We often talk about ways to set yourself apart from other agents, particularly if you are working in a highly competitive market.

The ways to differentiate yourself are numerous and carried. One such example is becoming well-versed in the rules and regulations of strata properties. From depreciation reports to financial understandings, strata documents to legal opinions, future assessments and more.

According to Andrew Szalontai, a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty VanCentral, there is a lot that goes into the details of a strata and well-versed agents can ensure their clients know the details.

According to Szalontai, agents know about strata documents can help their clients work through the process and ensure that they are choosing the property that will best represent their purchase, and protect them from misunderstandings as it pertains to what the strata is responsible for, and what the homeowners will need to address on their own.

Ownership of a property under strata is shared through an owners corporation. Properties that are adjoining in some way – like apartments or townhouses – are normally bought under strata title, because they share some common areas such as roofs, lifts, driveways or some other item.

One of the major differences between selling a house and a strata property comers down to what exactly what is being offered for sale, according to agent Caitlin Radzanowski.

“When you sell a house, you are selling the home and the land it is on,” she said. “With a strata property, you could be selling a unit with or without land depending on the development type. Typically, a strata property sale will also include areas that are under shared ownership by all unit owners in that complex.”

As an agent, you have to determine whether a listing is a freehold or leasehold because this could affect the value of the property. Normally, a leasehold strata lot has a lower market value than a similar freehold strata lot.

Strata property owners are typically required to provide significantly more information prior to the completion of a sale.
Szalontai took a strata course to ensure he could capably assist clients looking to buy into the Vancouver condo market, better understand their purchase decision, and protect them from the responsibility shock such as the leaky condo crisis or the flooding washing machine incidences.

“As a Vancouver real estate agent, I feel that Realtors should definitely be educated in matters of strata properties in order to best guide their clients on their condo considerations and purchases,” Szalontai said.

Whether you are the listing or buying agent, there are a few advantages to strata property, including the wide range of potential buyers who are looking for those types of homes.  These properties can prove to be a great option for anyone wanting to live a maintenance-free lifestyle.