Realtors: realistically, how often do you no-show?

palimpsestJanuary 30, 2012

My condo has been on the market roughly 500 days give or take. It has two shortcomings: it is on the third floor and although there is an elevator, it is essentially a walk-up building. Then there is the condo fee, which is complex and includes all utilities except plug-ins (heat, gas, water, pool fees. incl)--but not all Realtors do their homework on this and even though this is all mentioned in the listing, they will show it without knowing about the elevator or misrepresenting the fees.

The feedback tends to be: Shows: Excellent. Price: on target. Negatives: condo fees too high; stairs; kitchen too small. (Actually the size of the kitchen is an optical illusion that worked too well unfortunately)

Anyway, we seem to get a lot of Realtors who will schedule and then just not show up. Since we have to make sure everything is absolutely pristine, and be out of the apartment, we are finding this tedious. I would say the no show, no explanation, no apology rate is about 25%.

When they do explain, they usually say, oh when we saw what the condo fee was, we just decided not to look.

Shouldn't this be determined Before the showing is scheduled?

Is this becoming more common?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That is awful. Realtor or not, cancelling without calling is just plain rude. For a Realtor, it's unprofessional.

My answer is NEVER. Even if we're out on appointments and change our minds about a home, I insist that we go see it anyway, because it's rude not to. At that point, driving around, it's really too late to call and cancel.

The only place I almost cancelled was a condo where I was previewing (no buyer with me) and I couldn't find any guest parking. None. Not that they were filled; there weren't any. And although the condo was empty, I couldn't figure out which spots went with that condo, so I quickly parked and ran through the place, hoping I wouldn't get towed in 10 minutes.

Yes, anybody who is looking at condos should be looking at the condo fees. Duh. And every complex is different, so they should be taking a close look at what's included for each one. And if they can't figure out from the listing (Mid-Florida MLS has very clear fields for this), then the buyers' agents should ask the listing agent when they call for the appointment.

If the elevator and condo fees continue to be mentioned, check yourself and make sure those are specifically addressed in the public comments, so the buyers read them, not just in the Realtor comments. For me personally, W/D inside the unit is worth mentioning, because we have so many apartment conversions that only have laundry rooms.

If your MLS is using an automated appointment service, that could very well be the problem. Ours is not very user-friendly and I don't use it - I call. I almost always have a question that I need answered anyway.

I hope this is not becoming more common. I don't list, so I don't know. I almost took a co-listing about 18 months ago, but refused when I found out the seller was firmly holding out at least $35K over comps (30%). It still hasn't sold.

Could you post a link to your listing? Perhaps we will see something obvious that might have passed by since you've been on the market so long?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 7:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There are actual directions to the elevator in the listing as well as the condo fees.
There is a monthly payment calculator and when I was looking actually played with various payments before I even told my Realtor I wanted to *see it. The sites are very user friendly for the buyer.

The condo fee is roughly 1/3 fees, 1/3 utilities, and 1/3 ongoing assessment to increase the reserved funds. The fees have not been raised in three years and the assessment will decrease or be removed at some point when the reserve fund is stable.

Here is a link that might be useful: Listing

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 11:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

$897 per month condo fee! Yikes! That is almost as much as the mortgage payment. As long as you have an ongoing assessment, that is going to be a HUGE drain on the place.

In terms of affordability, someone could buy a condo at $100k more but only half the condo fees and pay the same amount per month. In ballpark terms, knock $20k off the value for each $100/month your fees exceed the fees of the comps you are looking at.

BTW - I don't think most people pay close attention to the fees. They look at the price and pictures. They probably aren't even noticing the fees until the realtor points them out on the drive over.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 1:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Is that a monthly fee? I can see why it scares people off. Your place looks nice, but it looks like it lacks storage. What is that big wooden thing in the living room? Is it storage or does it lead somewhere? It looks very odd in the pictures, maybe it looks better in person.

Have you considered taking your property off the market for a couple of months and relisting it so it doesn't show how long it's been on the market? If it hasn't sold in all this time then the price is probably too high. Do you have room to lower the price?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 3:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Beautiful condo, but the HOA fees are high in comparison to the listing price. I think you are going to need to address the HOA fees head on in your listing narrative and try to turn a negative (the amount) into a positive (the value added). Give a really comprehensive list of amenities and what the HOA fee includes upfront, instead of stating what it doesn't include. You also really need to have more specific detail on the special assessment available, even if not included in the listing. Is there a special reason reserves are being built up? Any planned big improvements?

We owned a resort condo until about 6-7 years ago. At the time we sold, the HOA fees were just under $500 per month. However, because most units were also in the vacation rental pool, there was significant value built into the HOAs (shuttle, hot tub, pool, exercise room, etc.) that increased the value. The HOA fees didn't seem to be an issue with buyers when we sold, probably because they were comparable to other similar units. Last fall, I read an article in the local paper about a number of HOAs taking advantage of locally lower construction costs to tackle large capital improvement projects. Our former complex was one of the featured properties in the article which reported special assessments between $50,000 and $90,000 depending on the size of the unit. Owners were given a choice between paying up front or participating in an arranged loan to pay out their share as part of their fees over 10 years with interest. But even at $50,000 over 10 years would add about $500 per month to the HOA dues. Ouch. The article went on to state that the number of short-term rentals played a significant role in the HOA's decision to do the upgrades. It had always been well maintained, but had become a little dated. It looks great now, but I'm glad we didn't have to bite that bullet.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 7:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nice condo. Your HOA is relatively low by NY standards. A coop in NY with 2 beds/1 ba would be over $1,000 a month.

Listings in NY explain what the fee covers...pool, exercise, parking, heat, hot water. The fee also includes taxes with coops.

Your condo is lovely as is the building. I'm not sure about the large wooden, box shaped area in the living-room...what is that? There should be better pictures of the kitchen - is it eat-in? Show the high end appliances and cabinets.

What are the comps in the building. What are the other units selling for?

You might have to lower your price.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 9:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, someone could pay $100,000 more in mortgage. The comps in the neighborhood are $100,000 more in asking price, and that is my compensation in price. The difference is that they are newer rehabs or construction, and if their condo fees are almost as high it is because it is a doorman building, has a parking spot somewhere or has tax abatement.
The newer rehab in the historic building like this was only possible because the building burnt down and they could start over. We have been dealing with a 45 year old infrastructure rehab in 170 year old buildings.

There is not really any comps in this complex. There was an almost comp that went into default and someone just bought it and demo'd about $75K of kitchen that was featured in an architecture design book a few years back. There is a unit that is about three times the size but I believe they are asking $1M for and it has almost triple the condo fees, too.

Unfortunately lowering the price (which was done) has only brought people who could not afford the monthly carrying costs. The people who can afford the total monthly would rather put more in the mortgage and I can't blame them.

But the price is actually relatively low for what it is.There is a W/D which many units do not have (and its gas-incl.); there is a fair amount of storage in the apartment and an attic for longer term storage. The apartment underwent a complete restoration of the plaster cornices (the only one in the complex); and the interior millwork and doors are replications of the originals (the only one in the complex). My Realtor said people will sense that the work done in this unit is better, but will not necessarily want to pay a premium for it. That's okay because I did that for myself, and I will still not lose money. My Realtor said that there is also a tendency for people to buy crappy new construction at the top of their budget even over better older construction below their budget because new is new.

I trust my Realtor completely, she is consistently in the top 5% locally and that puts her close to the top 2-3% nationally in sales.

Only two people have not liked enough to say so the maple construction in the living room which is part built in refrigerator and storage on one side, all storage on the other, and surround the stairs, which were put in in 1965 and are very modern. Everyone else has really had only positives about the actual apartment itself.

I am having no shortage of people looking at it because they would expect to pay $100K more, but they don't want to pay that same difference in fees rather than mortgage.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 10:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You are probably right that lowering the price will not affect the sale. It is the montly charges which hurts.

We have been looking at condos and coops in NY for our son and the same problem exists. The purchase price is not the problem, the monthly charges are. Difficult for young people to afford when they have a mortgage to pay.

I can tell you these coops, in NY stay can stay on the market for years before they sell. The apartments which sell the fastest are close to trains to the City and have amenities which attract young singles and newly married.

I would suggest you push the special features of the building, such as pool, gym, ease of commute, location, restaurants, bars, etc. I would play down the HOA. As a matter of fact, in NY they don't even list that in the listing. I have to email to find out what it is.

I wish you luck.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 8:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It might also help for the listing to say "seller pays 12 months of HOA fees", and increase your listing price by the same.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 2:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Pal, I made the realtor enter "Backs to XX road" in the description of my listing. This was visible to anyone who looked at the listing online, regardless of what site they were on. I quickly tired of hearing that the road was too busy. Anyone who looked at the address on a map could have known, but that sentence made me feel like I had done all I could to avoid the tedious repetition of "road too busy".

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 12:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You have been on the market going on two years. You say your feedback says the price is "on target"
It is not. Unless you have a lot more time to wait until the market catches up to your price.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 8:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

NEVER, NEVER AND NEVER! If I get to a property and my buyer decides they arent interested before going in, I call from the driveway. It doesnt help the seller much as they have already cleaned and been inconvenienced, but at least, they know we are not coming or dont have to guess if we have come already.

I think every realtor should have to put their home on the market to experience what sellers experience. I sold my house years ago. My very first showing was a no show. I got so upset, I called the realtor and told him he was never allowed to show my house again. (ok, i over reacted but I had gotten rid of two dogs and 3 kids, spent money going out to dinner because it was a dinner time appointment, all for a no show). I was livid! His excuse? Oh, we ran out of time! Its just plain good manners. If someone is expecting you and you're not going to make it, call!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 11:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sometimes I might have maybe 7 homes to show in one day. I tend to schedule showings 30 minutes apart from one another, and I try to keep us on schedule, and to remind the buyers that we are kicking people out of their homes during a certain time period. if we do get short on time, I call the appointment center and let them know that we are late or are not going to make it this day. They then pass this info onto the sellers.
I had a roofer just 3 days ago stand me up and then the next day I got stood up by a computer repair guy. I was soooooo mad! i wrote a nice review in the online Yellow pages for the roofer, and then called the computer repair guys manager to complain. There is just no excuse not to make a 30 second phone call. And then to top it all off, last nite I ordered TRADITIONAL chicken wings from Pizza Hut, and they sent me breaded wings with no bones, as opposed to their regular wings! What kind of chicken wing has no bones?
Some weeks are worse than others.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 2:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


The vast majority of agents and viewers who have looked at the unit said that the asking price is on target in their feedback. The problem Identified is the condo fee. Some viewers said the price itself was Low (which is why I get so many lookers,even a year + later)-- they assumed to compensate for the condo fees (true)--but that they still don't want to pay that kind of fee.

I have, and my Realtor has discussed with some of these agents what the effect of lowering the price would be. They felt lowering the price would increase traffic of more people attracted by the low price (it's already relatively low for sq ft and location) who would, in turn, be even less able to afford it with the condo fee.
In essence this was confirmed when a few lookers were asked what the price would have to be reduced to, and a couple of them said it didn't make that much difference, because $XXX would still be going to the fee and not toward a mortgage.

There are some complex issues in this area because there was also a fair amount of tax abatement with newer buildings. Abatement is approaching its end point, and with aging these properties that had virtually no condo fee to begin with, they are starting to increase noticeably, and these properties are coming onto the market because monthly costs are going up dramatically and people can no longer afford it.

I could give the unit away and someone would buy it then (Two defaulted units were bought very low for cash)--then someone wouldn't mind the condo fee. (I bought my first unit here in cash and didn't mind the fee, then, and the carrying costs are well within my means still). I am not in a position that I need to sell. The house I want to move into can be rented very easily. I Want to live in that other house instead of here, but I don't Need to.

I am just getting tired of people not showing up, and also commenting about things that are very clearly explained in the listing.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 8:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your kitchen is too small, you are on the top floor, and your HOA fees are sky high. You have been selling for over 2 years. You have two comps that have recently sold at much less.
I realize you don't "want to give it away". I hear this statement over and over. If you lower the price, you may get some buyers that could not afford the extra fees, but what about the buyers that could? Like all of the buyers that have already come through the home. IMO, you are receiving bad advice from your agent. There is a recent thread on here by Kats Meow that may be enlightening.
I do hope you sell, but IMO, you will have to wait for a long time for the market to catch up to your asking price.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 6:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am not sure what comps you mean. The two units that I was talking were one bedrooms that were unrenovated, one had a kitchen from 1965.

When I say "give it away" I am not talking about lowering the price a few tens of thousands, I am saying, give it away meaning like 60% of current asking price which would be well under market.

What do you think my asking price should be? There are 2BR condos in the neighborhood all the way up to $1M (multiple baths/parking) $700K 2 BR/1Ba down to $250K(tiny/old/ no elevator) and this assesses at over asking.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 7:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't want to beat a dead horse because my original question was about Realtors not showing up for appointments,

But if you look at Trulia or other sites, I am already priced well below the average price per square foot for the neighborhood (excluding some units in foreclosure). And I am priced cheaper per squre foot than other units in the building.

Of course, ultimately it is about price, make it cheap enough and someone will buy it, but my price is already below market and several appraised prices, so I don't think I am being unrealistic about price. Except in this market perhaps I have not compensated enough for the fees yet, but how to do so is not clear.

This is a very complex neighborhood, with a house recently on the market for $6M that shared a party wall with subsidized housing with people on Welfare hanging out on the stoop. There are $1M apartments looking out on a rent-by-the-hour hotel. It's not a homogeneous market where there are lots of properties that share proportional pricing,based upon identical properties so setting the price is complex.

My Realtor is in the 90th-something percentile of sales in the entire country, I don't think she got there by giving bad advice.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 10:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I guess I don't understand the part about lowering the price not helping because buyers at that price can't afford the fee. Isn't the total payment what matters, not the breakdown between loan payment and fees? I mean, yeah, there are the tax implications of the interest portion being smaller, but still, if you lower the price enough they end up being equivalent. And actually having the purchase price portion be smaller makes the down payment requirement be smaller, which increases affordability.

We have never owned a condo, but every house we've owned has had an HOA fee, and we just take that into account when we're shopping. In fact before we go look at a house, we calculate what the total cost is taking into account any fees, plus the property tax rate at that location. It's very easy to see what the actual financial burden is, and I would assume any savvy buyer would be doing the same thing.

Anyway, the proof is in the pudding. If the property hasn't sold, the Realtor hasn't done her job, regardless of her track record.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 1:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I can not realistically give a price over the internet. All I can say is that if you have lookers all the time, but no offers, then you are overpriced. It does sound like a complex neighborhood. Why not lower the price a certain % every 3 months or so. If you get to a price point that makes you feel uncomfortable and it still has not sold, then that is when you take it off the market and wait until the market is more in line with your expectations. But to put any listing for sale in this type of market and not do anything proactive about the pricing for two years is not the way to sell.
Back to the original question... If quite a few agents are scheduling appointments and then not showing up, it is possible that when they drive by the crowds of people hanging out on the stoop and then drive by the "rent by the hour hotel" they just decide to move on to the next showing.
The market is picking up a bit this Spring in a lot of markets, maybe yours will be one.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 1:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am thinking about lowering the price or paying back the assessment part of the HOA fee for a year or two. About 1/3 of it is ongoing "special assessment" which could be discontinued at some point. That would put the HOA in line with other, non-doorman/non-parking complexes. There are HOAs that are quite a bit higher here, believe it or not, but it is a different type of building.

The price was lowered in October after a month's hiatus off the market. And, we are talking about effectively lowering it again. Again, since I don't have to sell, it's hard to decide how much. A 4 BR listing in my complex just went up for $1M, and a much smaller 2BR for $299 ($50 sq ft more, same HOA per square foot no architecture, cheap bath and kitchen rehab).

Anyone who looks in this neighborhood knows exactly what they are getting in terms of the mix of one or two billionaires and some homeless people, and the rest in between. The hotel is two blocks away and not visible from my place...but nobody that is really turned off by a bit of grittiness is looking here. I think they are not showing up because they actually calculated their monthly costs, or because they over schedule, pick and choose as they go, and I live in a city known for its rudeness.


I think a lot of people who are *not very savvy are looking. When I wanted to look at properties myself. I *always figured out my monthly because our tax structure is screwed and one house in the same street can be paying 5x or more than that of a neighbor.

My Realtor says almost Nobody looks at total monthly taking into account HOA or RE taxes. They shop by price and price only, and it is the Realtor that often figures out for them that it is not within their reach. That's one of the problems with my no shows, They see a relative lot of apartment for a relative low price and jump the gun.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 1:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What about going contrarian? Raise your price to just below what it would be if your condo fees were typical. Then prepay the special assessment portion of the condo fees for however long the increased price covers? Really, just taking the money out of one pocket and putting it in the other --

But that could get you into a price bracket with more sophisticated buyers who can do the financial analysis needed to realize what's what and not run scared at the number.

Have you talked to the condo board about when the special assessment might be dropped?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 6:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think that's what my neighbor did who actually went off and raised his price to $1M. (much larger unit, only one in complex), have discussed this with but we are both hesitant to do it because a two BR one Ba bilevel does not appeal to the type of people who think like that. (At least so far). There have been a couple of people for whom the price or fees were no problem but they were concerned about growing (even) older with the winding stairs and no powder room on the main level.

The board won't commit to when the assessment will disappear. Lots of re-pointing to be done this year of 170 year old brick.

On the upside my Realtor is going to try to be present at more of the showings. This is complicated because it means a three way appointment (2 Realtors and client)...but she knows this complex well and can provide the correct information which the Realtors with other clients sometimes do not.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 6:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here is a summary of what we have here:
"My condo has been on the market roughly 500 days give or take. It has two shortcomings: it is on the third floor and although there is an elevator, it is essentially a walk-up building. Then there is the condo fee, which is complex and includes all utilities except plug-ins."

The property has a small kitchen.

Unfortunately lowering the price (which was done) has only brought people who could not afford the monthly carrying costs. The people who can afford the total monthly would rather put more in the mortgage and I can't blame them."

There is a lot of newer construction close by that the property is competing against.

The vast majority of agents and viewers who have looked at the unit said that the asking price is on target in their feedback. The problem Identified is the condo fee.

In essence this was confirmed when a few lookers were asked what the price would have to be reduced to, and a couple of them said it didn't make that much difference, because $XXX would still be going to the fee and not toward a mortgage.

No powder room on main level.

Property is located in a nieghborhood that is very mixed socially and economically.

WHEW! Tough sale. As you already know, you are fighting against some strong headwinds here. I wish I could tell you some RE ancient secret to get you a buyer, but I think we all know that your choices are to keep lowering the price every so many months, until buyers feel comfortable with the overall monthly payment, or just hang tough where you are until the market catches up to your asking price.
And I realize your agent is in the top 90 percentile in the world, but I can tell you that buyers DO shop by the total monthly payment that is coming out of their pocket. Now more than ever.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 8:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There was someone who was close to making an offer this week until they found out the pet allowances for the association did not include dogs.

We have lowered the price, too, we will see what happens.

I am sure people ultimately shop by the monthly, but we allow a very short notice for showings: 2 hours. So we have people appointing late the day before or the same day and then not showing up because they took a closer look at the condo fee. These people Have to be shopping Price and Location first. Price looks good, in and of itself, Location is probably best or second best for the likely demographic (they want the mixed neighborhood) -- so ultimately they are looking at the monthly, but not First.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 8:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I honestly didn't read this whole thread tonight, so I'm not sure if someone suggested this or not. Is it possible to meet with the condo board and figure out a way to get the fees lowered? It would benefit every one in that building to lower the fees!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 12:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That has happened and it creates an interesting dynamic at meetings. While everyone would like the fees to be lowered, whenever someone who has a unit for sale brings up the fees, someone will say "Yeah, well you only care about the fees because you can't sell, you don't care if the association is underfunded when you leave."

But it's always said by someone who also wants the fees lowered.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 11:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I honestly know nothing about condo fees, but I would seriously fight to get them lowered in your situation. Why are yours so much higher than surrounding buildings? Are there things they can take out of there that you guys can just pay individually? Maybe you could start a petition and write up a reasonable plan of how everything essential could still be funded and present it at the meeting. Then when one person pipes up that you are the only one who cares you can present your petition as proof that the majority of owners agree with you. They will probably all have to sell at some point too, and those fees will slow them down!

I feel your pain on the no shows! Our house was on the market for 5 months and I would say that one quarter of the time people would not even come inside once they saw our neighborhood. I thought it was so rude! The price of our house is low for its size and condition, so I don't know what kind of neighborhood people were expecting at our price! The good news is we listed with a new agent and she had it sold to the first people that looked at it - for $2000 higher than our last asking price with the old realtor! The deal hasn't gone through 100% yet, so there's still some worry but I guess you truly need the right people to walk through the door, people who can see that the great things about your property outweigh the bad. Good luck to you and I hope your condo sells soon. btw, our neighborhood isn't terrible, it's actually nice and quiet, but a lot of the houses look run down. The people buying our house currently live in a similar area, so for them it must not be an issue. I actually think our area is a slight step up from theirs, and I hope they feel that way too!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 7:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here are the factors that raise the fees and much of it has to do with the physical plant of the complex itself

5 buildings built between 1838-1840
1 1860, 1 1880s, 1 highrise (8 stories) 1922.

Developed as apartments in 1965 with a common boiler HVAC 2-pipe system (Heat Oct-April, AC May-Sept). Outside, inground pool added 1965.

Early condo conversion 1981.

So the utility fees of water, gas, sewer, heat, AC are calculated by # of cubic feet of the unit, and #of bedrooms, and split up since it is One system for 68 units in 8 buildings.

This is the UTILITY fee, about 1/3 of the whole fee.

There is a tremendous amount of common space with exterior windows and such, the pool has to be maintained, and we are required by law to have private garbage pickup and maintenance of public sidewalk areas (shoveling etc.)

This is the COMMON FEES part of the whole fee.

For a decade and a half of the condo era Most of the Units were rented out by their owners as investments and there was a very strong board of non-occupant owners who deferred maintenance, and preferred to pay out of pocket by specific assessment for repairs that came along rather than maintaining much of a Reserves Fund. The reserves fund was actually illegally underfunded. I, for example, was the FIRST owner to occupy my unit since it became an apartment. From 1965-2002 it was a rental, it was in 1965 original condition. (I am not sure it had been painted more than once in that time)

Once the physical plant hit 40 much of the piping for the HVAC pipes failed all at once and we had $100K worth of replacement expenses and damages in a very short period of time.

The final third of the current fee is to Fund the Reserves which were nil.

So one third of it pays the utilities and part of another third pays for the pool whereas in most condos in the city except some hotel-highrise conversions everything is separate and the pool must be joined separately.

Take the utility one-third out, and it's in line with a lot of buildings, take the reserves-building out and it's inline with a lot of buildings but add it all together, and its not.

Plus I have heard Realtors tell lookers that the condo fee is the Common Fee and that as far as they know everything else is extra, which is false, but a lot of Realtors are not great about doing their homework, especially some of the newer ones who got licensed during the bubble, when being a Realtor here was easy, and now all the sudden they are finding it is a lot of work and one of those jobs you have to love.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 8:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I bet some buyers do not like the fact that the cooling and heating bills are based on sq. ftg. Owners who keep the thermostat cooler during the winter and warmer during the summer are paying more than the people who are doing the opposite. This would bug me as a potential buyer.
Good luck with your new price.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 10:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No thermostats, they are fan coil units. You do pay a small electric bill for the fan. It's common in some of the midcentury conversions that started out as apartments to have it this way, but I understand where you are coming from. However, the utilities actually work out slightly less than the separate utilities in many of the rental units in the neighborhood. These buildings are sieves, and actually there is a lot of "sharing" of heating and cooling just though cross infiltration, I guess. We rarely run the heat in the winter because we get it from downstairs, and when we lived on the first floor we rarely ran the AC in summer. It seems to have its own checks and balances.

As city dwellers, no one has ever brought up the combined utilities, I guess because a lot of people are used to living in apartments at some point where some bundling of utilities with the building as a whole is quite common.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 11:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Does the HOA cover the taxes? It does in NY which accounts for the high fee. But part of that is tax deductible. In NY it pays heat and hot water. Not electric.

Works the same way you pay - per square foot.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 12:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What about splitting the condo fees into their component parts rather than quoting as one big hairy number?

The Utility fee would be something buyers are probably used to paying for independently, and could thus be mentally discounted.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 11:26AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Pond Dye Dumped Into My Pond and Stream... Water Rights Question
I never posted once in seven years, and now I post...
What qualifies an offer as a "low ball"?
Hello! Im on the house hunting side of things now! I...
Real Estate Agent Fees
My nephew is selling his condo, the agent that is selling...
Considering downsizing Advice desperately needed!
Have you downsized? I could use your input. Desperately...
Emotional rollercoaster of home selling
Lately, this process of having my condo up for sale...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™