By signing into my site, you can access your favorites from any computer and get e-mail updates when new listings come in that match your recent searches.
July 17th, 2008 2:55 PM by David W. Welch
First, I should say that no home is a commodity. Every property has a unique location, a personality, a feel, even its own smell. Condos are usually the most homogeneous properties, because there are usually several of the same floorplan within a particular building. Certainly, the exterior component is consistent, if not uniform, within an entire condo community. So how do you differentiate your unit from the others for sale.
Marketing people refer to the Four "P's": Product, Place, Price and Promotion.
Product is the most difficult area to find differentiation because your two bedroom, two bathroom unit is the same layout as the the others for sale. Here is where you need to point out why your location within the community is better than the others. You have a better view, such as water, pool, wooded or park views beat a view of the dumpsters or parking lot. You have a more convenient location such as being closer to the pool or fitness center, or parking lot. Make sure your condition inside is as good as, or superior to, your competition.
Place is not what you may be thinking - it is not where your unit is located, but the distribution network you have hire to market your property. In other words, the agent and agency you hire to list and sell your condo. With condos it is especially important to find an agent familiar with your community. There are always questions about what is included in the condo fees, pets, and other community rules. An agent with experience in your community can more easily answer these questions, putting prospective buyers at ease.
Price is always important, because if you price too high you risk losing the sale, too low and you give away hard earned equity. Price is also always relative to time. What I mean by this is that there is a two year price, a 90 day price and a price that will bring contracts tomorrow. If you are looking for a quick sale, you cannot expect to put the two year price on your unit. I have used the rule of thumb in the past of 2%-3% per month. If the norm in the market is four months to sell and you are looking for a sale within a month, you should probably look at pricing your unit 6%-9% below the competition. Speak with your local agent to see what is happening in your individual market. This is just what I have seen in the Orlando area.
Promotion is the final "P", and it goes back to your agent and the agency you choose to represent you in your sale. Ask your agent what kinds of promotions they will do for your property. Check out their internet presence, what other types of advertising do they do. How successful have they been at promoting other condos in your community. I would not be impressed if they advertise in the newspaper. Print is very much "out" these days. Google is "in". If you cannot find your agent on google, neither can the buyers. Of course I am an avid blogger, and 50% of my business last year came directly from the internet.
Even if you do all these things right, it still may take a while to sell your condo. Inventory levels are at all time highs in many markets. The Orlando market has just over a 17 month inventory of all types of homes available for sale. It is turning around though, in January we had about a 31 month inventory of homes.