Lynn Rand's Blog
When you own a condominium, even if you’re entrance is street level, you're not really in charge of the common area or the building's exterior. All the entries look alike, and some even enter from hallways. So, how do you differentiate your home from the four or five others that are for sale in your complex?
Try these simple steps to give your place the edge:
- Mind the door. While you may not be able to paint your condominium door a bright, trendy color, you can take a few moments to make sure it is clean and free from scuffs and finger marks. Use a whisk broom to brush off all dust, debris, and detritus that collects in the grooves and trim. If the door is wood, use a mild solution of a wood-safe soap to wash down the door, inside and out. Then, shine the door up with furniture polish so that it glows. If the door is metal or painted, use a gentle mixture of dish soap and water to remove grease and grime.
- Make it shine. Clean any glass in the door or sidelights with a vinegar and water solution or an appropriate glass cleaner. Use a metal cleaner on the door handle, deadbolts, and any metal trim, including the trim around the peephole, and shine up the fisheye lens too.
- Don’t forget the threshold. With a clean door, you’re already ahead of the game, but take a moment to sweep off the threshold (the wood or metal strip below the door), and all around the edges of the stoop or entry. Even when your doorway is in an interior hallway, the regular building cleaners may not get that extra dust and leftover dirt in the corners. Use your vacuum cleaner to suck away the last crumbs.
- Be welcoming. Set a fresh new welcome mat in front of your door and add a flower pot of bright blooms if you’re allowed. For interior doors, a tasteful wreath or swag on the door highlights your entry. Be careful to avoid going “over-the-top” though. Simple and elegant is best.
- Clear the entry. Your real control of the "appeal" starts once the door opens. Keep the entryway as open and uncluttered as possible. Move furniture away from the entry area to give it a more expansive feel. Keep décor simple, warm, and inviting. Avoid anything the potential buyer might bump into upon entering as that tends to leave the impression of small and crowded.
- Lighten things up. Put the best possible light on the subject. Take time to upgrade the bulbs in your entry lights (inside and out) to “daylight” LEDs for a friendly, well-lit glow.
A warm, inviting entrance sets the tone for the rest of the home, so give yours the edge it deserves.
Ready to sell your condo? Ultimately, listing a condo can be simple, particularly for condo sellers who plan ahead.
Now, let's take a look at three questions that condo owners need to consider before listing their properties.
1. What do I need to do to sell my condo?
Condo rules and regulations vary. As such, you should consult with your homeowners' association (HOA) to find out if there are any requirements related to selling your condo.
For example, an HOA may require a new property buyer to receive HOA board approval to purchase a condo in a particular community. Or, if you have outstanding condo fees, you probably will need to pay off these charges before you can sell your property.
2. How much is my condo worth?
Although your condo community likely hires landscapers to help keep your property looking great, it is important to understand that a condo's interior plays an important role in the property's value. Thus, you should allocate the necessary time and resources to upgrade your condo's interior. This will enable you to improve your condo's interior and help it stand out to property buyers, thereby increasing the likelihood of a quick condo sale.
In addition, completing a property appraisal usually is an excellent idea. A property appraiser will inspect your condo and evaluate various housing market data to help you pinpoint the value of your residence. Then, you can obtain a property valuation that can help you establish a competitive price for your condo.
3. Do I need to hire a real estate agent?
When it comes to selling a condo, it often pays to hire a real estate agent. However, it is important to note that no two real estate agents are identical, and you should try to find a real estate agent who possesses extensive condo selling expertise.
Let's face it – a condo is very different from a house. A condo owner does not have to worry about property exterior maintenance in the same way that a homeowner does. Conversely, a condo owner must follow HOA requirements; otherwise, this property owner may face steep penalties.
A real estate agent with condo selling expertise understands the pros and cons of owning a condo. Therefore, this housing market professional knows how to work with condo sellers and ensure these individuals can achieve their desired results.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with a condo owner and learn about his or her property selling goals. After the meeting, a real estate agent will help a condo owner map out a successful condo selling journey.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent with condo selling expertise is ready to respond to a property seller's concerns and questions. This housing market professional also will go above and beyond the call of duty to exceed a condo seller's expectations.
Take the guesswork out of selling your condo – consider the aforementioned questions, and you can speed up the property selling process.
Let's face it – no condo seller wants to deal with a high-pressure negotiation. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of selling your condo so you can avoid stressful negotiations with property buyers.
What does it take to remain calm, cool and collected during a negotiation with a condo buyer? Here are three tips that every condo seller needs to know.
1. Consider the Condo Buyer's Perspective
As an informed condo seller, it is important to consider both sides of a negotiation. By doing so, you can evaluate a condo buyer's perspective and plan your next move accordingly.
For condo sellers, the goal is to get the best price for a property. As such, a condo seller who performs extensive housing market research probably understands the true value of his or her residence.
On the other hand, a condo buyer is likely to conduct real estate market research on his or her own. This property buyer also will assess the current condition of a condo in relation to his or her budget and submit an offer that accounts for these factors.
Ultimately, a condo seller and buyer should try to find common ground. That way, both parties can work together to get the best results out of a negotiation.
2. Review All of Your Options
After a condo seller accepts a buyer's proposal, the next step likely involves a property inspection. At this point, a condo acquisition may move forward, or a condo seller might need to rethink his or her plan.
If a condo inspector discovers myriad problems with a property, a condo buyer may ask the seller to complete repairs or lower the price of the property. Meanwhile, a condo seller will need to review all of his or her options quickly.
Following a condo inspection, it is important to consider the results of the evaluation.
If a condo seller discovers major repairs are required, he or she should consider completing the repairs or lowering the price on a property.
Or, if a condo buyer asks for a major price reduction even though only minimal repairs are needed, a seller should be unafraid to say "No" to the buyer's requests.
It is important for a condo seller to feel comfortable with any decision that is made throughout the property selling cycle. Thus, if a condo seller is uncomfortable with completing property repairs or reducing the price of a residence after a property inspection, he or she should be ready to decline a buyer's demands.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent will handle negotiations between a condo seller and buyer. Therefore, this housing market professional can play a pivotal role in a seller's ability to get the best price for a condo.
Consulting with a real estate agent who possesses condo experience is key. This real estate agent can keep you up to date during negotiations with condo buyers and ensure you are fully satisfied with the final results.
Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can move one step closer to maximizing the value of your condo.
After you complete a condo inspection, you'll need to make a major decision: Should you move forward with your condo purchase or rescind your offer?
Ultimately, there are several important questions to assess before you finalize your decision on a condo, including:
1. What was discovered during the property inspection?
Study the results of a condo inspection closely. By doing so, you'll be able to learn about a condo's strengths and weaknesses and plan accordingly.
A property inspector will evaluate a condo both inside and out. He or she also will provide honest, unbiased feedback, enabling you to make an informed decision about how to proceed with a condo.
Take into account major and minor condo problems that a property inspector discovers. And if this inspector finds minor flaws associated with a condo, you may want to stay the course and move forward with your initial proposal.
On the other hand, if a property inspector finds significant problems with a condo, i.e. issues that may prove to be costly and time-consuming, you may want to consider rescinding your offer. Or, in this case, you can always ask the condo owner to complete property repairs before you finalize a condo purchase.
2. How much will it cost to perform assorted condo repairs?
The costs associated with condo repairs will vary. However, if you allocate the time and resources to learn about condo problems and the costs associated to fix these issues, you may be able to avoid expensive, time-intensive mistakes.
For example, consider what might happen if a property inspector discovers a defective kitchen light switch in a condo. Although this light switch is a problem, the time and costs needed to repair or replace the faulty light switch likely are minimal. As such, a condo buyer may choose to ignore this problem, or a condo owner may be willing to complete the fix quickly.
Conversely, consider what could happen if a property inspector finds that a condo's furnace is defective. It may cost thousands of dollars to fix or replace a faulty furnace. As a result, a condo buyer may ask the property seller to repair or replace the defective furnace. And if the condo owner fails to do so, a buyer may choose to walk away from the condo purchase altogether.
3. Can I enjoy this condo both now and in the future?
It is essential to consider both the short- and long-term ramifications of a condo purchase. That way, a condo buyer can determine whether a property can serve him or her well for years to come.
A property inspection offers valuable information that a buyer can use to assess the pros and cons of purchasing a condo. Furthermore, a condo buyer who works with an experienced real estate agent can get the support needed to make the best decision possible.
Consider the aforementioned questions as you evaluate your options following a condo inspection, and you should have no trouble deciding whether a particular condo is right for you.
Selling a condo may seem like a tall task, particularly for those who plan to list a property on the real estate market for the first time. However, condo sellers can take the guesswork out of listing a property and maximizing its value if they consider a few simple questions, such as:
1. How Much Is My Condo Worth?
The price that you paid for your condo initially is unlikely to match your property's worth today. As such, you'll want to conduct plenty of research into the real estate market to assess your condo's worth and price your property accordingly.
Hiring a home appraiser is ideal, as this professional will be able to evaluate your residence and establish a value for it. Plus, a home appraiser can help you identify any "red flags," i.e. problem areas that may prevent you from maximizing the value of your condo.
Don't forget to assess the prices of similar condos in your area too. By doing so, you can get a better idea about how much comparable residences are selling for in your city or town and set a competitive price for your residence.
2. What Sets My Condo Apart from Others That Are Available?
Before you add your condo to the real estate market, you'll want to consider features that may help your property stand out from others that are available.
For example, if you live in a condo community that offers access to a swimming pool and tennis courts, you'll want to include this information in your property listing. Or, if your condo provides a reserved parking spot for you and additional parking for guests, you'll want to provide condo buyers with these details as well.
As a condo seller, you'll want to do whatever you can to differentiate your property from others, regardless of whether you list your residence in a buyer's or seller's market. If you highlight features that help your condo stand out, you can stir up significant interest in your residence as soon as it becomes available.
3. How Can I Optimize the Value of My Condo?
Unfortunately, the real estate market can be unpredictable. And even if you perform ample housing market research, there is no guarantee that you'll be able to streamline the condo selling process and maximize the value of your residence. But if you hire a real estate agent, you can boost your chances of selling your condo.
A real estate agent may boast many years of condo selling experience and understand what it takes to generate interest in a property. He or she also will be able to provide valuable tips and guidance to ensure that you can list your property at the right price in any real estate market. In addition, if you ever have concerns or questions about selling your condo, your real estate agent will be able to respond to your queries without delay.
Employ a real estate agent to help you sell your condo, and you can move one step closer to maximizing the value of your property.