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3. Preparing your condo


You only get one opportunity to make a good first impression, so you want to make it count. Below are a few guidelines to broaden the appeal of your condo. You’ll enhance the attractiveness of your property and reduce the time it takes to generate serious offers.

  • Repairs

    Make sure everything is in good working order. Dripping faucets, squeaky steps and loose doorknobs can easily create a bad impression and reduce the value of your property. A few hours spent on repairs, whether by yourself or a tradesman, can pay big dividends when an offer is made. Of course, any major repairs should be taken care of too, unless you are selling the item 'as is'.

  • De-clutter

    And then de-clutter some more. Clutter makes a poor impression. In closets, cabinets, kitchen countertops and other storage areas like basements, remove anything not needed for daily use. To make each room in your property look larger, get rid of or donate unnecessary furniture. Walk through your property and think: “Less is more”.

  • Open Up the Space

    Remove any furniture that tightens spaces. If a couch or chair forces you to turn your body as you walk by or just makes a passage appear smaller, get rid of it. Everybody wants more space. An experienced stager has a good eye for space and can help you in this regard.

  • Keep It Light & Bright

    Open curtains and drapes to let the sun shine in. Turn on the lights so your rooms come to light. If your place has a lack of natural light, consider adding some floor lamps to brighten the rooms.

  • Bedrooms & Baths

    Potential buyers often feel uncomfortable in bedrooms and bathrooms because they are, by definition, personal and private places. To counter this reaction, make bedrooms and bathrooms look like a model home (toss the lived-in feel out the bathroom window). Clear off all surfaces of the bathroom – removing simple things like toothpaste and soap. Put out nice, fresh towels instead. The goal is to make these rooms comfortable for buyers. If the buyers feel comfortable, they’ll linger and picture themselves in the condo.

  • In the Kitchen

    Clear away small appliances.Remove stains and items from the sink. Clean and deodorize vent or exhaust hood.

  • Remove Personal Effects

    Remove personal effects, and don’t forget simple things like magnets on the refrigerator. Small distractions to the buyer’s eyes will disturb their thinking, preventing them from picturing the house as theirs. You want the rooms to look well-decorated and spacious. Try to balance the brand-new look with lived-in warmth.

Staging

Not every home that goes on the market will sell. To sell well and quickly your home must be competitive on price, location and condition. After pricing your home correctly based on its location and features, there is more to be done.

Statistics show that homeowners whose homes sell well have not only invested up to 1 or 2% of its value to get the property ready to sell for top dollar, they invest their own time and energy. Painting, deep cleaning, minor repairs and landscaping, if applicable, are common tasks taken.

Three things to remember:

  • You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
     
  • A review of over 2,800 properties in 8 cities found that staged homes, on average, sold in half the time that non-staged homes did.
     
  • Most buyers make decisions about the property they see within the first 15 seconds of entering the home. People buy on emotion and justify their decision with logic.

What can staging do?

Adding cost-effective amenities and improving the general condition and flow of the home is what we call ‘staging’. It can be as simple as decluttering and re-arranging some of the furniture. Or it can be completely furnishing a vacant property.

When a seller stages their home, one of two things happens:

  1. The home becomes more valuable than other comparable properties in that price range.
     
  2. The home gets moved up in price and becomes the lowest priced home in the next higher price bracket or category.