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What to Expect When Selling a Townhouse

Monday, November 13, 2017   /   by Brittini Martinez

What to Expect When Selling a Townhouse

When buyers see your townhouse for sale, they might not be aware of everything they're buying into. For starters, townhouse owners typically enjoy the benefit of having more freedom over making changes to their domain than, say, condo owners or apartment renters. Townhome communities can also win out in terms of the common facilities—like a shared pool or gym—that they offer. So it makes sense that townhouses have recently become the latest "it" property.

Therefore, if you're planning on selling your townhouse, you should be privy to the best ways to market it, the timeline you might have to follow, and what needs to happen after you accept an offer.

What is a townhouse?

A townhouse is a single-family dwelling with at least two floors as opposed to condominiums that are typically designed like single-level apartments. Townhouses usually share a wall with another house, but unlike a duplex, each townhouse is individually owned. They can be attached as row houses, attached back to back, or arranged in other configurations.

Ways to market a townhouse for sale

In some ways, selling a townhouse can be easier than selling a single-family home, because the similar homes in your community can make it easier to determine the fair market value. This can give buyers the assurance that they're not overpaying.

Additionally, buyers will be looking at both the home itself and the community full of perks and shared amenities. You and your real estate agent should include any walking trails, parks, playgrounds, fitness centers, swimming pools, and assigned and guest parking in the listing.

Different townhouse communities have different rules about maintenance; some homeowners associations are more hands-off while others will make you paint your house whether or not you like it. It's important to give potential buyers the complete picture, including HOA fees and regulations they're beholden to if they decide to own in the community.

But you can spin those fees as a positive: "Make it clear that the fees will save them money on services like snow removal or trash removal that they might otherwise be responsible for in a single-family home," says Michele Lerner, a real estate expert and author. "You can offer to cover the homeowner association fees for a year in order to make the first year of homeownership easier on buyer."

Make sure you're HOA-compliant

Depending on how active your HOA is, there might be rules in place about where you can put your "For Sale" sign and how you can market the property. Make sure to check your community's bylaws at the beginning of the sale process to determine what you can and can't do.

Once you find a buyer, you'll usually have to provide paperwork to your HOA and have your buyer agree to HOA rules in writing by a certain deadline.

"The purchase offer is typically contingent on the buyers' acceptance of the rules and regulations by a particular deadline," says Lerner. "If they don’t receive the documents on time, the buyers could use this as an excuse to revoke their offer."

If you work with a real estate agent who knows the process, it will be even easier, so make sure to find someone to help you who knows the drill. A good place to start looking for an agent familiar with townhouse sales is right in your own backyard! Agents who have sold homes in your community will already be familiar with the details and regulations of your specific HOA.

Article provided by: Realtor.com

  dc, dc metro area, real estate, buying a home, selling your home, townhome, townhouses