Even if it is packed, ask lots of questions during a visit a condo sales centre.

With hundreds of condominiums on the market in Toronto today, you should use all the tools available to you in making your decision. One of the most useful is the sales centre. A visit should include a lot more than a quick glance around and picking up a brochure. Developers spend a lot of time and money designing sales centres to present the most information possible to you in an efficient and pleasant way.

Usually you purchase a condo suite from a floorplan. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the acronyms builders use, such as WIC for walk-in closet, LIN for linen closet and P for pantry. Be sure you understand the dimensions of each room; if square footages are not shown on the floorplans, ask. These measurements mean a lot in determining whether a layout will work for you. We’re not all architects, but with a little effort, you can learn to read a floorplan and translate it into a vision of the finished suite.

Somewhere on the sales centre walls, you will probably see a representation of the amenities in the vicinity such as schools, hospitals, entertainment venues, shopping and major transportation routes. Drive around yourself and make sure you’re comfortable that the things you need to access frequently are close by.

Building amenities also play a critical role in your decision. Find out where things such as the pool, fitness room and party room are located and notice how they relate to one another. You’ll most likely discover information on the builder/developer in the sales centre as well, such as how long the company has been in business or whether the firm has won awards or is involved in green initiatives.

Pay careful attention to the scale model and model suite as well. The 3-D replica of the building will show where balconies and terraces face, and how the building is oriented on the land. The model suite will offer you a first-hand feel for the finishes and quality that will surround you in your own home.

Last, but not at all least, are the sales representatives who provide you with the pertinent information to make an informed decision. These professionals are on hand to answer your questions, and by all means, ask!

When explored fully, the sales centre is your most important tool in choosing your condo suite and building your future.

Linda Mitchell is Vice-President of Marketing, High-Rise for Monarch Corporation. In 2005, Linda was presented with the coveted OHBA SAMMY (Sales and Marketing Member of the Year) award.