Depending on whether or not you deal in condos – if you plan to, it is important to understand what a Condo Certificate is and why it makes sense as a real estate sales professional to obtain one directly when working on a condo deal.
The condo status certificate is a mammoth-sized legal document. Real estate lawyers will always request one on closing but it pays for the real estate sales professional to request one ahead of time to identify any problematic information and to provide the client with even more information about the condo they are purchasing. The condo certificate provides important information about:
- The financial status of the condo corporation that is administering and maintaining the code – if the condo corporation is in financial trouble you may want to consider what this means for your client moving forward.
- The financial status as it relates to the particular unit. This should include the amount of condo fee payments, the status of payments, indicate any arrears – your client will have to clear up any arrears in condo payments or liens that have arisen as a result of unpaid condo payments.
- Monthly fees
- Any large increases in fees that are planned to come into effect or are even being considered for that matter.
- Arrears on any particular units.
It also includes the condo declaration, by-laws, budget, reserve fund, insurance, management contract, rules, minutes of last general meeting, disclosure of law suits, disclose rules such as what pets/animals you can have, rules about use and declaration of external parts of your property like balcony or patio, etc…
There are two ways to obtain a condo status certificate:
Mail – It may be requested in writing to the management company. They may take up to 10 days to produce the condo certificate. You will likely have to pay the standard fee of $100.00 plus HST plus postage for the condo certificate. Generally speaking the fee is paid up-front when the written request is made. Many management companies are not equipped to take electronic payment so you will have to ship over a cheque.
Online – If you are a GeoWarehouse customer and a condo status certificate is available on a property that you search, it can be purchased through the GeoWarehouse Store. You will then receive the condo status certificate electronically which is faster and more efficient than mailing the request and payment – oh yes, and with the online option you can pay for the certificate in the GeoWarehouse Store by credit card.
Either way – once the offer has been made and accepted, you may want to consider getting a condo certificate right away. Also, some real estate sales professionals have reported requiring a review of a clean condo certificate as a condition in the offer. In this case timing is even more important. Once you have had a chance to review the condo certificate you can give your clients the thumbs up that there are no issues with their deal. Alternately, if representing a condo seller, having the condo certificate is a value add because you can show that the condo has a good corporation, a solid management company, and that the unit being sold is in good financial standing.
Don’t get stuck with a bad deal because a condo status certificate, ordered later rather than sooner, showed some questionable findings. Check out GeoWarehouse today to order yours online: www.geowarehouse.ca.