In the fourth quarter of 2018, the average New York City apartment on the market took 152 days to go into contract. For those antsy to sell, that can feel like a long time. If your apartment is well past the point of 200 days on the market, it can be frustrating and leave you thinking, “Why can’t I sell my apartment?”
If you’re struggling to sell your apartment, we have some tips, tricks, and alternative solutions for you.
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Have your apartment ready to be viewed at all times
Before changing anything in your apartment, ask yourself if every time your real estate agent called you saying someone wants to view your apartment if you said yes. As a seller, turning down viewing appointments — regardless of how inconvenient they may seem at the time — is a missed opportunity to sell your apartment. This could be hindering you.
Become a “yes” man or woman if you’re guilty of this. Change your perspective to it being more inconvenient that your apartment isn’t selling, rather than it being inconvenient to clean and leave your apartment for the viewing.
Consider scheduling in clean up times every other day to help you say yes to viewings. Also, scope out a local, affordable coffee shop where you can hang out or do some work while the potential buyer views your apartment.
Next, take a look at your open house schedule. Did you have an open house every Sunday? If not, plan a more aggressive open house schedule with your agent to increase the chances a potential buyer stops by.
Evaluate your price
As a seller, you have a price in mind that you think is fair for your apartment. But given the current state of the market with a 6 percent increase in inventory, you’ll want to reevaluate your price to see if it’s actually priced at market value.
To evaluate correctly, ask your co-op or condo board for the sale records of other units in your building. This will help guide you in understanding what similar apartments in your building are selling for. Rely on your agent to find comparable selling prices in your neighborhood and advise you on if the price is truly right.
Clearing your space of knick-knacks and clutter is a crucial step to helping your apartment attract a buyer. When a potential buyer walks in the front door, they want to see a clean space so they can envision their life in the apartment.
If you’re struggling to declutter, consider renting out a storage unit with a monthly contract to store some of your things. It will be worth the upfront cost to help sell your apartment.
Take you’re decluttering a step further and take down any family photos from the walls or shelves. This may seem trivial, but your wedding photos might be hindering a single older man from buying your apartment because he sees your life, not his.
A fresh coat of paint
Your open houses have strong traffic, but no one is making an offer. This might mean that your listing photos look great, but when people enter the apartment, do the walls look dingey? Are there scuff marks all over the walls?
Dinged-up walls could be distracting potential buyers who are looking for a move-in ready apartment.
Painting is a low-cost way to spruce up your apartment and make it shine when people walk in. When choosing paint colors, select neutral colors that can appease the masses.
Change your agent
For sellers, it can be frustrating to keep your apartment clean for more than 200 days, have open houses each weekend, and to have no one come and view your apartment.
If traffic is down for your open houses, consider finding a new agent. A new agent may have different potential clients, a further reach, and a fresh perspective on how to market your apartment.
Look for an agent with a record of selling apartments quickly and someone who knows your building and has sold apartments there in the past.
Consider a renovation
If you’re struggling to sell your apartment, go to the bathroom. We’re not trying to be gross, but there are two rooms that will sell your apartment: the bathroom and the kitchen.
If your apartment isn’t selling, it’s likely one of those two rooms. If you have the funds, channeling them to a kitchen or bathroom renovation will help you get the most significant return on your investment and likely speed up the selling process when your apartment is back on the market.
For sellers who don’t have the funds to start a renovation, consider smaller fixes such as painting the kitchen cabinets white or replacing the cabinet hardware to spruce up the room.
For the bathroom, add an extra mirror to make the room feel bigger and hang large white towels to give the restroom a spa-like feeling.
Consider subletting your apartment
Perhaps you need to move as soon as possible because of a new job or a growing family, but your apartment is not selling.
Consider taking a break from having your apartment on the market and sublet it. Look at your co-op or condo’s subletting rules and then list your apartment to rent instead of for sale.
Subletting can help generate extra income to pay your mortgage on your current apartment, while you move into your new home.
When the lease is up, you can relist the apartment, and the listing will look brand new, which can generate new buzz for your home.