I should warn you before you read anymore that the comments I am going to make about why some apartment condos in London Ontario take longer to sell are out of frustration and exasperation and are no means to imply that the events that occurred will happen again. (Can pigs fly?)
My clients were interested in downsizing from their 2 storey home and were interested in seeing 2 bedroom units in this particular building all within $25,000 of each other in price. From $197,500 to $225,000.
We chose a Thursday for the viewings and so on Tuesday morning, I proceeded to make arrangements for showings. Because we were interested in only this building, there were 6 listed for sale.
One agent replied within an hour that the time scheduled would be fine, another two replied the next morning and one in the afternoon that it was ok to show the units. As I had not heard from the other two, I called their offices and used our appointment scheduler called Touchbase. One called back right away and said she was sorry, she forgot to confirm.
The other agent I never ever did hear from, even after 3 attempts and I see, 2 weeks later, this condo is still listed for sale.
The evening before the scheduled showings, I did some homework. I pulled up everything that was sold in the building over the last 2 years, called a past client (who had purchased from me years ago) in the building and asked how happy she was, any complaints, how was the property manager, how solid the condo corporation was and other pertinent questions that would enable me to inform my clients on the condo culture of this building.
I pulled up the current taxes from the city for the units and only 1 out of 6 were accurate as per what was shown on the listing data form! I don’t mean by a few dollars, in one case $1732.00 difference!
The condo fees shown for all 6 units had a difference of $131.16! How can that be? Subsequently checking on things and talking to the Property Manager, the difference in fees were about $7.00 per floor! Only one condo unit had an accurate current condo fee.
Fair is fair, I thought, mistakes happen and I will be putting in clauses if my client does decide to put an offer in to verify all condo fees, taxes and any other discrepancies.
On the day of the showings, I meet my clients in the lobby where lockboxes are that hold the keys for entrance to the building and individual units. My day is not starting out well, there are 9 lockboxes and only one is identified with the unit number? Opening up a few, there were some keys tagged with the unit # but some weren’t! My male client thought this was funny or was laughing at me because I only have 4 pockets on my pants and could only keep track of 4; he had 4 pockets as well so he helped!
A couple of the units we saw were as per the listing data, appliances, room sizes and amenities, one unit was a disgrace, one unit the occupant would not let us in (nobody told me you were coming, she said) and 2 units were out to lunch in the price.
So now we get back down to the lobby, play Russian roulette with the keys and lockboxes and say to my clients “ Well, what do you think?” with a straight face, I might add.
Other than the usual comments like poor layout, overpriced compared to others, condition of the units, my clients just kept shaking their heads and asking themselves is this what they really want to do or move here?
Obviously, they did not purchase anything that day but one week and 2 buildings later, they purchased a beautiful unit that they and I liked. They now know and my past clients know why I choose to work with just a few clients at a time because having to prepare properly before every showing because of lack of faith in the listing data, is time-consuming and for the buyer, creates a bit of mistrust in the MLS listing.
Again, I want to reiterate that not all real estate agents were like some of the above and if you do list your condo, check weekly that the information on the listing is accurate. For two reasons, to ease the uncertainty of the buyer and prevent you from having your condo sit on the market while others are selling!
Note: I wrote this 4 years ago and as pigs still have not learned how to fly, I had similar challenges twice this year already.