah, right!
- In one condo we saw, the condo fees were out $113.00, there was only one parking spot instead of two!
- Listing with a Realtor who did not have a lot of experience with investment properties. Residential listing and investment listings, even condo listings are quite different, they can be more complex and it takes a different skill set to handle.
The above are just a few challenges while seeing properties, I haven’t even got to the offer stage yet!
As well, there was incorrect information as to property size, room sizes, taxes, etc. Or, outstanding work orders from the city, or city violations to building code, or that there are 3 mortgages and liens on the building!
I take the attitude that I and my clients cannot change the condition or the situation we are dealing with so it is unlikely any emotion will be helpful. I can’t change the obstacles, that part of the equation has already been set, however, how I approach them to find a solution is something that my clients and I can control!
So at the end of the day, my clients were successful in finding what they were looking for and the price point they were happy with.
If it sounds like I am ranting against the disorganized, the lazy, the unwashed people who represent property sellers, I am. I also praise and thank the professional who is organized, who cares, is diligent, knows the facts and is willing to make the effort to ensure a transaction gets done.