As we gear up for what is shaping up to be a strong 2022 selling season, we’ve been getting many inquiries of ways our buyers can start the process of getting their homes in the right shape to sell so there’s less work, and ultimately less to stress about later on when that time comes. We wish more savvy sellers like ours would be open to truly embracing this pro-active approach. There are several things to tackle that, if you do so now, will play to your benefit come spring when you’re ready to list your home for sale.
- Have us walk through the property with you. A broker walk-through will give you all of the tips you need to have your apartment look as fresh and appealing as possible when you pull the trigger. This way, you benefit from the daily experience we have showing and viewing properties, to help your place stand out (or at the very least meet the bar) in the market. In a buyers’ market like the one we’re in now, this is more important than ever before.
- Paint. You know that incredible hue of red you and your partner found together that just screams “you”? Well that’s precisely the kind of shade that may scream “run” to one too many prospective buyers out there. Although it may seem bland and boring, the primary purpose of the paint is to create as neutral a palette for the apartment to appeal to the most number of people. This is not the time to squeeze your creative juices or exercise your interior design courage. The secondary purpose of the paint is to help the place look crisp and clean, so it pays to hire someone truly qualified to make sure those edges are sharp and the coats are even.
- Fix. You know that chipped baseboard corner that you stubbed your toe on more times than you can remember? Or that cracked mirror in the bathroom? Or how about the nicked kitchen countertop? Now is the perfect time to fix those little things that you think only you notice. They, in fact, accumulate little by little and add up to an “eh” feeling from buyers walking through your property. There should be as little as possible left for anyone to “fix” when buying the place; you want to make the apartment turn-key, making the decision to buy as seamless as possible.
- De-clutter. We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again, and again, and again. The minute you decide to list your apartment for sale, it is no longer “your” apartment but a product to sell. You are looking to create a neutral space that when others walk in, they think “aaaaah, I can live here.” This means a picture of you on a sailboat or of your parents in Paris shouldn’t bring that vision to a screeching halt. Those kinds of personal items serve as an heavy reminder to others that someone else lives there, an obstacle to their seeing themselves in the space already. Further, look at all of the “things” you have in your place, and try to get rid of 20-40% of it. The extra shelves, the extra side table, the excess seating, the storage containers … and the closet contents, especially the closet contents. You want to leave room for additional clothing to go in there, sending the message “oh, the closet it so big, they didn’t even fill it.” Ultimately, you are looking to create the physical and mental space necessary for others to insert themselves into it. (Yes, we’re often psychologists in our role.)
- Photograph. Schedule a photography session of your apartment now. “Now? But we’re two months away!” you say. You benefit from photographers being far more available now, with more flexible schedules, than they are when everyone is rushing to list in the spring. We also will have the time to curate things like virtual staging or virtual renovations if needed, creating a show-stopping listing and a buyer’s first impression of your apartment when they see it online. Take your time, do it right, do it when the time suits you best, and you’ll be better off for it.