New Calgary Condos FAQ Guide- Buying a New Condo? Don’t Until You Read This!!!
Before you to sign on the …………..dotted line and buy a new condo there are a few very important things you should take into consideration. I have seen the good, the bad and the UGLY in my career as a Calgary Condo REALTOR® and I highly recommend you safeguard your decision by following the tips below.
Who is the developer? If you’re buying from “ABC Condo Developer” , what Is there experience? What have they built before? What is there track record? What is there credibility? This is all very important. A good reputable developer should be upfront and proud of what they have built, if they are new to an area or type of building then maybe they have a great team, a great contractor and great partners. If you’re buying in a high rise concrete building from a developer that has never done a high rise concrete building before, well you should ask more questions. If the developer has minimal or no experience you should ask more questions, if they have a good portfolio of past projects you should visit them, talk to owners and check with the condo boards, did the developer do all they said they were going to do? How have their units sold on the resale market? Would their past owners buy again brand new from the same developer?
As nice and friendly as the sales centre staff may be, they do not work for you, they work for the developer. This is where having a Certified Condominium Specialist (CCS) REALTOR® on your side can be extremely beneficial. Someone who knows the market, knows the sales, knows the forecasts, knows which locations buyers like and which they don’t. Unless you intend on living in the condo literally forever, it is important to think about the future and maximize your decision for resale down the road. The developers sales staff are not obligated to go over and above for you in any manner and you better be sure you have all the information on the building and area cause when you sign the new contract it states ” this contract covers everything and there is nothing else outside of it” so when you ask what’s going to be built on the piece of land beside your unit and they say they don’t know, that may be factually correct but it doesn’t mean nothing is going to be built. You need a professional, experienced condo realtor on your team to guide you and work on your behalf protecting your interests.
Buying from a floor plan and spec sheet can be tough and the biggest problem is the developer always reserves the right to make modifications. I have seen countless buildings completed in a far lesser state of glory than they were purported to be when originally sold. The sparkle and shine of the sales centre will be gone and you may have a headache on your hands. (See my other condo blog article “Focus on the walls”) It is important to strip away the glamour and merchandising of the sales centre and really break down and understand what you are buying. Also check out our new Calgary condo guide to buying from a floor plan.
The “outside” date is the date at which if not completed the contract is cancelled and you would not have to buy the unit anymore. This date is usually very liberal so that even if the building is late they will still have lots of time to finish it and not risk the catastrophic loss of their sales. My point is if you need the condo by a certain date because you are moving, retiring or for other life purposes, negotiate a term that if not completed by this date you are released from your contract so you can buy something else.
Everything is negotiable. In life, in stores and especially in Real Estate. I cant tell you how many times I have offered to buy a product right now if they give me the employee discount or even a meager 5% off. It works, not always but when it does it feels really good and hey if you don’t ask you don’t get. This is another reason you need a experienced condo realtor on your team to represent you and negotiate on your behalf. As a professional negotiator your Certified Condo Specialist (CCS) and Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR) designated condo REALTOR® knows the sales, knows the value and knows how to get you the best possible price.
If your buying unit 40 out of 250 units in a complex then you need to be aware of how the sales cycle works. A developer may sell some units for less, some units for more and at the end of the day pool all the revenue together and see how much they have made. Where it gets tricky is if you buy high and the developer slashes prices to sell remaining units your value is inherently lowered and trust me the developer will not give you any kind of discount. Be cautious of remaining inventory, how long they have been trying to sell for and consider asking for a price matching clause so if the developer sells your same unit for less per square foot or based on any other metric then you would also automatically get this discount.
I hope these tips help you, I am always available to chat about your goals!