by Angie Kendel
New condo developments have contributed to an increase in available units for buyers. Increased availability of new units often makes older, dated units less desirable. Older developments feature larger common areas with pools or gyms, requiring more funds maintenance. Newer developments are minimizing common space and keeping costs lower.
So, we see a trade-off between older units that are priced more affordably, but with higher monthly fees and newer condos that have a higher purchase price but lower monthly fees.
First impressions speak volumes. Ensure your lobby and common areas are clean, well-maintained and updated. Be aware of unpleasant odours. Institute a non-smoking policy, particularly in common areas or at entrances. Regular maintenance and updates in common areas can influence the sale price of individual units.
Sellers should focus on the preparation and condition of their individual units. Maintenance and updates in your unit are most often overlooked and undervalued by sellers.
However, this is one of the biggest mistakes sellers make. More than 90 per cent of buyers want a condo in move-in condition. With the average condo taking 71 days on the Winnipeg market to sell, units that require maintenance or cosmetic updating will typically be sitting much longer.
Basic cosmetic updates can include things like flooring, paint, countertops, light fixtures and faucets. These are relatively lost-cost, high-impact updates.
When buyers see deferred maintenance, they deduct twice the cost of the repair from their offer price! So if flooring would cost you $1,000, the buyer will deduct $2,000 from their offer price. It pays for the seller to complete their own repairs/updates.
Home staging addresses an extensive list of items that can include everything from de-cluttering, cleaning, painting, updating, furniture placement, furniture scale in a small space, to the final presentation with furniture and decor.
How we live in a space is very different from how we show a space for sale. A small space that is full of too much stuff leaves the buyer feeling like the space is just too small.
We look at your space as a buyer would see it. We may change your furniture placement to better showcase an open floor plan or to make a small space feel larger or we may bring in smaller scale furniture if yours is simply too large for the space. We design spaces differently for a young executive than for a retiree.
Depending on the staging package, costs can range from $750 for an accessory package up to around $2,500 with furniture and accessories, or somewhere in between.
If your condo isn’t selling, rather than dropping the list price by $10,000, staging is an affordable, high-impact alternative. Staged condos show better than vacant condos. Open concept floor plans leave many buyers wondering if their furniture will fit and how to place the furniture. Staging helps buyers see how to use the space and the appropriate furniture size. We choose the right pieces for the building style and buyer demographic.
Home staging has a huge impact online. More than 96 per cent of buyers look at potential condos online, so it is critical to ensure the listing photographs look fabulous. You need your unit to be short listed as one to see. Staging makes online photos look more professional and more memorable. Staged condos are seen more often and sell faster than other units.
As the buyer’s market continues to make sellers work harder for the buyers’ attention, it becomes essential for sellers to use all the tools at their disposal to get their property noticed and sold at the best price possible. A little preparation and planning can go a long way to ensuring a fast, successful sale.
(Angie Kendel is with Maximum Impact Plus, phone 204-791-3869 or visit www.maximumimpactplus.com)