Condominiums are great places to live for people who are just starting out or for people who are down-sizing.  Some condos are in large complexes that offer a swimming pool, tennis courts, a work-out room, golf course, or a clubhouse for parties.  Other condos are like a single-family home with their own entrance and detached from other units.

Selling a condo is quite different from selling a single-family home.

Limited Common Elements

There are common elements within the condo association that are used by all unit owners and taken care of by the Association through the use of dues or fees.  Then there are limited common elements which are reserved for the exclusive use of the respective owner.  These include garages, patios, decks, storage units, and entrance walkways.  These are the responsibility of the respective unit owner.

Condo Documents

When selling, you need to provide the prospective buyer with certain documents within 10 days of acceptance of the “Residential Condominium Offer to Purchase.”  These include the Articles of Incorporation, Condominium Rules or Declarations, a Condition Report, an Executive Summary, and any notice of a pending special assessment.  The prospective buyer has 5 business days after receiving these documents to rescind their offer by providing a written notice to the seller.  Note, however, that the Condition Report is only applicable to the condition of the owner’s unit and their limited common elements.

Condo By-Laws

Each condo association is made up of all the unit owners.  Each unit owner has one vote, regardless of the size of their unit.  However, when assessing common element expenses, the units are divided by their respective unit sizes.  Meaning, a three-bedroom condo will be assessed more than a one-bedroom condo.

The association may vote to hire a management company for property management and/or fiscal management, or they may elect particular persons to perform these tasks.

Condo Responsibilities

Condos are a unique community in that you will need to get to know your neighbors since they have a stake in your quality of living.  Everyone has a say (by voting) whether to repair, reconstruct, or to remove certain common elements.  If you have particular issues with the way the condo association conducts its business, you will certainly need to attend the meetings and perhaps be elected to a position.  You may need some negotiating skills to find common ground between opposing views.

Is a Condo in your Future?

Living in a condo affords connections with other people.  It can give peace of mind knowing there are others around if help is needed.  It can offer friendships and camaraderie.  The amenities (pool, golf course, clubhouse) are great gathering places and get people out of their units. The association fees take care of lawn mowing and snow removal, plus the upkeep of the common spaces.  There is a property management person you can call on when your sink is plugged.  A condo also works for people who go South for the winter.

However, if you are the type of person who values their privacy, has difficulty assimilating with others, enjoys doing lawn care or snow removal, and doesn’t want to be bothered, then a condo might not be your best choice.

Buying a Condo?

As of this posting, there were 404 condo units available for sale compared with 1921 single family homes within Dane County, WI.

Each condo unit will come with its own set of condominium rules, by-laws, special assessments, and condition reports.  Be sure you are familiar with these documents before or shortly after you submit an Offer to Purchase.

Contact Premiere Stagers & Realty to get your condo ready to sell and then list or as a buyer’s agent.  608-345-9396.