Home Selling in Chester>Question Details

Cornelia Ste…, Home Seller in Chester, MD

Our Condo Community is going thru a "Special Assessment" asking $7,000 for our unit to be paid in 4 years, want to sell, what are chances.

Asked by Cornelia Stelzer, Chester, MD Mon Jun 20, 2011

If we sold, of course we would pay the full assessment for the owner. We are no longer interested in keeping the condo. We do not rent it out, but the payments are draining us, would like to sell, but not give away. Need advice, Thank You

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Hi Cornelia,

If you are willing to pay that special assessment in advance it should have zero impact on your sale. Just make sure that this is disclosed and that it is listed as a special feature of your home sale. Be prepared to pay any reasonable and customary concessions on top of this as well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 18, 2013
I totally understand what you are going through. Our special assessment is $10,000 over 3 years (actually 2 years and 2 months, ridiculous and draining our accounts, want to move as well).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 13, 2012
So, $7,000 special assessment per unit over 4 years, seems steep, assuming the HOA docs outline this?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 1, 2012
Lots of work being done on the units there. As it is a condominium community, exterior maintenance is on the Association....and ultimately the owners.
Flag Mon Oct 1, 2012
I am going to assume with the others that you are referring to Queens Landing. I have family that live in this community, so I have kept abreast of the situation in there, including getting a copy of the report after each community meeting is held. I have also sold units in there.
I have to say that no Seller wants to "give away" their home. Not only does it hold memories, but it is also going to help you move on financially. So I would not ask any Seller to give away their home.
However, Sellers need to come to grips with the reality of the marketplace. Perhaps you honestly have no idea what the market has been like in your community. For example, in Queens Landing , in the past 30 days there are 9 active listings, 2 of which are being sold as short sales and 2 are active as rentals. There is 1 under contract and that is a REO/Bank owned unit. There were 2 that SOLD; one that sold as a short sale and 1 that sold as a regular sale.
So with that said, your price would have to reflect not just the regular sale prices, but you would have to figure in the sale prices of the short sale and REO sale price to come up with the right market price for your home.
You said the payments are draining you. How long are you willing to hold on to it before you place yourself in a precarious situation financially? Are you willing to risk your good credit standing? Please think about this.
You also said you do not want to rent the unit. This may be an option for you if you don't have to sell now. Rent it until the market becomes a sellers market again, however, to be honest with you, that won't be here for another 3-5 years, due to the inventory of short sales and bank owned properties that have to be addressed first.
I think I have said enough for now. Please feel free to reach out to me with any other questions or concerns you may have. 443.786.4200 or LisaLongest@ExitGoldRealty.com Thank you for your time Cornelia.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 1, 2012
Most likely Queens Lndg. but it can happen anywhere. I used to own there and the community has some definite positives going for it as well as the negative of the special assessment. First off, get a FULL TIME real estate professional to represent you. The special assessment has to be disclosed to prospective buyers, but be sure to also disclose and advertise that you will pay the assessments 100% for the new owner. THEN, be sure to price your unit attractively, stage it to WOW them when they walk in the door, and start packing. It will sell.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 1, 2012
You must live in Queens Landing. Like you said all the units are subject to this special assessment so many of the home owners have choosen to sell their properties. I will be perfectly honest with you it has been a great challenge, however I have strong knowledge of the community and with time and proper marketing your chances should be good.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 13, 2012
Hello Cornelia,
Do make it plain on your advertising that you are willing to pay off the assessment for your unit. That should make it a bit easier for you to sell.
If you are working with a real estate agent, then have him/her check to see if there are other condominiums in the neighborhood that are also experiencing special assessments on their buildings. It's good to know what your competition is doing.
Also, being priced competitively and not above other similar condos should help. Your agent should give you a comparative market analysis of similar properties that have recently sold in your area so that you can make a more informed decision on where to price your condo.
Hope this is helpful.
Good luck!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 20, 2011

Sorry sounds like you are in a tough spot. My advice would be to speak to a few LOCAL real estate agents and see how much they believe the home is worth. Don't rush into anything but see what they say and how responsive they are to your needs, Several of the condos I am working with now are in the special assessment phase. It happens. At least you are being up front about it to an potential buyers. Depending on the prices and what you owe it may be better to rent it out. Anyway that's my advice at least to start. Hope it helps. For what it's worth the special assessment is not a deal killer in and of itself. I guess it depends on the overall unit and how much the condo fee is without an increase.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 20, 2011
I understand your desire not to 'give away' your property. However, sales prices are dictated by the market. In addition, if the buyer is using financing, they will only be able to purchase it for the appraised value or less, and again the appraisal will be based on current market activity. Since FHA financing is very popular among buyers right now due to the lower downpayment, FHA financing guidelines for condos will likely also come into play: If the development is not already FHA approved agent or lender will need to request approval, which takes 6-90 days. Approval requirements include: 51% of units must be owner occupied and condo fee delinquency rate must be less than 15% (of units).

All that being said, you should weigh your desire not to "give away" your property against the prospect of continuing to make payments that, in your words, are draining you, while you wait for the market value to improve, as well as the fact that every time you turn over the property you have to put out money, for cleaning, painting, repairs, advertising, etc.

Good luck to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 20, 2011
Hi Cornelia,

We had a similar situation in Crofton a few years back and it absolutely dampened sales. However, keep in mind that the potential buyer will benefit from the new improvements so I don't think you would necessarily have to offer that up. Perhaps the buyer would prefer a lump sum to help with their closing which is a more immediate expense. If you did offer that $7,000 to be paid I think you would be in the minority of owners and that would help you move more quickly. Best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 20, 2011
Hi Cornelia,

You are not alone. There are many communities locally that are doing repairs and upgrades that were unplanned and come in the form of a " Special Assessment".

Do give your money away yet with regard to paying the assessment in full. As you are not going to be the ones living there, i have found in the past that new buyers are sometimes aware and ok with picking up those cost when the buy. Mosly being that they are going to be getting the full use of what ever the assessment is paying for.

If you would like I can put you in contact with a local REALTOR, who can help run your numbers and plan a solid marketing plan for you.

Best of luck.

Adam DiFrancesco, e-Pro,GREEN,SFR
Lic. Associate Broker NY
Lic. Sales Person NJ
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 20, 2011
Properly priced for the market, your chances are good. Nobody wants to "give away" their property, but Sellers must come to grips with the realities in the marketplace in order to be successful at making a sale. It needs to be nicely presented, as "move-in ready" as you can make it and priced to sell. I can be reached at 410.490.2081 if you would like to discuss it!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 20, 2011
Where is your unit? How long have you owned it?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 20, 2011
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