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New Condo Sales: What’s Wrong and How it Should Be Fixed

By October 12, 2018

Condos

We hate the way that new condos have been sold recently and with more condos coming to market and new sales and marketing teams entering our market to challenge the incumbents, we’d love to see the process change!

First-come-first served sucks: I get why sales teams like first-come, first-served events as they make for great media after the event as they get to boast that buyers were lined up around the block, some may have even camped out, and they “sold” a record number of units in a day. But the down side is that for a purchase that ranges from $400k to $4m+ you are subjected to a terrible purchasing experience. No one wants to line up, camp out or feel pressured to quickly make a decision for anything, never mind one of the most expensive purchases of their lives. We’ve found that generally these sales events are poorly publicized and often they provide very little details ahead of time, usually publishing floor plans and pricing guidance the night before. So after you line up, wait for hours, fight the crowds, watch people cut in line, you enter a sales center where condos are selling so quickly you end up reserving something above your price range and may have picked a floor plan that in hindsight doesn’t serve your needs.

Lottery please: we would prefer to see more condos use a lottery system where events are well publicized ahead of time giving buyers ample time and space to visit the sales center, see if the building and floor plans are right for them. Buyers can then express interest and interested buyers then get a private appointment to select units based on a lottery drawing. But please, don’t do a lottery system that favors some buyers over other buyers based on which agent the buyer is working with like a recent condo did.

Straight to purchase and sale please: most condos have buyers “reserve” a unit instead of immediately entering into purchase and sale. They sell this as attractive to buyers as you get to reserve a unit for a fully refundable deposit so that you can change your mind. But then again, so can the developer! So what is really going on is that they’re testing the market. They likely don’t know if the building will be condos or apartments. Or they don’t know what they should price units at. So they hastily put a sales event together to see if buyers will reserve units. Once they see what the demand is like they’ll decide whether to move forward with condos or not and then if so, what to price it at. It is always a red flag to me when projects do reservations and if they don’t have a sales center built out yet.

A website that doesn’t suck: in this day and age how hard is it to have a website that shows all available units with pricing? Not hard. So why do buyers need to go to your sales center in person to get that information?

 

I’m the founder and managing broker of Urban Living. I love lofts, floating homes, new construction and mid-century moderns but will help you buy or sell just about anything.

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206-618-1600