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7 Tips to Prepare Your Condo for Sale

January 8, 2008 by  
Filed under MISC

Peek A BooNow that the holiday season is over, buyers will be seeing more active listings on the market than during previous months. Therefore, if you’re looking to sell you condo, you’ll need to make sure you make the best impression on prospective buyers.

First impressions and curb appeal is everything, especially with a condo. Unlike a single-family home, first impressions are not made with a well manicured lawn or shiny new mailbox. Curb appeal with a condo depends on the overall look of the development and how well your homeowner’s association maintains the building’s exterior, the fitness room, pool and most importantly the lobby.

Therefore, since you have less control over curb appeal, making a positive first impression on would-be buyers makes it even more important to consider some adjustments before putting your home on the market.

  • Lighting – Many Seattle condo buyers are from other parts of the country and are not up to speed with our market’s pricing per square foot. Even those who live in a Seattle suburb have yet to understand the value of a downtown lifestyle in a such a small space. Therefore, making sure your home is well lit makes a home seem significantly more appealing. A new lamp in a darker area of a room can really help push open more space visually.
  • Clutter – The next step is to get rid of knickknacks, pictures and other miscellaneous items that may be scattered over dressers, tables, bars and shelves. Keep your home’s accessories and artwork simple and tasteful. The more clutter a buyer sees, the less home they’ll see.
  • Furniture – If you have too much, consider putting some in storage. Generally speaking, larger pieces should be against the wall to give more space. Also, make sure the focal point is facing towards the area where people enter the room. This is a rule of thumb in feng shui which welcomes the flow of chi.
  • Smell – One of the biggest turn-offs for a buyer can be an unfamiliar or unpleasant smell when entering a home. A scented candle or plug-in air freshener can really make a place smell fresh and new. If you’re occupying your home while it’s for sale, try avoid cooking meals that have distinct smells. Although you might love the smell of seasoned Halibut, a buyer previewing your home will have a hard time imagining your home as fresh and new.
  • Pets – We love our own pets, and your friends may tell you they love your pet too. However, your pet can cause a potential buyer to look the other way. If sending your pet to a day spa is too tall of an order, make sure that your pets are out of sight as much as possible. Remove any pet beds, dishes or toys out of sight. Pet stores also have specialty items that help remove pet hair and odors.
  • Wall Accessories – Make sure items you have on the wall are proportionate to the wall and room’s size. Mirrors can also help with making a room look larger. Also, any personal and/or family photos should be kept to a minimum.
  • Closets – Closet space and storage is important for virtually all buyers. Therefore, it’s important to clear some of your stuff. A lot of clothes, shoes and/or boxes can make a closet look small. If your closet is packed with clutter, downsize your belongings to about half to open up space.

Finally, make sure you decide on a competitive price. An overpriced home can create a negative stigma towards your home if you’re “days on the market” gets too high. Remember that buyers generally shop for homes in $50,000 dollar increments and your home is being compared to others in your price range. Also, another property may be similar in square footage, condition or other similarities but may be priced higher due to a more valuable view, interior updates or additional parking space. Make sure you discuss your homes pros and cons with your Realtor before setting your price.

For expert advise on listing your home, request a FREE market analysis.

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