Massachusetts Real Estate- Merrimack Valley

Selling a Condo – The Extra Steps

Selling a condo is slightly different then selling a single family home.  Often times owners of condominiums forget that when selling their condo they are not only selling the condominium unit itself but they are also selling a percentage share of the condominium complex itself.   When a potential homeowner is considering purchasing your condominium they will want to understand the overall financial health of the condominium association, so they know what to expect financially in the future.

Typically it will be the seller’s responsibility to provide certain documents for the home buyer to review.  A smooth sale will rely on you getting the documents to the buyer immediately.  Having them readily available before listing your condo with a real estate agent will save you a lot of running around when you actually get a buyer who wants to see the documents.

Selling a Condo-  What Documents Will You Need?

The must haves condominium documents when selling a condo:

  1. Unit Deed-  The unit deed will spell out the percentage ownership the seller has in the entire complex as well as what areas are deeded along with the unit or is an exclusive common area for the unit.  What other areas could be deeded?  Parking spots is a common deeded area along with the unit when selling a condo.  If they are not deeded then they may be assigned by the association.
  2. Master Deed-  The master deed is a large document breaking the property into individual units.  It also will spell out common areas, easements, how the association will be run and more. It will tell the potential home buyer what they are responsible for and what they are not.  A common misconception among home buyers is if windows and doors need replacement it is the condo associations responsibility.  Generally most master deeds will spell out that windows and doors will be the responsibility of the unit owners.
  3. Bylaws-  The bylaws are the rules and regulations of the entire property.  What is allowed and what is not.  Of course many home buyers will be concerned if they can bring their beloved pet or not.  It varies from condo to condo.  Some allow, some don’t some will have a number restriction or size restriction.  Another common rule you will find will many condo associations to not allow satellite dishes. This can be a deal breaker for some buyers.
  4. Budget-  Providing last years budget as well as the current years budget is a common request.  A buyer of your condo will want to know what the overall financial health of the complex is.  They will want to know if there is enough money coming in to cover the common maintenance as well as scheduled replacement of roofs, driveways, etc….
  5. Addendums-  From time to time addendums will be made to the master deed and the bylaws as the owners vote changes.

The optional condominium documents when selling a condo:

  1. Meeting Minutes-  If your association has regularly scheduled meeting they may put out meeting minutes.  It would be nice to pass those along to a buyer, especially if you have a very proactive association.
  2. Association Newsletters-  This is another great set of documents you can provide a potential buyer of your condominium. Many well established associations will put out a monthly newsletters.  There could be items for sale, organized events, updated news etc….

Try to organize these documents together once you think about selling your condo.  If they are available when you list your condominium you won’t have to scramble around later when a buyer asks for them.  If the condominium documents have not been made available prior to tendering an offer, I will write the following clause:

Buyer has 10 days from receipt to review all condo docs including but not limited to unit deed, master deed, bylaws and budget.

When Selling a Condo Where do I Find the Necessary Documents

First, check to see what documents you were provided when you purchased your condominium.  Hopefully you will have a complete set of the Master Deed and the Bylaws.  You should also have been sent a copy of the Unit Deed that was recorded.  You should also be receiving the budgets on a yearly basis.

If you find you do not have these documents, a call to your management company requesting the condo docs should get them in your hands quickly.  Some management companies charge a small to an exorbitant fee for the documents so if you have them you can save some money.

As pointed out earlier in the articles a strong association with well run management can be a big selling point when selling your condo.  Either way a savvy home buyer or buyers agent will request these documents anyways.


Selling a Condo – The Extra Steps, was provided by Kevin Vitali of EXIT Group One Real Estate.  If you are thinking of buying or selling a condo call kevin at 978-360-0422


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  • James Castellucci
    August 3, 2019

    Hello, Relative to selling a residential condominium unit in Massachusetts, does the law require the seller to provide the prospective buyer with the Condo Docs? I am a trustee for a small 12 unit condo development. We have concerns that the buyer can not afford the associated expenses as she has openly admitted in writing that she will need to rent the unit to afford it. It is a single family unit that she intends to make multi-family. I believe the buyer is not aware of the by-laws nor will she acknowledge receipt of them via her legal representative. Thank you.

    • Massachusetts Realtor
      August 8, 2019

      Your question is a little hard to follow. But I will try to answer the questions. it is standard and typical a seller provides the buyer with the condo docs before closing as most banks will request them to finance. It is not state law a seller must do so but usually a contractual one in the purchase and sale.

      Many HOA/Management companies require a buyer to acknowledge the receipt and understanding of the information in a welcome package with rules and regulations, bylaws and so on. This is a way to get the intended information into the buyers hands.

      As far as converting a single family unit into a multi-family you would have condo rules preventing so as well as town zoning. Are you sure you don’t mean she is living with a family member that will help by paying rent?

      Lastly, the concern a prospective residence cannot pay their bills is not a reason to keep them out. Hopefully if they cant truly afford the place the bank will deny them financing. If you have certain concerns regarding an owner not paying their fees or breaking the rules you will just have to stay on top of it and take the necessary legal actions if and when it does happen.

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