4 Ways Selling a Condo is Different From Selling a House

There are obvious differences between condos and single family homes. But in addition to the type of lifestyles each of them provide, the differences become even more apparent when it comes time to sell.

Listing and selling a home, no matter what type it is, can be a complex process that requires careful planning and negotiating. It’s important to take the exact type of home that’s being sold into consideration when selling, since condos and single family homes each come with their own individual features and challenges. Selling a condo versus a single family home can be quite different, which is why your sales strategy needs to be tailored to the exact type of property that you’re selling.


Here are 4 ways that selling and condo versus a single family home differ.

Homeowners Association (HOA)

If you’re selling a single family home, you don’t have to worry about dealing with a homeowners association (HOA). However, condos are governed by these entities, which means you’ll have to work with this group when marketing and selling your unit.

HOA’s typically take care of common areas of the building or complex, including pools, fitness areas, party rooms, landscaping, parking lots, and building exteriors. The monthly HOA fees that are paid by each owner in the complex go towards maintaining such areas. Buyers will need to take these fees into consideration when they buy to ensure they fit within their budgets. Such costs need to be balanced with the benefits that the HOA provides.

In addition, there are certain documents that an HOA needs to provide before a sale goes through. In California, homeowners associations must provide these disclosures to a prospective buyer within a reasonable amount of time before an agreement is solidified and title is transferred, which is associated with a cost.

The quality of the HOA also plays a critical role in how buyers perceive your condo. If the HOA doesn’t do a good job at maintaining the grounds or is heavily in debt, the buyer’s lender might not be willing to extend a mortgage on a potentially risky business deal.

Type of Buyer

How you market your property has a lot to do with who your target buyer is. Single family homes are typically geared more towards families or those who require lots of space.

Condos, on the other hand, are typically more attractive to single buyers, professionals who are looking to be closer to city centers, or those who are looking for something more affordable and maintenance-free. Condos are also targets for many investors who are looking for affordable properties to rent out.

When marketing a condo, putting emphasis on the lifestyle is a must. A lot of buyers want a home that they don’t have to spend too much time maintaining that they simply can’t get with a single family home. Walking scores are also much better with condos, which are often located closer to all the amenities needed on a daily basis. In addition, features such as pools, fitness rooms, 24-hour concierge, and guest suites are also selling points that should be marketed and focused on.

Whatever type of property you’re selling, identify why buyers are looking at your place before you start marketing it. Knowing exactly who your pool of buyers are will help you and your real estate agent customize your marketing strategy accordingly.

Curb Appeal

If you own a condo, there’s little you can do to boost curb appeal other than sprucing up your front door with a new paint job (in the color approved by the HOA) and some decor. Other than that, there’s not much more to it. The curb appeal of a condo is only applicable to the entire building or complex.

If you own a freehold single family home, on the other hand, the ball is in your court in terms of curb appeal. In fact, real estate professionals will advise their seller clients to take steps to boost curb appeal, including mowing the lawn, pruning the bushes, planting some flowers, and updating the front door. The look of your home’s exterior can heavily influence what buyers will think of your home when they first pull up on the driveway.

Listing Price

Coming up with an accurate listing price is critical, but it can also be tough to come up with. Pricing too high can scare off buyers, while pricing too low can leave a ton of cash on the table. That’s why real estate professionals pull up a list of comparable properties in the area that recently sold in order to gauge how much your home can realistically sell for.

Trying to find homes that recently sold in the area that are very similar to the subject property can be a real challenge, especially if the home is very unique. Condos, on the other hand, can be much easier to price because of how alike (and often identical) other units in the building or complex tend to be.

It should be noted, however, that certain features can alter the value of a condo quite a bit. For instance, end units are considered more attractive because of their enhanced privacy, and units with better views also command higher prices. If you own a condo that has any attractive features such as these, make sure to focus on them and include them in your listing.

Your real estate professional will look at all factors to help you come up with the right listing price for your home, regardless of what type of property it is.

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re selling a condo or a single family home, having an experienced real estate agent in your corner just makes sense. These professionals will know exactly how to identify your target buyer, come up with an accurate listing price, and market your home. There are significant differences between these two types of properties, so understanding what they are can help you tailor your listing accordingly.