Prepare your Condo for Sale...How To!

It's important to show your homes potential.

You own a condo and it's time to move on and you're getting ready to sell. Here's how to show your unit it its' best light to potential buyers without breaking the bank.

De-Clutter | De-Personalize

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Less is more. You know you're going to sell and move, so why not get started packing now? Grab a few boxes from Home Depot or check nextdoor.com for freebies. Pack-away your family photos, gadgets, nicknacks, DVD's, overflowing book shelves, cluttered cabinets and closets. Think about the units you visited when buying and how a condo that showed as minimal and clean, and was probably staged, appeared so attractive to you. Clearing space on shelves, counter tops, night stands, coffee tables, even in your linen, bathroom and clothing closets will make your unit appear roomy and airy, allowing a buyer to imagine themselves "moving in".

Clean

You may not be regularly cleaning baseboards, window ledges, blinds and fingerprints off door jambs and cabinets...well, now is the time! A little Windex, 409 or green cleaner will do the trick. For hard to clean or stained tile/bathroom/sinks/tubs/kitchen/flooring try TSP industrial cleaner (using gloves, with proper ventilation). Use air freshener and fabric freshener and open windows to air your unit, especially before showings. Pets? Make sure to keep their food and elimination areas super fresh.

Hardware

Head over to Restoration Hardware, Home Depot or Lowe's Home Center to pick-up new knobs and drawer pulls for your kitchen and bath cabinets. Consider replacing faucets. It's amazing what an amazing room pick-me-up new hardware can be. Even an old dresser can benefit from this upgrade. Check your door knobs and switch plates too. Make a consistent statement by staying in a matching metal group like cast iron, brushed metal, bronze, gold, silver or crystal and carry it through your hardware choices.

Lighting

It's easy to change old, outdated light fixtures. Think IKEA or any home improvement store. They have unique modern or traditional lighting at affordable prices that will define your space. Check all lightbulbs and replace or dust vanity bulbs. Lighting is important in the appearance of your home and will set the mood for your perspective buyers. It is a fast and effective way to refresh a room and make an impressive design statement.

Paint

Give your walls a fresh coat of paint. Check with your Realtor to learn about the current sought after color trends and use neutral colors to make your home appear larger than it is. Consider painting window and door trims and baseboards in a contrasting color like Decorator White. If your ceilings are in great shape, you can sometimes skip re-painting them. Do a test wall to make sure they don't look drab next to freshly painted walls. If you need to, paint the ceilings first, and don't forget the drop cloths...paint splatters are a pain to remove.

Flooring

This is an optional upgrade which can bring you a great return on your investment. Replace old flooring finishes with new trendy bamboo, reclaimed wood, wide plank floors and if your budget is tight, consider laminate. Think about flooring for a smaller are as well, like an entryway, the bathroom or just the kitchen to save pennies.

Kitchen Upgrades

It may not be in your budget to embark on a kitchen upgrade if you haven't made one during your condo ownership. Replace old appliances with newer up-to-date finishes, right now it's matte. Add a tile backsplash between counters and cabinets. Change your counter surface to one within a comfortable price range.

It's important to confer with a real estate agent to determine the current value of your condo before preparations and possible upgrades; so that you are able to determine what will be cost affective and bring you the biggest return on your investment of time and money. Ask about the latest finishes and trends before making your design choices.

Some of these condo preparations may be beyond your DIY capabilities. Ask your agent for referrals to handymen, cleaning services and other vendors who will help you. Consider staging or partial staging for your condo for optimum design affect. Staged homes show well and command higher pricing for a sale.

Patty Rogers is known for finding and selling unique homes in the East Bay that have a "Modicum of Charm". For next level real estate leadership, connect with Patty for your home listing or purchase.